After spending a most excellent three days at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon, I reluctantly packed my car and bid a somber "good-bye" to the wonderful yurt that had been home for the past three days. But - more good things awaited. I was heading north to my beloved city on the Oregon coast - dear, scenic Bandon.
|Coquille River Lighthouse|
Now having three previous trips to this town under my belt, I was looking forward to revisiting my favorite places, including lunch at Tony's Crab Shack, followed by a walk on the beaches at Face Rock Wayside.
|Nice boat in the harbor|
Although my arrival would be nearly two hours past lunch, I stubbornly saved my appetite for fish tacos and a bowl of Tony's delicious clam chowder. Totally worth the wait! After stuffing myself with seafood, I walked off some of the calories with a stroll along Bandon's beautiful waterfront, clicking photos of the boats docked nearby.
|The gorse was in full bloom|
Having another hour before yurt check-in at nearby Bullards Beach State Park, I killed more time by wandering the viewpoints along Bandon's lovely beaches. My timing was perfect, and I was able to catch the gorse at full bloom. The bluffs surrounding Bandon's ocean shores were golden with this flowering plant. An amazing sight!
|I love the sea stacks on this beach|
Sadly, this flowering yellow plant is considered an invasive species. Imported from Irish immigrants in the late 1800s, gorse flourished throughout Bandon's coastal community. This oily, noxious plant would play a key role in a devastating 1936 fire. When shifting winds directed a forest fire to the city limits, gorse ignited as though it was made of gasoline. The fire leveled nearly all the buildings in town and was responsible for the deaths of 10 people.
|More golden bluffs|
Deadly as it may be, the gorse bloom made for some amazing images.
|Looking north from Face Rock Wayside|
I easily passed the time clicking away at all the ocean viewpoints.
|Blue skies and green sea|
After getting the key to another nice State Park yurt and settling in, it was time to head back to Bandon's beaches for one final coastal sunset.
|Evening beach walkers|
I parked my car at the Coquille Point Wildlife Refuge parking area, and climbed down a long wooden staircase to the beach. Although the sky was covered with clouds, the evening's muted light was nice for photographs.
|Sky reflections in the wet sand|
I noticed a huge amount of the blue-hued organisms called Vellela Vellela stuck in the sand. These unique sea creatures float in the ocean, propelled by a sail on top of their bodies. At the mercy of prevailing winds, they often end up stranded on nearby beaches in huge numbers. This time Bandon's coastline became their final resting ground.
As I walked towards the southern end of the beach, I noticed the golden gorse-covered bluffs reflecting nicely on a patch of wet sand.
|Golden reflections in the sand|
I couldn't have wished for a better photo opportunity.
|A stream of gold|
Of course this being the coast, that meant wind, and for a second straight night, it was blowing strongly here too. That meant taking a few breaks ducking behind large shoreline rocks.
|View from behind a tall rock|
Of course, the views behind these rocks weren't too shabby, so nothing lost.
|Evening light on the beach homes|
I took way too many photos of the tiny streams flowing across the beach.
|Looking towards the sea stacks|
The patterns and reflections in these tiny water bodies were fantastic.
Sunset appeared as if it was going to be a non-event. Thick clouds rolled in just as the sun began to sink. I was able to capture a few shots of "heaven's rays" emanating from the clouds. (Almost looked as if God himself was watching the show).
|Lovely light on the beach|
Thinking sunset would be a bust, I climbed back up the stairs to my car. But before I could pack up and leave, I became distracted by some fabulous light on the beach below.
|The golden hour|
Cloudy skies diffused the light so it cast a warm hue on the surrounding beach and bluffs. Just as good as a sunset!
|Pink hues from the sun's fading light|
The last fading rays lit the clouds with a pink hue that reflected on the beach's wet sand. A wonderful welcome to my return night in Bandon!
I was going to end my coastal trip series with this post. But....the next morning's walk on the beach produced some of my favorite images of the entire trip. Totally deserving of a separate post - you'll get one more set of photos out of me before I return this blog to it's regularly scheduled hikes (of which I am now hopelessly behind!)