Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Florence and Tugman State Park

June 18-22, 2008
We were still parked at Three Rivers Casino and planned to leave later in the morning. First we wanted to see the bug eating plant Darlingtonia Californica--sometimes known as cobra lily or pitcher plant. There is an area north of Florence near US101 dedicated to the plant.

Some of the plants were just starting to bloom. The flowers were brown!
We returned to the rv to hook up the car and then headed toward Reedsport, Oregon. We planned to stay at William M. Tugman State Park. It is located east of US 101 on Eel Lake. We found a great site after some creativity using the computer. The park uses on-line reservations, but the hosts have no way of knowing which sites are available for more than 2 days. We wanted to stay 4 so we used our Verizon air card to get online and find which sites were not reserved for Saturday and Sunday, then drove through the park to find which were available for Thursday and Friday. We had to make reservations to get it for Friday and Saturday! What a pain!!!!There were several places we wanted to see in the area. We decided the best way was to find some of the places was to go caching. Our first stop was at a wayside area where people stop to whale watch. The day was clear and the sea was calm, but we didn't spot any spouts. Grey whales migrate through this area toward the Arctic. Some stay for the summer, but most just pass through. Another stop was at a 'children's forest.' There were 2 caches for us in this forest planted by schoolchildren in 1946. School children planted over a million trees during a span of 10 years.

One of the caches had to do with a ufo sighting in the 1960s. Ed Hansen was on his way home when he saw a ufo hovering over the lake. A light emitted from the bottom of the ufo shook his truck and caused the electrical system to short. He left his truck where it stopped and ran home. The truck is still there today on what was once the old highway! (Someone else across the lake supposedly took a picture. The lake is now fenced.)

Anyway, it was an interesting story!

Another cache we looked for on our way to Umpqua River Lighthouse was dedicated to "Sal and Al." It took us a while to figure out the person was referring to salal which is a common plant growing in Oregon. The small flowers turn into berries. Native Americans used to pick the berries and make 10 pound loaves for food. That was a lot of berries as the berries are smaller than the flowers! Three flowers would fit on your pinkie fingernail!
We stopped at Lake Marie near the lighthouse to find another cache and to eat our picnic lunch. We saw several people fishing, and one man had 5 good sized trout. Joyce is ready to try her luck at fishing with her Oregon license.

We made it to the lighthouse and took the tour. The docent tried to talk us in to work camping at the lighthouse in October. We said no thank you! Although it would have been two work days with 5 days off. Hmmmm.....

A museum and gift shop are housed in this building.

This rescue boat is next to the museum. It was used to rescue people whose ships' capsized near the lighthouse.
This is the top of Umpqua River Lighthouse. It is still in use. The area around the lighthouse belongs to US Coast Guard.
The light from this lighthouse flashes red and white. The white and red Fresnel lenses were specially made in France in the 1880s.
The village of Winchester Bay is quaint. It was fun to look through the shops. We found a cache in the bottom of one of the buoys hanging in front of one of the stores. We also ate lunch at a local fish and chips boat. That's right, the fish and chips joint was on a boat. The place was packed and it was mostly locals. Unger Bay Fish and Chips was a great place to eat.
We continued our caching at a local lake. This banana slug was guarding one of the caches near Hall Lake.The area is part of Oregon National Dunes. This dune comes right down to the lake!
Two locals were sandboarding down the dune. They used a board similar to a snowboard.
We found 3 caches near Hall Lake.
We also explored the village of Lakeside where we found several more caches. After we leave Tugman SP we are heading to Coos Bay.

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