Tuesday, September 6, 2016

August 18, 2016 - Gardiner, Florence & Reedsport, OR

It was one foggy morning, so foggy that you almost cannot see the trees and the ocean.
The fog started to lift around 10 am when we left the marina to go sightseeing for the day.

There are so many chainsawed sculptures on display in the town.
We went to see Umpqua River Lighthouse first to let Edith get pictures of the lighthouse in the fog. We stopped in the museum to show the lighthouse keepers photos Edith took of the lighthouse last night. While there we saw Stellars blue jays. There was a lady in the van feeding bread bits to the birds. A new lifer for us to see this beautiful blue jay. 
Stellar Jays
Rock Squirrel
We visited Myrtlewood Gallery on Highway 101 in Reedsport, OR.  Very beautiful gallery, woodturned pieces are well turned and finished.  They had lots of Myrtlewood wood scraps, as well as Maple and few other species, to sell and Erwin bought three small pieces to be used for woodburning.  While in the store we met a very well-known woodcarver named Vern Hesketh (vernsbirds.blogspot.com). His blogspot has a lot of pictures of his woodcarvings. Check it out. He showed us his woodcarved pieces that were on display in the gallery.  He told us stories about his travels, his life in Africa for 5 years and 2 years in Iran.  A very pleasing fellow.
Vern's handcarved Gyr Falcon
Wood used: Tupelo with Maple Wood Base
Asking price: $14,500
Vern & Erwin
More of Vern's woodcarving pieces
Erwin wanted to go back to Elk Viewing area again, but this time we stopped at Dean Creek viewing area that has a shelter and restrooms.  None were seen in that area. The second viewing area that we came to yesterday had no elks.

We had lunch at Harbor Light Restaurant (Tripadvisior.com ranked it #1 out of 19 in Reedsport). Erwin had smoked tri-meat stack sandwich with french fries and Edith got fried prawns and onion rings.  The onion rings were almost as big as Edith’s face (not really, but sort of).  Everything was very good.  The dining area was small and already people were in line to get a table. We were lucky to come in at the right time. The service was quick and the waitress was very friendly.  Cute atmosphere and if we are ever back in this town we will definitely eat here again.
We visted Umpqua Discovery Center, but we did not pay to go in exhibits.  We just wanted to browse around the gift shop and a small exhibition room.  There is a totem pole in front of the center.
At the observation deck we spotted few seals in the water.  There were two wildlife/game wardens in the boat checking incoming boats.
We drove north on Highway 101 to visit Gardiner and Florence.  We stopped to check out Tsunami Gallery in Gardiner. The gallery is very lovely, has different mediums: bronze sculpture, watercoloring, pottery, etc.
Red Cloud - the first and only Western chief to
win a protracted war with the United States
Bronze - asking $6,500 for it
A Horse of Course
Kelp, Coral and Rope were used
Asking price: $2,100
Arrived in Florence and the parking lot was almost full. We were lucky to find an empty spot little further from the town.  There was a produce tent next to the parking lot, so we stopped by to see what they were selling. We got green beans and peaches.  They had samples of cherry/orange tomatoes and we got to sample them. They were juicy and delicious, but we did not buy them.
After leaving the produce in the car we went back to the town to stroll up/down the street of Florence, went in some stores.  At the dock we enjoyed watching three double breasted cormorants trying to catch small fishes.  Such an entertainment.  There are seal sculptures all over the town.  We spent about an hour and half walking about.  A very lovely old town with a great view of Suislaw Bridge. The bridge spans over the Suislaw River on Highway 101 in Florence, OR and was built in 1936. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 5, 2005.
Dungeness crab being transported from the
holding tank to the pot to be cooked
Sealed with a kiss
No pun intended
Suislaw Bridge
We checked out Three Rivers Casino about 2 miles from the town center. Erwin played Pai Gow Poker for a bit while Edith stood and watched him play.  It was almost 4:45 pm when he stopped playing because we needed to come back to the campground to fix supper before we head out this evening.
On way back to Reedsport, OR we stopped at a small cemetery in Gardiner, OR.  The land is tiered and there are steps to go up.  We cannot imagine how pallbearers must have felt when carrying a casket up the hill.
As we were entering the RV Park at the marina there was a sign notifying that the campground was full.  Now we know why most RV parks elsewhere were full because there is an event going on tomorrow through the weekend.  Something to do with classic car parade/display at the marina.

Edith fixed meatloaf and green beans (bought from the market today).  After cleaning the kitchen and dishes cleaned we went back out to Dean Elk Viewing area half an hour before the sunset. Saw over 80 elks, several of them young spike bull elks.  Saw one very young elk sitting in the grass not moving very much while its mother was grazing nearby.  A bull elk with 8 points came out of the bush, was limping, then went back to the bush.  Edith was not able to get a good shot of this bull. It was nice to have a spotting scope to get good close-ups.  Just wished we had the camera adapter for IPhone and DSLR cameras.  On the wish list.
We spent time looking over campgrounds for Portland, OR.  Plan to stay 3-4 days.  Erwin’s youngest sister, Peggy, gave us three names, but said to forget the third one.  Edith did her homework and decided that Jantzen is a good campground with plenty of sites and the nightly rate is reasonable.

We really enjoyed staying here, won’t mind camping here again if and when we ever go by Reedsport, OR again (we might if we plan on traveling Highway 101 from California to Washington next year).

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