Laura & Geoff's Oregon Coast Honeymoon Trip

Our trip started with a one-way flight to "scenic" Fresno, California to pick up our new camper van at the Sportsmobile factory.

We must have let word of our recent wedding slip, because when we arrived we were greeted with "Just Married" signs!

Fresno Sportsmobile Factory (October 01, 2004 1:27 PM)Fresno Sportsmobile Factory Laura Geoff Just Married Sign (October 01, 2004 1:34 PM)

After an afternoon of learning how everything works, we were anxious to try out our new toy! We were directed to nearby Shaver Lake, just an hour northeast of Fresno. It was dark when we arrived so we spent our first night in a campground.

Shaver Lake - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 9:41 AM)Shaver Lake - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 9:41 AM)Shaver Lake - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 11:43 AM)Shaver Lake Laura (October 02, 2004 11:25 AM)

The next day, we set out to climb nearby Bald Mountain, which was supposed to be the site of a still-intact lookout tower.

This was our first opportunity to try out the four wheel drive. We had a minor setback at first, when despite being shifted into four wheel drive, the van seemed to have trouble with traction on the steep trail. Eventually, we were embarrassed to realize that the front wheels weren't pulling because the front hubs hadn't been locked! Oops. With its hubs locked, the big van did an amazing job of climbing the hill (where mostly only ATVs would travel).

Bald Mountain Laura Lunch Break Before Realizing Hubs Not Locked - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 3:17 PM)Bald Mountain Geoff - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 3:51 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 4:19 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 4:33 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 4:43 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 4:44 PM)

At the top, the lookout tower turned out to really exist, and we were rewarded with amazing views, including being able to look back at Shaver Lake.

Soon after we arrived, we noticed large dark clouds coming up from behind us. Would they bring rain? Snow? Unlike the group of ATV's that came up soon after us, we were comfortable with being stuck on top of the mountain for the night if bad weather came in. The storm created fabulous double rainbows and contrasting skies with the setting sun. Fortunately, after only a half hour of high winds and rain, the weather passed over us.

We did decide to stay and camp there for the night. Apparently, we had picked a popular spot, and we were again visited by several groups of people riding ATVs and Jeeps.

Bald Mountain (October 02, 2004 4:53 PM)Bald Mountain Laura Geoff - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 5:36 PM)Bald Mountain Laura Geoff Lookout Tower ATVs (October 02, 2004 5:37 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 6:12 PM)Bald Mountain - Sportsmobile (photo by Laura)Bald Mountain - Rainbow (photo by Laura)Bald Mountain (photo by Laura)Bald Mountain - Lookout Tower - Sportsmobile (photo by Laura)Bald Mountain Lookout Tower - Sportsmobile (October 02, 2004 6:30 PM)Bald Mountain - Geoff - Sportsmobile (photo by Laura)Bald Mountain Sunset (October 02, 2004 6:41 PM)Bald Mountain Night Fresno Lights Lookout Tower (October 02, 2004 9:05 PM)Bald Mountain Night (October 02, 2004 9:09 PM)Bald Mountain Lookout Tower (October 03, 2004 9:45 AM)Bald Mountain Lookout Tower (October 03, 2004 9:48 AM)Bald Mountain Laura (October 03, 2004 1:47 PM)

We spent the next day exploring the Shaver Lake area, and when the sun started to set, we found a pull-off along the road and camped there for the night.

This was exactly the type of situation that made the Sportsmobile purchase worthwhile: being able to stop on the side of almost any forest road, and watch the sunset as the evening brought bats, swooping and diving as they picked off bugs overhead. All we had to do was park, pop the top, and start dinner. Fabulous!

Camping Near Shaver Lake Sunset - Sportsmobile (October 03, 2004 6:32 PM)

After a couple nights of driveway camping in the San Francisco area to visit Geoff's sister and Laura's relatives Rob and Marsha, we started our slow journey north along Route 101.

Kathy's House Half Moon Bay - Driveway Camping - Sportsmobile (October 05, 2004 10:18 AM)Marsha Rob Laura (October 05, 2004 9:58 PM)Rob Marsha's House - Driveway Camping - Sportsmobile (October 06, 2004 10:25 AM)

We spent a day in California wine country, and found a little winding road into the hills above to camp for the night.

