Just west of our Coos Bay campsite is Shore Acres, the site of the 1905 homestead of Louis and Cassie Simpson. The original home, a Christmas present for Cassie, was enlarged in 1914 to include a Roman Bath with a 26’x52’ swimming pool and completion of the spectacular gardens preserved today.
Cassie died after a long illness in 1921 and the mansion burned to the ground in 3 months later. Louis and his second wife, Lela, moved into a second mansion that spanned 224’ along the bluff. Between 1927 and 1942 the Simpsons gradually donated and sold the property to the State of Oregon. The US Army occupied the site and the mansion became a barracks and officers club. The mansion was razed by the government due to maintain the property. Louis died in 1949.
Our visit was really enjoyable but the highlight was watching the whales feeding just offshore. Karen captured this awesome picture!
A short drive south of Florence are the “tri-cities” of North Bend, Coos Bay and Bandon. This areas history revolves around fishing, timber, dairy and cranberries. Careful readers will know that we had a brief stop in Coos Bay prior to our stop at Oregon Motorcoach. It was enough to convince us we wanted another stop on our longer trip down the coast. Our home on this visit is a new RV Park, Bay Point Landing, on the shores of Coos Bay.
Our final road trip from Florence led us to again drive north. Cape Perpetua is the highest viewpoint accessible by car on the Oregon coast and part of the Siuslaw National Forest.
And finally a view of Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area runs 40 Miles south from Florence to Coos Bay. Check out this Forest Service educational video on the Area:
And then there’s the Dunes Fun Video from our Sand Rail ride on the dunes.
Fires and poor air quality are continuing to plague central Oregon so we headed back to the Oregon coast. First stop is Florence Oregon, due west of Eugene, situated on the coast at the mouth of the Siuslaw River. Originally a fishing and timber port, Florence has developed as a vacation and tourist destination.
Our home for the visit was the Elks Lodge 1858 RV park located just north Florence. This is the nicest Elks facility yet!
From the Park we explored Heceta Beach
Toured downtown Florence and the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum
and we’re surprised to learn about the insect eating Darlingtonia with friends Michael and Susan who drove over from Oregon Motorcoach for the day.
From Florence we headed north to Newport to visit the Newport Acquarium and Oregon State University Science Center.
Ole Red needed an oil change which we had scheduled before we left. Oregon Motorcoach in Eugene is a Foretravel factory service center so we were confident they’d make short work of the fluid/filter changes and a small number of incidental service items we’d planned.
As a waypoint on the route to Eugene we stopped at the Coquille Elks Lodge 1935. The Lodge has a golf course adjacent and we enjoyed golf course views from our front window.
While in Coquille we explored the coast from Bandon to Coos Bay. We’ll be headed back to Coos Bay later in August so for now just a quick picture.c
Eugene is a beautiful city and Home to the Ducks of the U of Oregon. We enjoyed our stay and used the service time to explore Hendricks Park established in 1906 and sample local craft beer and the areas bountiful seafood offering, including a local Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives, Fisherman’s Market…
We also had the fun of meeting fellow Foretravel owners Michael and Susan who were there for service before heading out on their own RV adventure.
Readers of previous posts know that fires and heat have been part of our journey since leaving Florida in May. With the prospect of fires in central California and Oregon we decided to head for the coast. Highway 101 follows the coast of California and Oregon and we headed west to follow it in hopes of cooler weather.
Elk Country RV Resort and Campground would be our home for a week of exploring Redwood national and State Parks between Eureka and Crescent City, California. Their website has beautiful pictures of the campground and the herd of Elk that graze there every couple of days.
Other than a day to update the blog and another to do laundry and shop for groceries we spent our time exploring redwood groves and taking in a number of beautiful hikes. Despite frequent fog rolling into these coastal areas we enjoyed daytime highs in the upper 60’s and nightly lows in the low 50’s. A welcome respite from heat, smoke and air conditioning.