It feels so wonderful to be back to a meandering pace, and taking in life as we see fit. No impending deadlines, no schedule to keep, no destination we’re aiming for, no commitments.
When we feel like moving on, we move on.
When we find a location we really like, we extend.
This is exactly the lifestyle we’ve craved getting back to. The stress of months of balancing long work hours with many miles to cover is dissipating. If it weren’t for the fact that we are indeed working (our RV Mobile Internet Resource Center has been buzzing lately with activity thanks to the major carrier’s double data deals this month), I’d almost say it feels like being on vacation!
Ahh… joy, happiness and income! Yes, we’ll take it.
So last we reported in, we had just left the bustling Bullard’s Beach State Park in Bandon, after a short two night stay. It just wasn’t jiving with our vibe, ya know? So where’d we head next?
We’ve decided that we’re going to see all 9 lighthouses on the Oregon Coast. It just seems like as reasonable a goal as any, and especially fun after being at the southern most lighthouse and hearing tales of the others from our guests at Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
Lighthouse are paced about 30 miles apart up the coast, which makes for perfectly short driving days along scenic Highway 101.
So off we went, scouting out amazing camping locations that would provide decent base camps for exploring lighthouses!
Bastendorff Beach Park – Charleston, OR
The next lighthouse on the list is Cape Arago, just south of Coos Bay. The most often referenced closest campground to stay at is Sunset Beach State Park – but we were getting conflicting reports if cellular signal would be abundant enough for us.
As I was zooming around on Google Maps in the area, I spied two other potential campgrounds in the area that hadn’t come up in my quick Coos Bay area search on RV Park Reviews, as they were marked as being in Charsleton, OR.
One was a private park at $36/night and the other was a county park at $20/night with water & electric. A little investigating revealed that Bastendorff Beach Park was a gem of a park, and more likely to have cellular signal.
I almost succumbed to making a reservation online to snag a spot that looked ideal for us, but the $11 (?!?) reservation fee convinced us to just show up and take our chances. Worst case, there is a BLM parking area along the nearby jetty that allows a night of free overnight parking.
And good thing we did too, as the spot we thought would work for us was actually quite unlevel and we ended up being able to snag a different one that had an ocean view through the trees!
Bastendorff Beach Park (our review) sits on top of a cliff, with the beach below it. This made for great overlooks, with nearby beach walking – and fantastic cellular signal on Verizon & AT&T. Score! Most of the sites were very large, with great trees and privacy around them. Our kind of place.
We paid up for 3 nights so we had time to work at a casual pace and be tourists.
Next up.. finding Cape Arago Lighthouse.
The lighthouse has been decommissioned for a couple years and the island it’s on has been turned back over to the Indian tribe who has historic claims to it. In other words, it’s not overly accessible to get a close-up view, and tours are out of the question.
From the beach below our park, we could catch a glimpse of Cape Arago Lighthouse through the sea stacks.
And there’s a view point just past Sunset Beach.
But that’s not good enough for us – we had heard about part of the Oregon Coast Trail going in for a closer look. We picked up the trail down at Sunset Beach, and followed it up the cape. Calling this is a ‘trail’ is a bit of misnomer.
It involved a bit of bushwhacking, climbing over downed trees, scrimmaging along cliff edges and pecking our way through the lush tropical feeling forest.
And then.. there it was. In all its glory before us.
After our challenging hike out, this was a site to behold as our reward. Just. Wow.
We savored every single moment.
We found our way back to Sunset Beach after backtracking our way out, and then drove down Cape Arago Highway a bit to check out other non-lighthouse attractions (as if there’s such a thing, right?).
We stopped at a few overlooks, admired sea lions and elephant seals upon rocks.. and then found Shoreacres, the site of the old plantation run by the Simpson family many decades ago, now managed by the state park system.
Our Oregon state park pass, a perk of being volunteer hosts, got us in for free. But we would have gladly paid to wander through these extraordinarily beautiful botanical gardens.
An amazing day out exploring. And we just couldn’t ask for better weather! I caught myself at one point asking if we had actually been transported to Hawaii?? This, is Oregon, in October?
The rest of our time at Bastendorff was spent with some intensive writing sessions, preparing a nearly 5000 word guide for our Mobile Internet Aficinodo members to selecting one of the ‘double data’ deals offered by the major carriers this month.
Where did we end up next? You’ll just have to stay tuned for our next travelogue post to catch up with us! We promise, it’s just as amazing, and near the next lighthouse up the coast along the Umpqua River.
PS. I’m *really* digging my new Sony WX350 camera, which took all of the pictures in this post.