Sunday, June 3 – This is a flashback to the day we visited the Umpqua Lighthouse.
After our lighthouse tour, we drove about a mile down the coast to the Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. This area runs from the shores of North Bend, OR, through Winchester Bay and ends in Florence, OR. We visited the Dunes in Winchester Bay.
It consists of over 40 miles of undisturbed beaches and the tallest dunes in the nation. These piles of sand towering to 500 feet above sea level provide numerous recreational opportunities including off-road vehicles, hiking, sand sledding, horseback riding and camping.
Formed by the natural forces of wind, water and time, these dunes are like no other in the world. The desert-like landscape blends with lakes, rivers, ocean and forest, creating a diverse ecosystem filled with plants and animals.
Thousands of off-road vehicle riders come to enjoy the thrill of riding across these tracks of sand. Whether by sand rail, motorcycle, 4X4 , quad, or guided trip, riders are in for a treat. Being a weekday, there were only a few off-road vehicles out today and we did not see any in the dunes.
Many areas are designated for quiet activity. You can walk over 40 miles of undisturbed beach. Many trails wind through Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce. Some go up and over through sand dunes. We hiked a short way up a couple of the dunes, and we'll tell you, hiking in these dunes would be a heck of a workout.
We then ventured to the Umpqua Aquaculture Oyster farm.
These oysters are raised in nets suspended above the ocean floor in a triangular area formed by the two southern jetties at Winchester Bay, Oregon .
The nets are above the sand, resulting in no gritty taste. We found them sweeter than the oysters we've tasted in the past.
You can see the workers shucking the oysters from a viewing area off the sales floor. There were only 3 workers removing the oysters from the netting, forcing open the shells, sorting and bagging them for sale or shipping.
We purchased a cup of about a dozen oysters in cocktail sauce for tasting ($5).
Paul is not into eating raw seafood, so after tasting about three oysters, he allowed Marsha to enjoy the remaining oyster cocktail. All in fun…they really aren't that bad – but they don't taste like chicken! It's just the "raw thing" he doesn't like.
We stopped at Reedsport, at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, and were delighted to see a herd of Roosevelt Elk grazing in the lush green grass. It appears they were all male elk, if having horns is any indication. What a neat experience to see these creatures in the wild.
On our way back to the campground, we stopped at the famous Mo's Restaurant, in downtown Florence, to compare the Clam Chowder to our previous tastes at Brookings Harris Beach, and at ICM (International C-Food Market) here in Florence. There is not a clear winner in the Weaver Taste Contest after three tasting experiences. More to come in the future!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!