Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Day in Brookings

Awwwwwww....the Oregon Coast!!!
Why would one want to go to , Brookings, Oregon??

The beach? sky?....the beach?.....fresh air?.....the beach?.....Carol's birthday?.....did I mention the beach?

So for those reasons, especially since it was Carol's birthday wish, we drove from Medford to Brookings and spent the day at the beach, at the butte, and among big trees.

Some of the stacks along the Harris Beach area

Our first stop on arrival in Brookings was the day use area at Harris Beach State Park.  Since our dog Katie has never been to the beach, we were curious about how she would respond.  She loves lakes and rivers, but the ocean? Her first take was "why is this water so noisy & salty tasting & chasing me"? But that soon gave way and it was just more water to play in along with sand to roll in. Check out her beach version of making a snow angel below. We walked along the beach at the day use area and then took a break for lunch with a great view of the beach & ocean.

After lunch, we hiked the Harris Beach Trail that takes you from the beach to the State Park entrance area.  Along this short trip we were joined on the trail by a deer who was evidently surprised that someone was hiking this trail and not sunbathing at the beach.  Once we reached the park entrance area, we hiked another short trail, the Harris Butte trail to the top of the Butte for a great view of the beach from high above.
View from the Harris Butte trail

View at the end of the Harris Butte trail
View from top of Harris Butte

We also hiked the Sunset Point trail which offered more views of the coast and made our return trip via the South Beach trail and campground.  We have camped here twice before in yurts and enjoy this State Park.

With our desire for the beach somewhat fulfilled, we decided to go looking for the big trees - Redwoods.  We drove to Alfred A Loeb State Park which is about 8 miles outside of Brookings.  We began by hiking the Riverview Trail which winds it's way along the Chetco River.  Last time we hiked this trail, it was lightly raining and very wet.  Today it was quite dry and the river was very low.  Still beautiful views!

In less than a mile the Riverview trail crosses the road where the U.S. Forest Service Redwood Nature Trail begins.  This trail takes you through the northernmost stand of redwoods on the Pacific Coast.  This trail was closed when we last tried to hike it due to a fungus issue that was affecting the trees.  This one mile loop had a lot of uphill in both directions, but it was awesome to see these giant trees of the forest!!  We also crossed a stream a few times on the trail and were treated to some small waterfalls.  Very nice hike.

Redwood Nature Trail

Looking up at a Redwood tree

Upon returning to the Riverview trailhead, we opted for one last beach fix and drove to the beach area by the Beachfront Inn along the harbor.  We had to hike along the beach for a few minutes to get away from the crowds and take in the sights.  What a beautiful clear sunny day it was.  Katie took to the ocean again and tried to play ball but couldn't figure out how to pick up the ball without a mouthful of sand. Yuk!
Beach view through a stack opening
Although we knew it was time to head home and that we would be back in heat and smoke, it was the perfect day to getaway and enjoy the beautiful Oregon coastline.  Sometimes you just need one of those days.  Too bad Carol doesn't have a birthday every week!!!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Seagull playing the roll of King Kong