Camping Above Sonoma Valley Hopland CA (October 07, 2004 8:28 AM)

We investigated California redwood country for a couple days. No, the van didn't fit through the drive-through tree.

Redwood National Park Geoff Laura (October 07, 2004 6:59 PM)Redwood National Park (October 07, 2004 7:23 PM)Redwood National Park Toad (October 07, 2004 7:26 PM)Harris Beach State Park Laura (October 07, 2004 8:06 PM)Redwood National Park Laura Yoga (October 08, 2004 8:39 AM)Harris Beach State Park - Sportsmobile (October 08, 2004 8:53 AM)Redwood National Park Flood Line on Trees 13 Feet Up (October 08, 2004 8:57 AM)Redwood National Park (October 09, 2004 11:38 AM)Redwood National Park Mushroom (October 09, 2004 12:52 PM)Redwood National Park (photo by Laura)Redwood National Park (photo by Laura)Redwood National Park (photo by Laura)Redwoods - Sportsmobile  (photo by Laura)

We finally arrived at the coast!

Lunch by The Shore Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park (October 09, 2004 2:24 PM)Samuel H Boardman State Park Laura Kelp (October 09, 2004 5:21 PM)Beach (October 10, 2004 11:24 AM)Beach Laura Mist (October 10, 2004 11:48 AM)Beach Green Rock Laura Geoff (October 10, 2004 12:38 PM)Two Arches (October 10, 2004 3:34 PM)

No, that's not us jumping off the sand cliffs at Indian Sands...

Dunes Indian Sands Bicycle Jump (October 10, 2004 3:03 PM)Dunes Indian Sands Sign (October 10, 2004 3:14 PM)

Inside the official campground of Humbug Mountain State Park, Oregon, we found an unmarked gravel road that our map showed climbing into the nearby hills, and gave it a try. We were happy that we decided to see where it went, as we found a spot to camp only a few miles (and 1000 ft up) away with a view of the coast below.

Camping Near Humbug Mountain - Sportsmobile (October 10, 2004 6:45 PM)Camping Near Humbug Mountain Laura - Sportsmobile (October 11, 2004 7:59 AM)

The next day, we explored the nearby coastal mountain logging roads trying to get to a lookout tower marked on our map as being at a summit called Rocky Peak. We managed to get near enough to hike to the peak, and although we found that only the foundations and melted glass remained of the original lookout tower, we were treated by another set of panoramic views of the coast. We camped nearby.

Siskiyou National Forest Pool (October 11, 2004 11:14 AM)Siskiyou National Forest Pool - Sportsmobile (October 11, 2004 11:18 AM)Rocky Peak Lookout Site Laura Hiking Up Clear-cut (October 11, 2004 5:51 PM)Rocky Peak Lookout Site (October 11, 2004 6:10 PM)Rocky Peak Lookout Site (October 11, 2004 6:20 PM)Rocky Peak Lookout Site Hiking Down Clear-cut (October 11, 2004 6:25 PM)Camp Near Rocky Peak - Sportsmobile (October 11, 2004 6:56 PM)

After that, we returned to the coast to explore Shore Acres State Park. When we arrived at Simpson Reef, the sounds of sea lion barks filled the air. Peering over the viewpoint, we felt like we were like watching a crowded beach on a summer Saturday afternoon — except not crowded with people. Sea lions were packed on every inch of rock they could flop their enormous bodies onto. The big males were chest-fighting with other large males or barking from the top of "their" rock which they hoped was high enough to not get covered by water from the incoming tide. Seals were engaged in swimming races, surfing the waves or doing flips in the water. Other smaller female sea lions were laying out on the rocks and enjoying the sun.

Sea Lions Crowding the Beach at Simpson Reef (photo by Laura)Sea Lions Crowding the Beach at Simpson Reef - Close Up (photo by Laura)

Later we poked around the amazing tidepools at Sunset Bay State Park.

