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Sunday June 5th- Bandon, Coos Bay, Charleston OR

Sunday June 5- HEDIS again. At this point, my bottom is hurting from so much sitting; I am now sitting on a pillow! I worked on HEDIS
until after lunch.

We took the dogs and drove out to the Coquille River Lighthouse,

which is part of the Bullards Beach State Park, where we are staying. The drive out to the lighthouse, took us on the other side of the Bandon Bay, from where we had dinner last night. We walked the dogs down to the light house and I went in first. The female volunteer who was there, climbed the stairs with me, telling me to look for a sea lion, as one has been hanging out on the rocks. My luck, he was not there. The stairs round several times, before you climb into the top of the lighthouse on ladder type steps. I would not want to work here and do that climb every day! The lighthouse was commissioned in 1896 to guide mariners across a dangerous bar. It was decommissioned in 1939 following improvements to the river channel and the addition of other navigational aids. It was restored in 1979 and a solar powered system operates the light on top of the 40 ft octagonal tower. The volunteer, Sue, and her husband are full-time RV’ers; they were also staying at Bullards Beach State park,  so we chatted for a while, before I went to relieve Bob of the dogs. I took the dogs back to the CRV and went back to the lighthouse to finish talking to Sue, while Bob went up in the tower. I ended up buying a sweat shirt as I have been looking for one, and this  one was comparatively inexpensive.

We dropped the dogs back at the motor home and we went south to Bandon, to visit Old Town Bandon. We parked the car and walked around the 3 block Old Town. Our first store was a gourmet chocolate store. Surprisingly, we did not see anything that interested us. We continued about 2 doors down, to a little cheese and wine tasting store. Oh boy, Oregon wine tasting. I had seen, at the grocery store, a bottle of Sea Mist Cranberry wine. It looked good, but I did not want to pay $15 for something that I might not like. So here was a chance to try some of the wines. The gal did not have the Sea Mist, but she had every flavor of wine that you can think of by a vineyard called Honeywood. I fell in love with these wines! We ended up buying Golden Pineapple, Blackberry, Cherry, and a bottle of BlackJack which is a hard cider with blackberry juice added. Those were all that we tried, but I imagine that if we had tried more we would have bought them also!  They had peach, plum, apple, etc. and I imagine they were all very good. We  continued down to some other stores, including another wine tasting room. This time they had the Sea Mist, which I did not like.  I was glad that I did not invest in the grocery store bottle! We finally ended up at Cranberry Sweets. This was a candy store that had almost everything you can imagine and samples of each. We had to really watch it, or we could have eaten
ourselves silly. We each bought a small piece of chocolate, and ran from the store. One of the popular berries in the area is the Marionberry. I chuckle every time I see it, but it actually tastes very good. So there are a lot of Marionberry items everywhere. Marionberry tastes a lot like a blackberry, which is Bob’s favorite.   Finally, we stopped at the Bandon Mercantile, which was just a fancy store which did not interest us.

We drove north on Rt. 101, the Pacific Coast Scenic By-way, about 20 miles to Coos Bay. We drove around town, then west to Charleston. We
stopped at the Visitor Center in Charleston, and the volunteer explained to us how to see the Cape Arago Lighthouse. We followed his directions out to the viewpoint. On the way, we saw the Simpson Reef and Shell Island overlook, and stopped. As soon as we opened the car doors, we could hear sea lions honking. 

As you can see in the pictures, there are a lot of sea lions, lounging on the rocks.

After watching the sea lions we continued on to the lighthouse overlook.  The lighthouse is on a rock island, and you can only view it from a distance.

That was disappointing, as I wanted to have our Light House Passport stamped. The volunteer at the visitor center said that the Park Rangers can stamp the book, so we went looking for a Ranger. I found one at Sunset Beach State park, not far from the viewpoint, but she did not have the regular stamp.  She did have a  scrapbooking type stamp of the lighthouse, so that had to do. It took up two spaces in our Passport, but who cares! We stopped at the Cape Arago State Park viewpoint and this view was just breathtaking.

We needed gas by this time, so we drove back through Coos Bay, stopped for gas, and drove back to the motor home.

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