Our explorations today took us first to Darlingtonia State Natural Site. This area was set aside to preserve these carnivorous plants. Pitcher plant. also called cobra-lilly, traps and digests insects. This plant is only found in Northern California and in Oregon. Even though it’s late in the season they are still looking rather perky.
Next, we were on our way to visit Heceta Lighthouse, stopping at a viewpoint first. We could see Sea Lions swimming in the water below.
On the way to the lighthouse we had to first go through a tunnel and then cross over Cape Creek Bridge and then drive under it. This is another of the bridges designed by Conde B. McCullough, built during the 1930’s.
Heceta Head Lighthouse broadcasts the strongest beam of light on the Coast. We had to hike about a quarter of a mile from the parking lot up to the lighthouse. The hike itself was through some beautiful thick forested area but allowed us amazing panoramic views of the Coast. We thought the light was closed to tours for the season but it was not, so we were treated to a guided tour to the top.
Sand dunes extend for the next 40 miles along the Oregon coast south from here. Big dunes, up to 500 feet high, that blend with rivers, lakes, and rainforests. There are several parks, loads of hiking trails, and miles of off-highway vehicle trails.
It’s very quiet on the dunes when we were there. Maybe because it’s a Tuesday, school is in session, it’s cool and rainy. But we can tell by the number of parking lots that this is a hot spot for dune-buggys, or Off Highway Vehicles. From what we could see, most of the dunes have specific trails for the Off Highway Vehicles but there are also open sand areas. We stopped to watch one group that was there.
The weather forecast for the next few days is for high winds and lots of rain so we probably won’t be doing much, just riding it out at the casino.
- Gasoline: none
- Lodging: free @ Three Rivers Casino