Sunset Bay State Park Cliffs (October 12, 2004 5:24 PM)Sunset Bay State Park Anemone Tidepools (October 12, 2004 5:39 PM)Sunset Bay State Park Tidepools (October 12, 2004 5:44 PM)Sunset Bay State Park Laura Tidepools (October 12, 2004 6:01 PM)Sunset Bay State Park (October 12, 2004 6:16 PM)Sunset Bay State Park Sunset (October 12, 2004 6:36 PM)

One night, we decided we needed a recharge, and spent the night in a hotel in Coos Bay, where we able to use a hotel's wireless internet connection to access our email.

Using Hotel Wireless Internet from Parking Lot Laura (October 14, 2004 2:46 PM)

For the next three days and nights, we camped on the secluded beaches of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area near Reedsport, Oregon, where we were able to park just above the high-tide mark. Except for the occasional family driving by on rented ATVs, we were alone to explore these beaches by ourselves.

Oregon Dunes NRA - Shipwreck - New Carissa - Sportsmobile (October 14, 2004 4:59 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Shipwreck - New Carrisa (October 14, 2004 5:01 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Geoff (October 14, 2004 6:02 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Laura - Sportsmobile (October 14, 2004 6:23 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Jellyfish (October 14, 2004 6:28 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Laura Crab (October 14, 2004 6:33 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA (October 14, 2004 6:45 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Sportsmobile (October 14, 2004 8:11 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA (October 15, 2004 10:56 AM)Oregon Dunes NRA (October 15, 2004 11:03 AM)Oregon Dunes NRA (photo by Laura)Oregon Dunes NRA - Sportsmobile (photo by Laura)Oregon Dunes NRA - Soup Lunch (October 15, 2004 12:46 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Sportsmobile (October 15, 2004 5:40 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA (October 16, 2004 9:03 PM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Sportsmobile (October 17, 2004 10:03 AM)Oregon Dunes NRA (October 17, 2004 10:08 AM)Oregon Dunes NRA - Geoff Airing Up Tires, Which Were Deflated for Driving on Sand - Sportsmobile (October 16, 2004 11:02 AM)

During our trip, Laura read Ken Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion", which takes place along the Oregon Coast. She was fascinated by the old logging industry and was thrilled to find a "Steam Donkey" at a local museum.

Reedsport Steam Donkey (October 16, 2004 3:49 PM)Reedsport Steam Donkey Sign (October 16, 2004 3:50 PM)

North of Florence, Oregon, we stopped to see the famous carnivorous Darlingtonia plants. in the boggy area where they grow, we also found many interesting mushrooms popping up, including some bright red ones which someone had apparently tried to hide under carefully placed leaves.

Lunch in Park - Sportsmobile (October 17, 2004 2:13 PM)Mushrooms Hidden under Leaves (October 17, 2004 3:41 PM)Laura Hiding the Mushrooms Again (October 17, 2004 3:43 PM)Darlingtonia (October 17, 2004 3:44 PM)Darlingtonia (October 17, 2004 3:54 PM)Darlingtonia Sign (October 17, 2004 3:54 PM)Mushroom (October 17, 2004 3:59 PM)

The Sea Lion Caves is a commercial establishment which has dug an elevator 200 feet down from the road to a natural sea cave nvisited by sea lions. Unfortunately no sea lions were present the day we visited.

Sea Lion Caves (October 17, 2004 4:26 PM)Sea Lion Caves - View (October 17, 2004 5:00 PM)

Sea foam in the Yachats, Oregon area. Yachats is pronounced "Yah-hawts". Also plenty of mushrooms and other wildlife happy in the moist environment.

Yachats Sea Foam (October 18, 2004 2:24 PM)Yachats Sea Foam (October 18, 2004 2:28 PM)Yachats Sea Foam (October 18, 2004 2:29 PM)Yachats Laura (October 18, 2004 2:34 PM)Yachats Mushrooms (October 18, 2004 2:03 PM)Cape Perpetua Salamander Without Tail (October 18, 2004 4:00 PM)Mushroom (October 19, 2004 10:54 AM)Mushroom Slug (October 19, 2004 10:54 AM)

Cape Perpetua is home to a blowhole "Spouting Horn" which spouts at high tide.

