From the Blog

Tank Full Of Gas, Chapter Fourteen! Camping On The Coast, Part 1.5

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We took a lot of photos on this trip. I’m trying to come up with a photo solution. Either on Flickr, which I haven’t been keeping up with, and doesn’t seem to allow me to sort the way I want: chronologically. The technology! To sort chronologically! It evades us! Or by creating a web gallery in Photoshop, which I either haven’t figured out or it does not meet with my expectations. Or somehow right in this blog, with thumbnails that you have to click and there’s no navigation and everyone gets crabby. Booo!

Okay. So it was windy at the coast and the forecast said it was going to be in the 40s at night. I believe it. I brought my big puffy ski parka as an afterthought, not really thinking that it would be so cold I’d use it. Holy crap, it was so cold I could have married that ski parka, forever and ever, amen. I nearly put on the gloves that are always stashed in the pocket, but I didn’t want to be, you know, a wus.

We are constantly adding to our camping conveniences, one of the more recent purchases was an air mattress. I normally hate air mattresses because they deflate slowly through the night and my big butt always ends up sinking to the floor. It hurts my feelings. But for camping, the air mattress is absolutely the best, slam dunk purchase we have made. We still wake up sore and tired. But we don’t wake up feeling broken in half and needing a wheelchair from sleeping on cold ground.

I woke up with the first tweeting bird in the forest, which was like, 4 am. The last thing you want to do on a 40 degree morning is get out of a nice warm sleeping bag. And I didn’t. Until needed to pee so badly, I fumbled getting my shoes on and nearly wet myself. There is nothing like getting out of a smoky sleeping bag and freezing your ass off in the morning to make you appreciate your own bathroom at home, steps away from your soft, warm bed.

When I finally got up, and Dave had already lit the fire. His favorite part of camping is sitting by the fire in the morning. My favorite part of camping is sitting by the fire at night. Because you can see the fire better. We made a fabulous breakfast of french toast, sausage and eggs. We began to figure out what to do that day. I wanted to see the dunes, but we weren’t going to rent ATVs or go on a tour. And we already learned that walking on the dunes was out of the question. We decided that day to get in the car and head south. I didn’t know much about the coast this far south, so I didn’t know what to expect.

We drove to Coos Bay and took the 15 mile drive south to Cape Arago. We started by parking at Sunset Bay State Park, which was a perfect, sheltered little beach rimmed by sandstone cliffs and tall fir trees.


And we kept driving to Cape Arago, stopping at various outlooks along the way. And the vistas were jawdroppingly beautiful. I just made up “jawdroppingly.” You can click on any of the photos below for ginormo size.



It was stunning every place we put our eyes. Trees, cliffs, frothy blue-green water, sharp spires of submerged rocks. It was a gorgeous feast. We followed the path for about a mile along the tops of the cliffs. And for the most part we barely saw any other people on our little walk.


We saw a number of harbor seals nursing pups and sunning themselves on the rocks. There are five in the photo above.

10reef 11seacliffs13pelicansandwater

I’m not reckless or even particularly adventurous. But I got many stern warnings from Dave as I took photos on the cliffs.

On The Road To Cape Arago from Mile73 on Vimeo.



Cape Arago, looking north.


Cape Arago, looking south. This drive was waaaay beyond our expectations. It made me so happy to witness such vast, happy, unspoiled nature.

Here’s the whole damn set on Flickr, NOT in chronological order.

There’s more after this! I said we took a lot of photos! And I’m still searching for a good way to get all these photos up. This has been taking hours and hours, trying to get all these big photos up. It feels like I have dial up at home! Thanks for the 7mbs Qwest! Jerks!

And I’m just trying to see what it takes to crash my dainty, delicate database.


  1. Meredith says

    French Toast!?!?! You’re supposed to be eating beans out of a can, hotdogs on a stick!! But yes, I agree, camp fire food is the best! Thanks for the desktop picture! Those trees are crazy! So weird to see a place so different from what you’re used to. Please no falling off cliffs though.

  2. Kip (GK107) says

    Wow..this brought back some memories.

    Before my mom passed away in 2005 from cancer, she lived in Coos Bay, and I’ve spent many days in Cape Arago, Sunset Bay, and even played at the golf course there. The Dairy Queen just out of Charleston tasted really good after completing some of those hikes. Also, Shore Acres is a good viewing point, as they have a huge botanical garden there for viewing, and some really nice trails to get down to the beach.

    Glad to hear you and Dave are enjoying yourself down there. It’s really beautiful country, and thanks for sharing the great pictures. It brought back some rather wonderful memories.

    If you are still looking at places to check out the beach, Horsefall Beach (north of Coos Bay) or Bastendorf Beach are nice.

  3. French toast sounds great, but when we go camping the wife always packs breakfast burritos. Make them at home first, frying up eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese, whatever you want in them. Wrap them in heavy aluminum foil and freeze ’em, then just throw them on the fire in the morning. Bring some stolen Taco Bell hot sauce packets and you’re all set!

  4. To sort chronologically in Flickr, you have to use the “organize” deal, open the set, and choose to arrange by date taken. There are actually a lot of fun options in there, they’re just all in the organizer.

    Sounds like your camping adventure was a ton of fun. Glad you guys got perfect weekend weather for it!

  5. OMG Steve, that’s brilliant! We will have to do that, if only we get organized ahead of time!

  6. I’ve been to Coos Bay!

    I’ve fought the flickr!

  7. LOL on the early morning pee! i have been there sistah!!! and isn’t it the best pee of your life…up to that point.

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