Sunset Bay State Park, Oregon

October 18-20, 2013

This was somewhat of an ill-fated adventure that we had looked forward to all summer with Kelly, Susan, and Larry. Larry had wanted to paddle the South Slough near Coos Bay for years, and we decided to help him fulfill his dream. Larry and Susan stayed in a nearby motel. Kate and I got a site at the Sunset Bay Campground, and Kelly came to join us on Saturday morning.

south sloughIt was a beautiful sunny day, and after a huge, delicious breakfast at a local greasy spoon, we were eager to get started. We drove to the south end of the slough and planned to paddle a couple of hours to Cape Arago Bay, where Susan would meet us.

Kelly had planned to paddle with Larry in his old canoe, but hard canoes are a lot tippier than soft canoes and getting Bella in was tricky. The boat capsized during boarding, and Larry and Kelly were drenched head to foot. Larry was in jeans and a flannel shirt -- not wise boating attire, so he went back to the motel to change. When he came back, Susan slipped and fell, trying to help launch the boat, but she bravely waved us off.

larryWe'd paddled only a half an hour when we reached more open water and were met with a strong, cold wind that promised to slow us considerably. It didn't take long for all of us to agree that turning back was the better option. The way things were going, I could just see catastrophe befalling us in the middle of nowhere with no help in sight. Kate called Susan to meet us at the starting point. (Poor Larry's iPhone met its demise in the slough.) And when Susan arrived, she could no longer hide the fact that she was in serious pain with back spasms. She went back to the motel with Larry to lie down for a while, and they came to join us for dinner at the campsite, but it was a quick eat-and-run so she could go get horizontal again.

breakfast in the fog

The next morning, Susan was feeling better when she and Larry joined us for breakfast, but this time it was Kelly who was stuck in a horizontal position. She'd woken with a headache, feeling queasy, and it didn't take long before she was in full intestinal distress. After breakfast, Susan and Larry took Kelly in their car for the long drive home. Bella stayed with us, and Kate and I packed up our stuff and Kelly's, which was a challenge since a thick fog had moved in in the night, drenching everything.



sunset bay beach

It's fortunate that we're all such good friends and generally good natured. We will laugh for years to come about this much-anticipated Comedy of Errors.

Kate and I were able to salvage what was left of the weekend, though. We took Bailey and Bella to the beach for a wild, happy romp in the fog.

Then we stopped off at nearby Shore Acres State Park for a brief tour of the gardens.

Just a few miles north, we drove out of the thick fog and burst into a warm sunny day. Highway 38 is especially beautiful this time of year, with the fall colors reflected in the still waters of the Umpqua River. The bright sun and blue skies lit up the trees with color, and I felt like a kid at Disneyland, trying to look at everything at once, but having to also keep the car on the road. We took our time, Kate behind me in Kelly's Prius, and we stopped several times along the way for photo opportunities.

breakfast in the fogHighs: Bright full moon Friday night and bright, sunny Saturday. Country fried steak diner breakfast. Bailey and Bella gallumping on the beach. Susan's delicious bean soup. Campfire conversations with Kelly. Marauding raccoons climbing up into the kitchen while we slept and peering around at Kate in the teardrop. Bailey, feet away, slept through it all.

Lows: Aside from aforementioned pitfalls... loud, non-stop snoring from a nearby neighbor all through Saturday night. Having to listen to loudly broadcast football and general raucousness from other neighbors well into the night.


Main Weekend Photos:

Shore Acres Gardens:

Flash Photo Album Flash Photo Album
HTML Photo Album HTML Photo Album

*HTML version is viewable on iPads, phones, and other devices that don't support Flash.


site map