Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oregon: South

The culminating big trip of the summer was five nights camping in Southern Oregon with Provo (we grew up together; our parents were friends before either of us was born), her partner Jeremy, and canine companion Griffin. Despite being an Oregonian for ten years, I had never explored the southern reaches of the state. We only saw a fraction of it, of course, but it was pretty incredible. Inland, to Crater Lake and the Rogue River, with incredible warm clear nights and unbelievable stargazing. Coastal, to Coos Bay and lighthouses and beaches and sea lions (and lots of fog. This is Oregon, after all). In good company, excellent weather, and a most excellent lack of mosquitoes, here are a few things 1,000 miles of driving led us to.

The Rogue River...wild and scenic, indeed.
Camping on Lost Creek Lake, a reservoir of the Rogue

The Rogue squeezing through an impossibly narrow gorge

The jaw-dropping blue and perfect reflections of Crater Lake

Two nights of potatoes, onions and carrots cooked in foil in the fire...
...and the detritus of one of our many meals of fresh seafood

Puppy dog eyes, truly.

A perfect beach seat

The jawbone of a humpback whale.

We found an unexpected and beautiful botanic garden overlooking the ocean

Longing for a zoom lens at Simpson Reef...those are hundreds of sea lions (their barking made an incredible racket that we could hear from our campground two miles away), and the white dots on the near rocks are harbor seals.

The Umpqua River Light

A moment of sun in Winchester Bay

The coast from Heceta Head

Heceta Head Light

And the gorgeous keeper's house at Heceta's a B & B! Yes, please.

I'm off to Spokane this weekend for a wedding and to see my family, and then, with the days getting a bit shorter and a chill in the air, I'll be home for the foreseeable future, enjoying fall in Portland. But man, what an excellent summer this has been!

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