Cape Perpetua Spouting Horn Blowhole (October 18, 2004 4:21 PM)

In Newport, Oregon, we again recharged by spending a night in a hotel. After searching for "brewpub" in Google, we found ourselves having dinner at the Rogue Brewery, which has a restaurant "hidden" away in the midst of their brewing operations.

Rogue Brewery Laura (October 18, 2004 9:34 PM)Rogue Brewery (October 18, 2004 9:46 PM)Rogue Brewery (October 18, 2004 9:47 PM)

Newport is home to an aquarium with an impressive collection of jellyfish, sea birds, and sea mammals, and fish in walk-through tanks. We were very impressed by a skate egg case which had been fitted with a window so we could watch the squirming babies inside. Also interesting was a remote control submarine we could direct around a large fish tank as we tried not to bump into the (seemingly unconcerned!) fish.

Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Jellyfish (October 19, 2004 11:45 AM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Laura Jellyfish (October 19, 2004 11:48 AM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium (October 19, 2004 11:50 AM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium (October 19, 2004 11:50 AM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium (October 19, 2004 11:58 AM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium (October 19, 2004 12:00 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Laura (October 19, 2004 2:24 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Geoff (October 19, 2004 2:24 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Laura (October 19, 2004 2:30 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Laura (October 19, 2004 2:56 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Feeding Sea Lions (October 19, 2004 3:03 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Skate Egg Case with Window (October 19, 2004 1:37 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Remote Control Camera Submarine in Fish Tank (October 19, 2004 2:20 PM)Newport Oregon Coast Aquarium Remote Control Camera Submarine in Fish Tank (October 19, 2004 2:23 PM)

Wherever we went, Laura tried to find nearby hidden Letterboxes.

Laura (October 09, 2004 8:49 PM)Newport Yaquina Bay State Park Laura Letterboxing (October 19, 2004 4:38 PM)Laura Letterboxing (October 19, 2004 10:34 AM)Drift Creek Falls (October 20, 2004 4:49 PM)

We hiked to an impressive suspension pedestrian bridge built to allow viewing of the Drift Creek Falls.

Drift Creek Falls (October 20, 2004 2:51 PM)Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge (October 20, 2004 3:00 PM)Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge (October 20, 2004 3:01 PM)Drift Creek Falls (October 20, 2004 3:03 PM)Drift Creek Falls Suspension Bridge (October 20, 2004 3:04 PM)Drift Creek Falls Bugs Eating Worm (October 20, 2004 3:32 PM)Drift Creek Falls (October 20, 2004 3:46 PM)Drift Creek Falls Purple Mushroom (October 20, 2004 4:19 PM)Drift Creek Falls Mushrooms (October 20, 2004 4:48 PM)Drift Creek Falls Salamander (October 20, 2004 5:10 PM)

Lunch at Cape Kawanda.

Cape Kawanda Laura - Inside Sportsmobile (October 21, 2004 1:06 PM)Cape Kawanda Lunch - Sportsmobile next to Pickup Truck Camper (October 21, 2004 1:38 PM)

Cape Lookout, the Octopus Tree at Cape Meares, and (of course) more mushrooms!

Cape Lookout State Park (October 21, 2004 2:11 PM)Camp Meares Octopus Tree (October 21, 2004 3:55 PM)Camp Meares (October 21, 2004 3:57 PM)Camp Meares Puffball Mushroom (October 21, 2004 4:17 PM)Camp Meares Mushroom (October 21, 2004 4:25 PM)Camp Meares Mushroom (October 21, 2004 4:31 PM)

Our last night was spent in the foggy hills of Tillamook State Forest.

Tillamook State Forest Laura (October 21, 2004 7:53 PM)Tillamook State Forest - Laura - Muddy Sportsmobile (October 22, 2004 11:14 AM)Tillamook State Forest Libretto Computer on Sportsmobile Dashboard (October 22, 2004 11:15 AM)Tillamook State Forest Motorcycle Trail (October 22, 2004 11:16 AM)

Overall, we had a fabulous trip and can't wait for the next one!

 

Sportsmobile Information Information about our Sportsmobile campervan