Got up by 8 am and got out on the road by 9 am. The hotel was comfortable except for the bathroom – too small, even for me. Made my tea and left.
Stopped on a few stops and finally in Newport at the Pigs and Pancakes for breakfast. As usual went ahead and came back to find the restaurant. Ordered pancakes, eggs and hash browns. Eggs were tasteless but rest was okay. At 10:30am I was on the way to the Dunes! So looking forward to it. Stopped on so many scenic spots. Came to the sea lion caves but one step out and I decided not to go – the smell was unbearable.
Made sure to stop at the Darlingtonia natural preserve. There is a small botanical garden. Walked inside to the boardwalk and was so completely surprised to see the plants there. I felt I was in an alien horror movie! The plants there were all the same (Darlingtonia) which is a carnivorous plant, but it looks so green and so innocent. It was just a beautiful sight. It was a small area (maybe about 8000 sq ft) I wanted to stay longer but it was time to move on.
Got to the Sand Dunes Frontier for the buggy tour. The lady said a 30 min wait. I said okay- they were waiting for a 7 people group (although in the morning she told me they don’t take reservations – one of the problems of traveling solo). The wait turned out to be one hour! I bought the tame ride – as the wait for the more adventurous one was an hour or more. I could have easily done that one if I had known it would take that long of a wait! The driver was fun. The group of 7 came – 3 adults and 4 kids. All the adults were women! The ride itself was quite fun. Although it was rather short as far as I am concerned. The driver stopped way too long on one of the sand dunes for us to play on the sand. Even the kids got bored. The kids did make the journey fun.
The dunes were amazing. I have seen dunes in Jordan before but never really rode on them on a buggy. In Jordan it was a camel ride and the dunes were not so high. The Oregon dunes are about 30miles long and 3 miles wide. They keep shifting as the sands keep blowing in the wind. Very dynamic. Interesting thing was that the sand was all hot, but just 6 inches under was wet sand. (The kids were busy digging!). That was the reason the buggies could go on the dunes (because they are hard). Apparently the water is absorbed in the sands and in the low lying areas, it creates a small water body. All is fresh water! It is all very interesting.
Next stop was the Itty Bitty Inn in North Bend. The owner (Ric?) is quite talkative. He promoted the local businesses…whch is great. I cannot imagine he does that with ALL the guests. The room was also cute. Again bathroom little tiny. Again the downside of traveling solo – everything is small.
Had a cup of tea and drove on to Cape Arago Park. It took about 30 mins to get there. North Bend and Coos Bay together make up a big city. The roads were all up and down, very pretty. Again stopped in different scenic locations before reaching the park. First went to the botanical gardens. Wow!! So beautiful. It was a private property and the owner (Simpson?) designed the gardens. Later the property was donated to the State and now they take care of it. Now its not just a garden, it is a botanical garden, all beautifully laid out and all plants labeled. It really was worth the drive. The roses and the dahlias were so gorgeous; the colors and smell – too good. All the plants looked really healthy and well kept. It just all very scenic.
Walked a few hundred feet to see the ocean. Another amazing sight. The earth had been broken down into huge rocks by the force of the waves creating spaces and holes in the rocks. When the water comes into them it just looks amazing. Of course there is no predicting where the water will go and when it will come. It was just wait and see what happens. And then on the way back found the daisy path….another lovely sight. All of them facing the sun looking admiringly at it.
Drove back by 8 pm. Stopped by Walmart to get some bananas and baby carrots for snacks. Tomorrow will be a long drive.
Had puris for dinner. Turns out I have also run out of my data plan on my phone! I have been checking maps so much and stupid google has been uploading my photos so that is all taking up my roaming data and T-mobile does not have enough towers here. So had to call T-mobile and buy data for $15. Ugh!! That was one call I did not make before leaving Columbus. Oh well….another downside to traveling alone – I have to be my own navigator, planner, manager etc. etc. so sometimes I miss the something and end of paying by either losing my direction or my data!