Southern Oregon Coast and Redwood National & State Parks: Photo Summary

We recently went on a reunion with a group of old friends from Berkeley in the southern Oregon coast and the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California August 16-21, 2006. This group consisted of people from California, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, Canada, Hong Kong, and England. I selected a small subset of the photos to share with you in this short summary. Most of these photos were taken by my wife.

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We rented two large side-by-side three-bedroom apartments in Bandon, OR in the southern Oregon coast. Our apartments were right next to the coast, and the next day we took an early morning walk along the beach and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

Early in the morning, it was very refreshing jogging and practicing Taiji on the beach.

For our first whole day, we drove south from Bandon to explore the beautiful southern Oregon coast, with quiet beaches and unusual rock formations.  We stopped at several scenic spots and walked down a few trails; many of them were at the Samuel H. Boardman State Park south of Bandon and north of the California border.  At one stop, we even saw a whale close to the shore (but still too far to be clearly visible on a photo).

On our second full day, we went to visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which is north and about slightly more than an hour’s drive from Bandon.  This is one of the largest (if not the largest) sand dunes in the U.S.  We took a one-hour ride on a guided sand dune buggy tour.  It was quite an unforgettable experience to see this large span of sand dunes as far as one’s eyes can see.  The dry sand is extremely fine and easily slides off your hands without leaving a trace, but it is only about 1.5 feet deep.  Then it is wet sand for perhaps another 20-30 or more feet deep.  There was also a near-by scenic spot that after walking about half a mile on the sand dunes, you can reach the edge of the main sand dune area and see various sand dune buggies.  We also did some Taiji on the sand dunes.

The next morning, we headed south to the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California, and stayed at a motel there next to the coast.  The Redwood National and State Parks is an integrated complex of the Redwood National Park and three California State Parks:  Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.  Some of the world’s oldest living things and tallest trees are here.  The tall redwoods average about 300-350 feet tall, and can be as tall as 500 feet, with a diameter averaging about 10 feet, and can be as wide as 20-30 feet.  There used to be 2 million acres of redwood forests in northern California and Oregon, where the temperature is mild with a lot of moisture and fog, which is the ideal environment for redwoods to thrive.  Due to massive logging before control was put in, there are now only about 100,000 acres remaining, and 40,000 of these acres are in the Redwood National and State Parks.  In the virgin forests, the tall redwoods are about several hundred years old, but can be as old as 1,000-2,000 years old.

Everyone had a great time, and enjoyed it tremendously.  We also had a lot of luck with the weather.  If we had gone south of Bandon on 8/18 or 8/19, it would have been very foggy, and we wouldn’t have the spectacular sceneries that we saw on 8/17.  When we went on the sand dunes on 8/18, it was a calm day, and we didn’t have winds blowing sand into our face.  Looks like God was on our side for this reunion.

A few observations:

  1. For certain parts of this area, the weather can make all the difference in the world as far as the sceneries that you can see.  So plan your schedule so that you have some flexibility.  For example, if the day is forecasted to be foggy, then perhaps go see the Redwood National and State Parks first, since it is less affected by the fog, whereas the southern Oregon coastal scenery can be completely wiped out by the fog.
  2. Renting one or more apartments is much better than staying at a motel.  It offers several advantages:  (1) it saves money by allowing you to eat some meals in your apartments; (2) the home-cooked meals are usually healthier than the restaurant meals; (3) it provides schedule flexibility since not everyone may get up at the same time for breakfast; (4) it provides the option of making picnic lunches; and (5) perhaps the most important reason is that it is conducive to deepening your comradery with your friends, e.g., you can chat with your friends early in the morning and late in the evenings, and don’t have to worry about the loud noises and laughter affecting your motel neighbors.
  3. If you have a large group of people, then renting large side-by-side apartments is much better than renting multiple separated units.  The whole group can get together easily for chats, meetings, or meals.  It can save a lot of time coordinating the activities of the whole group.
  4. Bring along a lot of small bottle waters for the many walks and hikes; also wear a hat and bring sun screens and mosquito repellents (although we ran into very few mosquitos).
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