Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010
Under beautiful, partly sunny skies, left Florence and headed for Coos Bay, 50 miles away. Here I am taking a break next to a little bucolic lake:
Between Florence and North Bend, Highway 101 skirts Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. Unfortunately, the dunes are all open to dune buggies and ATVs, so the whole area is overrun with hicks in pickup trucks towing their stupid man-toys in to wreak havoc on what would otherwise be a serene wilderness area. The dunes are scarred with tire tracks and the incessant drone of ATV engines. Tragic, really.
Here's a scarred dune just north of North Bend:
And the bridge into North Bend:
Coos Bay is just south of North Bend and, figuring I'd camp for the night because of the decent weather, I stopped at a Safeway along the way. Riding up to the entrance, I recognized a cyclist already there––it was Her Majesty's Royal Bicyclist, Nathan.
Nathan has been "stealth" camping all along his trip (rain or no) and I figured I could pick up a few tips from him, so we set off to find a state park in which we could stealth camp.
Stealth camping refers to camping either in an undesignated location (ie. private property, city/county/state/national parks, etc.), or in a designated area but without paying the requisite fee.
Just south of the little town of Charleston, a tiny fishing community, we found Sunset Bay State Park and an adequate spot to pitch camp.
Here's a market in Charleston:
And a photo Nathan took of our tents (mine's the further one):
And the bay next to which we camped:
It was one of my more memorable Thanksgivings. It would've been better if my little homemade penny stove hadn't kept going out, but I was eventually able to cook a delicious meal of veggies and rice with bacon. So take your turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy and cranberries and shove 'em down your pumpkin pie-hole!