Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cape Blanco Lighthouse and Another Sunset

(Continuing the recap of my late April trip to Bandon and the Southern Oregon coast....) 

Day two of my Southern Oregon coast trip, and I'd had a fabulous morning exploring the Bandon beaches.  But all that wandering had worked up an appetite.  Time to find some lunch!

Whimsical restaurant art

So I drove a short distance into charming downtown Bandon, hoping to find that perfect bowl of clam chowder.  Bandon has a lovely boardwalk that parallels the Coquille River, lined by several seafood restaurants.

Oh, which one to pick?  The Bandon Fish Market, with it's colorful school of fish decorating an outer wall caught my attention.  But then I noticed a crowd of people gathering outside a tiny building with a red roof.  Lots of customers usually indicates a good place, so I got in line behind the counter of Tony's Crabshack.

Home of delicious fish tacos!

Oh yeah, I chose well.  Not only did I enjoy a sumptuous bowl of clam chowder, spying fish tacos on the menu, I made an impulse order.  It was a good decision.  Those tacos were to die for!  Sorry, no food pics - it all was inhaled way too quickly.  :)

A great idea

Post-lunch, I took a stroll along Bandon's boardwalk, taking in the views across the Coquille River and westward towards the mighty Pacific Ocean.  Lots of fishing boats were tied up on one end, and the other housed a boat ramp and a long floating dock.  A few people with fishing poles were scattered along it's length, trying their luck.  One of the best things I saw was this kiosk at the boat ramp entrance, full of loaner life jackets for children to use and return.  What a great idea!

Cape Blanco lighthouse

For the afternoon, I'd planned to visit another Oregon coast lighthouse.  A short half-hour drive south took me to Cape Blanco and it's beautiful lighthouse.

Cape Blanco is a prominent coastal headland, rising 200 feet above the sea and jutting out into the Pacific Ocean.  It's the most westernmost point in Oregon, and except for Cape Alava, Washington, extends the furthest west in the lower 48 US states.

Ocean views from Cape Blanco

Although a rough gravel road took visitors to the it's very base, I opted to park and walk the half mile to the lighthouse.  I wasn't sorry at all - the road provided great views of the gorgeous beach below.  Lots of colorful wildflowers bloomed on the grassy slopes.  Plentiful photo ops!

Lighthouse close-up

Upon arrival, I took a quick swing through the gift shop.  Then I climbed up a grassy slope and let myself in the lighthouse's side door.  It appeared a tour was beginning so I hung at the back of the group, until the guide politely told me I needed to purchase a ticket at the gift shop if I wanted to join them.  Hmmm.....I was a tiny bit miffed, having just been in the gift shop and no one had bothered to mention this.  Disappointed, I decided to skip it.  It was more fun taking photos of the outside anyway.

Path to the beach

Walking back towards my car, I noticed a couple groups heading down a flower-lined trail to the beach below.  Never missing a chance to capture more lovely coastal images, I followed along.

Lots of flowers here!

It was so beautiful!  The ocean sparkled a teal blue, capped by frothy white waves.  Lots of yellow flowers bloomed in the grassy cliffs, accented by some purple lupine and more wild iris.  Had it not been for the strong winds, I would've stayed there all afternoon.  But on the way to Cape Blanco, the wind had picked up, and it was now blowing hard. 

Face Rock Wayside with fabulous light

The ferocious winds forced me off the beach and into my car.  I headed back to Bullards Beach State Park and spent a blissfully quiet two hours at my yurt (everyone in the yurt village had left for the day!).  Around dinnertime, when the loud family made their rambunctious return, I took that as my cue to leave.  Time to capture another sunset!

Sea stacks in the evening light

Back at Face Rock Wayside, the low western sun was illuminating its beaches with some incredible light.

After dinner beach stroll

I perched myself at one of the overlooks and enjoyed watching people going about their evening routines.  A few folks were out for a walk, and one couple waded into the surf, trying their luck fishing.

Lone fisherman

Such wonderful light!  I must've taken a zillion photos of this beach.

Fading light at Coquille Point

After an hour or so, I journeyed back to Coquille Point, my new favorite sunset-watching spot.

Observation platform

Despite the strong winds, it was a lovely evening.  Unlike the previous night, the skies were mostly clear and a setting sun cast its golden glow upon the beach.

Wonderful night for a beach walk!

I wandered down to water level, gazing across the sand.  A small group of shorebirds skittered at the waterline, searching for food.

