August 10/11 - Bandon, Oregon
Trip Start Jun 02, 2011
70Trip End Sep 25, 2011
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We drove from Newport to Bandon today. After spending a little time exploring the docks in Newport in the morning, we were on the road by 11am. The drive was 120 miles which would take about 3 hours with no stops. It was a very scenic drive where we stayed in within the view of the ocean for most of the drive. We made several short stops where there were scenic overlooks, and several others when we saw nice beaches.
Our first extended stop was at an area called Sea Lion Rocks. We did not see any Sea Lions as the name suggested, however we did see some really cool rock formations in the water. There were sharp edged, dark black formations that rose almost straight out of the ocean. It also made for good rock collecting in the area since there were lots of sea-smoothed black rocks.
Our second stop was really the highlight of the drive. We were in an area known as the Oregon Dunes, and we found a nice beach area with towering dunes and almost no people. The beach and dunes were just awesome. The girls once again enjoyed making a sand castle while I walked along the beach. We then spent some time climbing the dunes, which are higher and more challenging than they appear while standing on the ground. Another nice aspect was the absence of the insects that are often present on the Atlantic beaches. One negative factor is was the temperature of the water, which was quite cold and not swimmable for us. We have seen surfers along this coastline, but all in wet-suits. After about 90 minutes we started back to the RV to complete the drive to Bandon.
We arrived in Bandon at 5:30pm and went to an area they call the 'Old Town' to check out the options for crabbing, which is at the top of the girls wish list of activities.
Bandon, Oregon (Day 2)
Today I woke-up at 5:30am for a morning of crabbing. It was a short drive back to the pier, and I had to purchase a licence and rent 3 crab rings. It was a $35 investment to try to catch some crab that sell for about $15 each. I am not even sure if the girls will like them, but they are not even interested in the eating part...they are interested in the sport of capturing them!
We got a prime spot on the dock, and I followed the instructions of the folks we met last evening who gave me all of their crabbing tips! We thew out our traps, and waited 8 minutes between each haul. We had a great view of the Bandon Lighthouse from the pier. It was built 120 years ago, and stopped operation 60 years ago. We were also visited by many animals who were interested in any small crabs that we caught, or even to bait if we left it unattended.
We started by pulling in some small crabs, which was fine with Emma and Katelyn who were more interested in playing with them. Madison was only interested in the big ones! We are only allowed to keep male crabs with a shell larger than 5 1/2 inches. Within the first 30 minutes we caught our first "keepers", and then the pace picked up! By late morning we had caught about 25 nice sized crabs...and I was not even sure if the girls would eat them!
At lunch time we kept the traps in the water, but went up and walked around the town. It was mainly a small tourist town with candy shops, gift shops, and art exhibits...all of which the girls loved! We also drove over to the lighthouse, which we were able to visit and climb up into the top.
We returned back to the pier at dinner time and pulled in our traps for a final time. In total, we had pulled in 43 "keeper" crabs (at least 500 if you count the female and small males!), which was a big haul with 3 traps. We had some cooked up right on the pier for dinner, and they were quite delicious! Madison took 1 bite and declared that she did not like them, but both Katelyn and Emma enjoyed a crab each (they have both decided that seafood is okay while they are on the trip).
We returned to our campsite at about 8pm to find that our sewer line, which I left at the site, was stolen! Nothing is sacred!! I figure whoever needs to steal a sewer line needs it more than I did. The only challenge is that I was unable to drain the tanks of the RV, so we needed to limit our water use until I can find a Walmart to buy another one.
Overall a good day on the water, and we all go to sleep with sore hands and arms from our day of crabbing.
Bandon, Oregon (Day 3)
Today we drove from Bandon, Oregon to the Redwoods Forest in California. However, I promised the girls that we could go back to the dock and crab for a few more hours in the morning. We had no need for the crabs, but they wanted to meet up with some friends that they met and also play with some more crabs. I was okay with it because I figured I could just take whatever we caught up to the pier and have them cooked for lunch before we continued south.
We had a pretty productive morning, and caught another 17 "keeper" crabs. We had them all cooked, and ate 4 of them for lunch along with some very tasty clam chowder. We were able to put about 15 in our RV freezer, and the remaining crabs were stuffed in our refrigerator. Xiu is joining us in 2 days, so I will tell her to save her appetite!
On our way to California we stopped at a Safari Zoo which many people told us was fun. The girls had a blast because there were many animals roaming free that they could pet and feed. They also had a baby tiger and a baby leopard that could be pet under supervision. The girls especially like the tiger.
The biggest attraction was the baby opossum and baby white ferrets. The girls loved holding these, and after 2 hours I had to drag them out!