Monday, August 10, 2009

Escaping the Heat

We have been having a run on "hot" weather, like five consecutive days over 100 degrees and the two previous days were 99. So, we began to seek out the cool coastline of Oregon, now in the 60s or low 70s, for refuge.

My hubby had researched some camping sites and we hooked up the camper and were off. When we got to the city of Brookings, the temperatures were f-a-a-a-a-r-r-r-r-r more comfortable. Unfortunately, many other people, either in retreat from heat or on vacation, were occupying the camping sites we'd hoped to fill. So farther up the coast we meander. Once thru Gold Beach, we turn right just before the bridge spanning the Rogue River and head upstream. Of the several campgrounds available, none were what we were wanting and we made a U-turn back towards Gold Beach.

I prodded Roland to turn into the odd little campground named "Secret Camp" and it turned out to be a charming, privately owned place! Well kept, nicely landscaped, personalized (yes, nature posters framed in the bathroom) and some privacy for each site. We jumped at site #16. We were backed up to a fern forest, delighted with sprinkles of sunshine most of the day and humored by the "No Parking, Except for Donna" sign by the registration office. For a treat, we took to the "city" and happened upon a delicious dinner (recommend by Donna, the camp owner) at "Spinners". And enjoyed the next episode of "Big Love" on the laptop before we curled into crisp, refreshing night air for slumber. Even Cody, our sweet Golden Retriever, got chilly enough to join us up on the bed before morning.
We woke to hazy fog and delicious temperatures - exactly what we'd desired. After breakfast, we'd planned to go swimming in the river, so headed upstream a bit more for sunshine. Well, we got excited and launched into this mission to go see the much talked about town of "Agnes". This took us upstream, past lovely river curves, tee-pees along the bank and, I know you'll laugh, back into temperatures of 100 as we reached "Agnes"!!! We relished a fruit smoothie, caught the mist from "mister" on the porch of the local store (the ONLY building in town besides the post office!) and beat feet back towards cooler surroundings. About half way back to the coast we spied a pebbly beach and dawned out swim suits. For probably and hour we lavished in the cool water, watching the grey heron across the river from us, waving at the "tour boats" that travel up the river and savoring our quiet, pleasant spot. Along the winding road next to the river we glimpsed many Osprey nests high in the dead trees, as well as their young inhabitants.

Once back to the coast, we headed to the coast hiking trail, part of the Pacific Coast Trail, which can be accessed many places along the drive around Brookings. We turned at the first one, since it was getting early evening, and caught views like this on our short trek. Our evening nourishment was sandwiches and reading aloud of a sweet lil book (one of my honey's favorite, shhhhhhh, don't tell him I told you) entitled, "I Heard the Owl Call My Name". And we drifted off to dreams of living among the native peoples and nature.

Ok, our escape from the heat had come to an end . . . we needed to head back inland . . . but postponed it as long as we possibly could. We stopped up Highway 199 at the "Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park" where Roland swam, Cody snoozed in the shade and I did the above sketch in the afternoon sun. It was a calming preface to the oppressive heat (we saw 111 degrees on a bank sign) of the Illinois Valley and Grants Pass. Pleasantly, we rolled into our dear J-ville, where temps were only 99 and heading into evening cooling.


Oma3 said...

What a delightful trip... so good to get out of the heat... I don't miss those triple digit days at all!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

Elaine it sounds like you had a lovely time. We've had rain overnight and it was so welcome.

We also like the book "I Heard the Owl Call My Name", but our favorite book involving the northwest is "The Curve of Time". And I reread it yearly. Is about a mother and her 5 children and their experiences in their boat traveling the B.C. waters, after her husband died in 1927.

Love seeing your journal.

Bend Beanies said...

Oh I LOVE Gold Beach! One of my faves. We often took that trip down 199 into California, maybe visit Crescent city, then up to Gold Beach.

Oh, also a place to check out - Store Gulch on the Illinois river.
The last time I was there, YEARS ago, they had actually paved a mile or so down a (I don't know how many miles road) that goes along a rather sheer cliff, yikes. But the campground (small, about 3 spaces!) & swimming hole across from the caretaker cabin was BEAUTIFUL.