Eric’s parents came to visit us in Eugene last weekend, making us the northernmost stop in their road trip from San Diego. We haven’t seen them since we spent Christmas in San Diego (the trouble with living so far from family is that we rarely get to see anyone), so we were excited to show them around. They came to visit us last fall (along with Eric’s sister), so we tried to avoid any repeat activities. Luckily, we’re getting pretty good at touring Oregon.
We started Friday morning with breakfast down the street at Humble Bagel (marionberry cream cheese will always be a hit around here). Then we headed west to hike Sweet Creek Falls. This place is great because it’s a pretty easy hike with great views all along the way. The hike runs along the creek, which is full of small waterfalls, until you reach the actual Sweet Creek Falls at the end of the trail. You can check out our last trip to Sweet Creek here.
From there, we continued west to Florence, the closest coastal town. We finally visited the big tourist attraction that we’ve never checked out before: the sand dunes. I’m thrilled to report that they were really beautiful! We drove to the northern end of Sand Dunes Road and walked through a crazy path of sharp plants to get to the beach. I think I’m going to claim this as our go-to beach, partly because it wasn’t crowded, and partly because this was the warmest coastal experience we’ve had in the past year. I saw people in swimsuits and didn’t think they were completely crazy. So the next time it’s 75 degrees and sunny with no wind (which I think happens once a year on the Oregon coast), we’re coming here!
From Florence, we drove south a bit until we hit the Umpqua Scenic Highway to take back east. We drove this route on our trip back from the Lost Coast a few weeks ago. I was completely terrified driving this road in the dark because of all of the warning signs for Elk. It turns out my fears were completely justified. There were so many elk!
We pulled off at an elk viewing area, where we saw a few dozen males just hanging out. I can really enjoy animals from a safe distance behind a fence, so this was perfect. Plus, how cool is it that these elk were cooperative enough to hang out at the elk viewpoint?
Here’s a quick rundown of where we went for day 1:
–Humble Bagel in Eugene
–Bridgewater Fish House in Florence
–BJ’s Ice Cream in Florence
-Sand dunes in Florence
-Umpqua Scenic Highway
Check back soon for two more days of exciting Oregon adventures!