To the west we caught glimpses of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area that hugs the coast from Coos Bay to Florence. Needless to say, there are a lot of toyhauler camper trailers carrying ATVs here.
McCullough Bridge is very pretty.
Headed into North Bend on Hwy 101.
We got off Hwy 101 and headed west to the coast. This is a beautiful area at Sunset Bay State Park. This photo and the next eight can be put together in a 360° view of where we were.
Nolan even included the parking lot with our car in it.
We went on down the road and saw this beautiful view. Much prettier in person.
Next stop was Shore Acres State Park and Botanical Gardens. We had to pay $5 to park here so I fed $10 into the machine and received new Presidential dollar coins back. First ones I have ever seen. Shore Acres is comprised of some of the land holdings of shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. He built a mansion overlooking the ocean and developed five acres of formal gardnes. The mansion burned down in 1921 and he built a larger home. Financial losses during the Depression resulted in poor upkeep of both the house and grounds. The state of Oregon purchased most of the grounds and the home in 1942 for use as a public park. The mansion was in such poor condition and the upkeep was more than the state could afford so it was razed.
First we visited the gardens. It is planted in various annuals that result in a flowery display for every season. Since we are there in the spring, we saw the rhododendrons in bloom. I love rhodys.
The grounds include this pond and statuary.
We even saw this 10' tall Monkey Puzzle tree.
We liked this Japanese Plume Cedar
Then we headed off to the trails. This is Simpson beach.
We climbed down to Simpson Beach.
We saw shingles being used as slip resistant material on some steps and on this bridge.
There were several areas that had interesting rock formations.
We walked along the trail for quite a while. It was muddy in quite a few places. If we had binoculars, we could have seen the sea lions on these rocks. We could definitely hear them long before we saw them.
Then we headed back north on Hwy 101 but got side tracked at Winchester Bay by the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.