Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lincoln city to Union Creek

October 14 -
Note about Surfrider Resort: like I mentioned the buildings are old, so if your room is on the first floor and you have noisy folks upstairs (like we did) you will hear every footstep! In case you are a light sleeper ask for a room upstairs during reservation. The resort does have excellent WiFi connection though. Kinda makes up for being kept awake, since you can post and update your blogs then!!! :P

I woke up early and attempted to take pictures of the beautiful shoreline. But there was a light drizzle and mist so visibility was pretty low. 
View from our room at the Surfrider Resort, Depoe Bay
We then headed towards Lincoln City to Beach Dog cafe. Once again, the Google maps marker was incorrect and the cafe was a little south of the marker. We found it after some looking around (& sending several bug reports to Google). This is a fun little place right on hwy 101, dedicated to dogs but serving food to two-legged folks...excellent food! I had 'kristina's stuffed French toast' mentioned on 4sq, its excellent. Every thing else ordered on the table was pretty good too. We left completely satisfied and with very full tummies. We then headed further south to Captain Dan's pirate pastry shop in the hopes of grabbing some 'world famous cinnamon rolls'. World famous..they certainly were not!
We then started on our journey south towards Newport. The Oregon coastline is beautiful - rugged tall cliffs facing the waves of the ocean while lined up with tall pine trees and other trees starting to show fall colors. We  stopped on the way several times to take pictures....finally reaching Newport around noon. We stopped at historic Nye beach, which looked lovely but rain kept us from exploring it further. Took another stop on the other side of the bridge for taking pictures, then headed south on 101 towards Reedsport. On the way, we halted near the Yaquina bay bridge, got a glimpse of the lighthouse...then made our way further south to the sea lion caves. We paid $10 a pop to walk down to the elevator in the hillside and descend 200ft into the caves. There were no sea lions today but the cave looked fascinating. Maybe not worth $10 though. However on a bright day, the views alone would be worth the price! My aim was to head south to go to the Oregon sand dunes national park. Again google maps kinda ruined this for us. We followed the directions and ended up way south of the actual location (which we never figured out cuz we got so late trying to figure where we were). The navigation led us off hwy 101 on Sparrow Park Rd towards the beach for some 4-5 miles. The road was unpaved and looked suspect but I wouldn't give up my faith in google! :-/
Much to my DH's annoyance, I insisted we go to the end of the unpaved path... we ended up at one of the most pristine beaches I have seen but the wind and cold weather made hanging out there impossible. I flexed some photography muscles and we headed out of there. 
Umpqua Beach at Reedsport - mistakenly ended up here thinking its the Sand Dunes!!
Deciding to give up on finding the actual Sand Dunes, we headed into Reedsport. My search abilities got us into Reedsport Natural Foods store - where we had some smoothies, paninis and burger. Its a mom-n-pop natural food store and cafe with a small town feel and speed. We had to wait a good half hour or longer to get our food! The subway 2 blocks up the street might have been a better choice! :P After a somewhat slow and late lunch, we loaded up on some groceries in Safeway and headed out towards Crater Lake. The drive was going to be a good 3.5 hours long and it was already about 4pm when we started out. A short distance out of Reedsport we saw a whole herd of Elk grazing! This was at a viewpoint just before Deens Creek. They looked magnificent but we didnt stop (unfortunately) coz we wanted to cover most of the distance to Union Creek before nightfall.  Inspite of the urgency to reach our destination, we stopped at a small park called Scottsburg Park to satisfy my need to take a family portrait with the fall colors as background! :-P
View from Scottsburg Park
I managed to take some more pics along the mighty Umpqua River enroute to Union Creek. The drive from Roseburg off of I-5 to Union Creek is long - 84 miles along state hwy 138, then on route 230, onto 62. At mile marker 56 is Union Creek Resort. We reached after nightfall, so couldnt tell how pretty the resort is. We got a 6-sleeper cabin - C#7 - which is cozy and charming and can easily sleep 6. It has a spacious kitchen and bathroom. There is absolutely no cell coverage in the area and for most of the drive into the area. No television. Very rustic and charming getaway! We reached a little after 8pm and both the convenience store in the resort and the restaurant close by 8pm. Luckily we had some food to cook up that we picked up from the grocery store in Reedsport. Maggi noodles would have been a great choice but we didnt think of that before. Yet rice+buttermilk+chips wasnt too bad! :) We retired early tonight.

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