Gettin' up close with the sea stacks

I headed back towards the sea stacks, admiring their spectacular shapes.

I heart the beach

And paused to capture a bit of artwork in the sand.

Fading sunlight

When the sun began it's final descent, this time I was prepared with camera mounted firmly on tripod.  Good thing, as the wind was still gusting quite strongly.

Shorebirds on the sand

There wasn't any shortage of photographers tonight either.  But for the most part, we all did a good job of staying out of each other's way.

The sun is sinking fast

Another fantastic orange-hued sky!  It reflected on the wet beach sand, making absolutely stunning scenes.

Sky reflections on the wet sand

As the sun's glowing orange ball slid towards the horizon, I braced myself against the howling wind hoping it would hurry up and set.  It was getting cold out here on the beach!

Almost down

Another successful sunset capture!  My job done, I headed back to the campground to endure another night of noisy neighbors. 

But tomorrow I had plans to explore Shore Acres State Park, another hidden gem on the Oregon Coast.  Coming in my next post....


  1. Que maravilha de praias e as fotografias ao pôr-do-sol estão fantásticas é de uma grande beleza.
    Um abraço e boa semana.

  2. Hello, another gorgeous place and post. The lighthouse and the beach are beautiful. I love the wildflowers. Your sunset shots are awesome back at the Wizard's hat? Lovely series of photos. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  3. Linda, such a beautiful part of the world. Yes life jackets are important.

  4. Stunning! It is incredible how cold it can be on the OR coast! I remember on a summer day in Roseburg it was 93 and we drove to the coast and it was 56 degrees! Brrrr!

    I LOVE Shore Acres...can't wait for your next post!

  5. Linda, your photos are absolutely stunning! And I love the sign over the life jackets!

  6. Just found your blog. Would so love to do a tour of the Oregon coast but at the moment I'm caregiver for my husband. I am hoping for a one day trip to the coast sometime this summer.

    Isn't Bandon mentioned often in Robyn Carr's 'Thunder Point' series of books?

  7. What a place. So much to see and enjoy along that coast line. I had my first clam chowder last week in Boston. Delicious.

  8. Great series.. incredibly beautiful captures.. loved the sunset!

  9. Beautiful area! You did it justice with your photos.

  10. Such great seaside shots! I have a thing about lighthouses and love the ones with the little house connected to them.

  11. Spectacular - you certainly caught a great sunset there.

  12. What a beautiful place! Your sunset photo were worth the windy wait! :)

  13. Wow, what a really beautiful place! I have to drive to California in July, and just last night I was imagining a side trip to the Southern Oregon Coast. Looks like I need to start planning my trip!

  14. One can feel your bliss through your photos. Superb !

  15. Gorgeous! How do you always get sunny days at the beach? Is it luck or do you only travel to the coast when it will be sunny? It's almost always cloudy here so a good sunset is pretty rare.

  16. Stunning sunset indeed, and well captured.
    I love the idea of the lifejacket loaning station. Awesome idea.

  17. Fantastic location and great photos. I'd be more that happy walking there. My kind of place.

  18. What fun visiting that quaint little town, and glad you had at least a few hours of peace at the yurt.. Your photos of the fading light , the sunset, and the rock formations are to die for. Love them and gives me a big hankering to see that area again! Thanks for sharing

  19. How would you like to sell one of those sunset prints??

  20. Sigh....this was just beautiful. I so love the beach and these photos just remind me of how wonderful it really is. Oh and by the way Tony's Crabshack was a good choice. I've eaten there before too, yum!

  21. Absolutely fantastic shots, perfectly captured. I am so impressed. And glad you got (a) those fish tacos, and (b) some sleep! :-)

  22. Such a stunning sunset! Your talk of clam chowder & fish tacos and then your lighthouse photo all made me homesick for the Atlantic Ocean and Nova Scotia where I grew up.

  23. Incredible beauty! Those sea stack photos are awesome. Glad you braved the wind for the sunset - it was a great one. I loved your photos. They make me want to come back and visit the PNW again!

  24. Wow! Your sunset shots are spectacular! I love the cute lighthouse too.

  25. Your photos are all extraordinary! Love the lighthouses and the wonderful beach shots. Really great sunsets also.

  26. Wow, what a fun adventure you have had! Gorgeous photos of the beaches, lighthouse, and sunsets!

  27. fabulous series. gorgeous scenery.

  28. Awesome scenery! I love your photos from the beach and of the sunset.


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