We drove about 175 miles north on Hwy 101 to Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon. Brookings calls itself the “Banana Belt” of the Oregon Coast because its weather patterns foster some of the warmest temperatures on the coast. Brookings is a center for commercial flower growing and tourism.
There are so many things to love about Oregon, not the least of which is the Oregon Beach Bill, a landmark legislation passed in 1967, which established public ownership of land along the Oregon Coast from the water up to sixteen vertical feet above the low tide mark. That’s right baby! The entire coast is owned by the public, can be used by the public, and NEVER sold to developers. People can own their property along the coast up to that 16 feet, however they cannot deny the public access to the water. There are plenty of public access easements, so it’s really not necessary to use private property to access the water. California sure missed the mark on this one.
Oregon also has some of the most awesome state parks all along the coast. They are very reasonably priced at $22 – $28 per night, often with full hookups. In most parks you can walk to the beach from your campsite. We were able to do this at Harris Beach SP by using a short wooded trail. We took our camping chairs, snacks and warm beverages and spent quite a bit of time just sitting and observing the ocean and giant rock formations.
Yelp is my new best friend when we enter a new town. I want to check out the best and Yelp did not fail me this time. Yelp introduced us to the Superfly Martini Bar and Café. It’s a funky little place in an industrial section of Brookings. We even went back a second time and we were only in Brookings for three days! If you get to Superfly try the mussels, tomato jalapeno soup and strawberry lemon martini, not necessarily in that order or all together, unless you want to. Of course I had to listen to Ralph sing the Superfly song from 1971 for a while…but, it was worth it! Ralph had the pulled pork sandwich and said it was very good too.
We took several walks on the beach in the sun and the fog and each condition had its own beauty. What a wonderful way to begin our Oregon Coast adventure.
Our next stop is Port Orford and the Cape Blanco SP campground and lighthouse. Two of the bloggers I follow are volunteering to give tours of the lighthouse and we will stop by and say hi to the Technomads (www.technomadia.com) Chris and Cherie and the WheelingIts, www.wheelingit.us) Nina and Paul. We met Chris and Cherie when they were in Sacramento and Chris was clearing out his storage unit. Both couples are “full-timers” meaning no “sticks and bricks” to call home. They are free to move about the country as they see fit. AND they are not retired…they work from the road. I call myself semi-retired because I still teach my online project management courses through UC Davis. I can do that from anywhere I have an internet connection. Full-timing has an allure for me…don’t know if or when that will happen.
Next stop Cape Blanco!