Wow two days of sun!! Certainly couldn't let a beautiful day go to waste so we headed out early on Sunday to the coast to explore the area around Florence. (I spent most of Saturday working on the Born Free so a "day off" was deserved). I've been to parts of the Oregon Coast for brief visits and have driven most of the Oregon Coast but have never had time to really explore. I had picked up a hiking pamphlet listing nearby and local hikes around Eugene and Springfield and it included the area around Florence, with the sun out and high temperatures predicted it seemed a perfect opportunity to head to the coast, which is only about 1 1/2 hours from Leaburg.
The area just south of Florence encompasses the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. My book listed a short 2.5 mile loop out through the dunes to the beach and back. When Joel and I got to the trail head, the map at the trail head was different from my book, and the hike a little longer...4.5 miles, which was doable. It was a perfect day and the walk/hike took a little longer than anticipated as we slogged through the white sand.
It was still misty on the beach but very warm, with no wind. Perfect!! The sand plovers were out in force as they are nesting on the dunes adjacent to the beach and behind us.
After our hike, we drove up the coast a little ways o Heceta Head to see the lighthouse, but it was going through renovation so we didn't get to explore it. The views were gorgeous, though. The lighthouse is at the farthest point at the left of the picture.
Continuing on north a little farther is Cape Perpetua visitor center and home of the Giant Sitka Spruce. The Sitka Spruce are unique to the North West and Alaskan Coast. They grow only four miles inland along the coast . The two mile trail up to the Sitka Spruce was beautiful. Almost like a rain forest, very lush and green and wet.
There are over 26 miles of trails in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area which is in the Siuslaw National Forest, along with a Forest Service campground. Hmm, I see another longer trip in the future to this beautiful area.
We stopped for dinner at Florence a the Waterfront Depot, which served pub style food I had had some of the best halibut since my trip to Alaska (less expensive too).
All and all a great day, especially since I was able to get my "beach" fix. The next few days are scheduled as "work" days and the weather is suppose to get rainy and gloomy, but the coming weekend is suppose to be sunny.