Goodbye California, Hello Oregon! After five wonderful months in California we have reached Oregon. In those five months we didn’t begin to scratch the surface of all there is to see and do in California, so we will be back in the fall!
Brookings is a sweet little town of just under 7,000. We entered the town on Memorial Day and Main Street was lined with American flags and POW flags. We just love these patriotic small towns! Due to its relatively mild climate and the fact that it gets more sun than any other Oregon coastal town because of its facing south position, Brookings is often referred to as “The Banana Belt of Oregon”. Flowers bloom here all year and 90% of the country’s Easter lilies are grown here. It is also home to many myrtle trees and coastal redwoods. We found the townspeople here to be among the friendliest we have found in our travels.
While driving around the town we saw a sign for a historical marker. It turns out that Brookings is the site of the only aerial attack on the U.S. mainland by the Japanese during World War 2. Who knew!!! The amazing things we discover, and it didn’t take the quest for a geocache to find this one.
We stayed at Harris Beach State Park which is a beautiful park with views overlooking the Pacific. It is unusual to find state parks with full hookups, but Oregon seems to have many. This is the first state park we have been to that has an old fashioned ice cream truck with the ringing bell that goes around each evening selling ice cream and bagged ice. They also have a “Courtesy Guide” posted throughout the park. The rangers have nightly programs on whales, seals and sea lions, medicinal plants, and tsunamis. We learned that the Oregon coast is just beginning to get large amounts of debris from the 2011 earthquake in Japan. They have set up large containers along some beaches and are asking people to pick up any debris they see and place it in the containers. The ranger said that there was some damage in Brookings from the tsunamis in 2011, with nearby Crescent City, California receiving the most damage because the harbor there is more shallow.
We have been stunned by the unspoiled beauty of the Oregon coast.
One day we took a drive along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor which parallels the Oregon Coast Trail, a 362 mile hiking trail along the entire coast of Oregon. We stopped at several scenic overlooks, some of which took us off the highway and onto small roads.
We took several hiking trails to find geocaches and look at the shoreline, including Arch Rock
and Natural Bridges.
On one geocache hike we saw a small waterfall far in the distance.
As our week in Brookings was coming to an end we realized we had not spent enough time hiking in the state park where we were staying. We hiked up a very steep hill where we found a geocache and magnificent views.
On our way back to our campsite we found a little squirrel scampering around with part of a paper plate in his mouth, stopping now and then to nibble the plate. I am sure his digestive system is not going to like this lunch!
I hope to name a few facts about Oregon with each post. Here are a few for this one:
1. All Oregon gas stations are required to pump the gas for you. There are no self service gas stations in Oregon. (We might add that the gas is about fifty cents cheaper in Oregon than California so far!)
2. Oregon contains more than 230 state parks and 13 national forests.
3. Oregon has no sales tax.
4. Oregon’s motto is “Oregon is for Dreamers”.
Just a Thought: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”.