Sunset Bay State Park (North Bend/Coos Bay)

http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_100.php

We only stayed one night at this wonderful State Park, and will hopefully get back there again one day. It has so much to offer, and we were not able to take full advantage of it, due to time restraints and the weather. The weather…oh man, it was really chucking it down at us! It was a little challenging to deal with, but we made the most of it.

Our site was really neat (A18…loved this spot, but it was a little tight backing the trailer in – managed it, but it was a little more difficult than some places). It sat right on the creek (no problem with mosquitos, especially with the rain), and we had a row of bushes behind us, with a small cut through to the bathrooms. The bushes to the other side would have shielded us from our neighbors (had we had them), and we had electric and water at our site, as well as a picnic table and fire ring, which didn’t see any use by us. It just felt nice and private. The bathrooms had flushies and showers. Test the showers–mine was cold, we switched showers and Laddy’s was warm. It was strange. The park rangers were really nice, and there were lots of mature trees, which would have provided welcome shade, had we seen any sun!

After we got there and I hurried to get everything set up, we hopped in the car and drove down to Shore Acres Botanical Garden. This garden is quite amazing, and the fact most of these plants survive the power of the weather and the seas in this area, is amazing. It is really beautiful here. When you are camped at the campground, your parking pass lets you park free at the botanical garden as well. The torrents of rain had us rushing through the gardens, stopping to look on occasion, and doing our best to appreciate the many varied species represented. The rain became too much for us, so we popped into the shop for a small reprieve, and to get a crushed penny (we collect them), before we headed to the car to check more out.

Luckily we packed the rain gear!

A look towards the gift shop

Out through those trees is the Pacific Ocean

We thought we should see where the road went, so we drove the 10 minutes to the end, and got out for a quick look of Cape Arago. It is beautiful there. There is also AT&T coverage at the point (if needed), so if you need to make a call, it is a good place to go (no coverage at the campsite).

At Cape Arago

A few of the islets off the Coast

After our little field trip, and to stay out of the weather for a bit longer, we attended one of the Jr. Ranger programs. It started at 4:00p, but times change depending on number of kids checked in at the campground and rangers availablity (I also think some days they have 2 programs, so check in with them and see). They taught the kids all about sea and animal life in the area. They were able to match skat to footprints, and touch and feel lots of different things like baleen, ‘whale burp’, ‘mermaids purses’, a cougar (taxidermied), and more. It was a neat program (one of the best we saw on our trip!).

There is also a day use area, that appears to be quite popular. This is where your closest beach access is.  There is a sandy beach for wading (the water is still pretty cold for swimming), and people were preparing to go clamming at low tide.  I was told the beachcombing is pretty good, as is the fishing.

We would highly recommend this campground, and would also highly recommend reservations in the summer.  We hear it gets really busy once school is out!

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