What a great, relaxing, and CHEAP couple of weeks we’ve had. In the last twelve nights, we have only paid for camping for three of them – and that was at just $7.50 a night! Plus, we only put on less than three-hundred miles on the RV – that’s traveling pretty slow for us.
I think we’ve been hanging out with the right people!
As we left the Crab-a-Rang in Coos Bay to head south, we buddied up with another couple – Mark & Patsi – who were headed south down Highway 101 like us.
The first night we all decided to stay on an Oregon coast pull out. Beautiful spot to watch the sunset and wake up to ocean waves below – and we saw a wonderful rainbow in the morning – but not someplace to stay for more than one night.
So we found a National forest campground outside of Gold Beach. It was not a problem for us to get our 33’ motorhome up the windy road and into a campsite. But for our friends with their 45’ rig it was a problem. Plus there was zero cell reception. We stayed (since we were already there) and they went on.
Turns out they found a free spot on a gravel bar about ten miles closer to town. They have been at this full-timing thing for about three years longer than us and they are really good at finding the freebies. So when our three days were up we joined them there for a few days. It wasn’t as pretty as our spot in the forest, but it was quiet and had plenty of space – and cell service! There were even a couple of rigs that had been there two or three months – because there are no time restrictions other than “when the water starts coming up from the river you’d better leave”.
So we had a lovely time camping there with friends. We had a couple of happy hours and a couple of game nights with them and we all went on a jet boat ride on one day. Great fun.
Alas, we have to move south, and have a wedding date to get to, so we parted ways. One thing we learned from them was that you can stay at some casinos more than one night. They have even stayed at one for six nights (free!). So we found a casino down the road where we were able to spend three nights for free.
So we’re feeling pretty good about all this affordable housing!
We will hate to be leaving the Oregon coast though – we’ve been along the coast for thirty days. It’s been such fun.
On the way down we stopped at the picturesque town called Bandon and found a store with “art to save the sea”. It’s called “The Washed Ashore Project” and I was very impressed. They have a traveling exhibit of artworks made entirely from trash collected from the ocean.
Scary that there is so much junk floating around, but awesome that they can be so creative with it. I hope it brings the awareness they’re after and will cause people to think twice before littering.
While staying in a casino parking lot isn’t the prettiest, we were able to take the Jeep exploring. We spent some time in Eureka’s old town and saw some of the amazing Victorian houses.
Only because it was so close, we toured the Humboldt Botanical Gardens and were pleasantly surprised. It’s not much to look at when you pull up, but it turns out there were miles of hiking trails that took you trough some cool forests in addition to the formal gardens. There was also a butterfly house and an earth sculpture called “All Happy Now”. It was kind of like a labyrinth and we were able to enjoy it all by ourselves.
We also took a drive into the small town of Loleta where we found a huge abandoned creamery. Loleta, like its neighbor Ferndale, were big dairy producing places. We checked out what’s left of the creamery and did cheese tasting across the street before succumbing to the smell of the grilled cheese sandwiches.
We were intrigued by the creamery. Locals told us the site had been used in the making of the movie Halloween III and during WWII it was heavily guarded because it was the largest powered milk maker in the country (and that powdered milk was shipped to the troups). Intrigued, Tom tried investigating it online, but could find no cooberation about the guards. We did learn that the powdered milk brand was Milkman and was developed at the Loleta plant. We also watched a YouTube on the site compared to how it looked when the movie was filmed.
I told Tom, if I were a billionaire, it would be nice to buy the whole town and restore it and bring Loleta back to life. I really liked the vibe there.
Although that’s probably been true of all the places along the Pacific Ocean. It will be hard to leave to make our way inland.
Peace & Love, Joy