Thursday, July 21, 2011

Southern Oregon

07/20/11 ~ None of the reports of rain ever materialized for us but we heard a storm rolled through a few days before we got here. Glad we left Tuesday instead of Sunday (Thank you Andrea for scheduling the BBQ for Monday night!). We spent our first night out near Trinidad at Emerald Forest under the redwoods.

Off to the Smith River this morning to see if we can find a spot to camp at Jedediah Smith State Park. We’re used to travelling in fall and winter when the rest of the world is home so we knew we were taking our chances. Sure enough it’s full. If our return trip brings us down 101 perhaps we’ll make reservations for a couple of days stay. It’s a gorgeous place with some great hikes and fishing.

We decide to continue north on 101 into southern Oregon. The wind is screaming on the coast. At several places we spot some fearless surfers kite boarding at Pistol River. I’d rather take my chances with a zip line thank you.

Just outside of Brookings we decide to call ahead to a place we’ve stayed before called Kimball Creek Bend, about 8 miles up the Rogue River from Gold Beach. They had a spot open up due to a last minute cancellation. We end up with a primo spot on the river with full hookups (for the uninitiated that means power, water, and sewer). We be roughing it here boss! View from the site.

After we got set up Rod headed for the river (about 50 yards from our site) to do some fishing.

Dinner is roasted home grown veggies (beets, carrots, zucchini and crooknecks) and Sonoma County corn on the grill. It’s about 65 and breezy. We’ve been watching four turkey vultures peering into the river from rocks just above the waterline. We’re trying to figure out what they’re after so we get out the binoculars and head for the beach. Just below the rocks we spot an otter dragging a huge salmon out of the water onto a postage stamp patch of sand just out of reach of the birds. The otter munches for a bit and then takes off down river about 20 yards to a little beach. All of a sudden there are 4 of them: two adults, a juvenile and a youngster. It’s time for a late afternoon roll in the warm sand. We watch them play for about 10 minutes and then they’re back in the water and disappear behind a small island. The vultures continue their vigil unable to figure out how to reach that salmon.
As we’re walking back to camp we hear an osprey and turn to see it gliding towards the opposite shore. Binoculars up, we watch it land on a huge nest in the top of a tree and feed its chicks. I’d say we had a home run of an afternoon. Tonight: a campfire, stargazing and reading until our eyes close.

07/21/11 ~ Today we are going to read in shade and perhaps walk the river a bit, I mean someone has to do it.

Tomorrow we are headed up the Rogue on a 104 mile round trip on one of the jet boats: layers of clothes, binoculars and camera - wahooo!