By this morning, most of the rain from the last few days had cleared and today was much brighter and sunnier. We left Coos Bay quite early and headed south down Highway 101 towards the city of Eureka.
We have been following a variation of a self-drive itinerary published by the Oregon Chamber of Commerce. It suggested that, in this part of the coast, we should stay in either Coos Bay or a slightly more southerly town named Bandon. Coos Bay was just a bug urban city, although its surrounds were quite interesting. Bandon was much more of a quaint town and it may have been a better choice. It is reputed to have six of top ten golf courses in the world.
All of our day today was spent driving south down Highway 101 which follows the coast and alternatively moves inland through beautiful stretches of forest and then back along a headland or beach (and so it continued). Not long after leaving Coos Bay, we came across a turn off to Cape Blanco where there was a very scenic view of a light house and the headland on which it is built. It turns out that some of our friends, Max and Joy, had visited here at another time when it was so windy that it was almost impossible to stand up. Our experience was very different – calm weather and a nice sunny day.
This stretch of coast in southern Oregon and northern California is very scenic and the only trouble that we had was the sunlight. At this time of year, the sun is very low in the sky and as we travelled south (towards the sun in the northern hemisphere) we found we were facing lots of glare. In addition, the sun combined with the sea spray meant that everything towards the south became silhouetted and hard to see.
The best views were those looking to the north, so we drove along continually looking over our right shoulder to see where there we any clear views that we should stop and photograph.
We stopped at many places along the way to take in the very picturesque and rugged coastal scenery.
Once we had crossed the border into California, we entered some stretches of giant redwood forest. These trees make a beautiful landscape and we enjoyed these stretches of road immensely.
We haven’t seen a lot of wildlife on this trip, apart from a few deer from time to time. Just before we reached Eureka, we found a herd of Roosevelt Elk grazing in an area beside the road. Apparently, these Elk were nearly hunted to extinction by early settlers. Now they number in the thousands and they are being reintroduced to many areas of their original range. Elk are the second largest members of the deer family.