Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coos Bay

Shore Acres SP

Our awning replacement appointment wasn't until Monday so that left us three days to explore areas north and south of Coos Bay. We had been in the area in 1996 to attend a fall shorebird festival so were somewhat already familiar with a few locations. By no means did we intend to allow any moss to grow under us as we scoured several of the area's birding spots.

Simpson Estate grounds (Shore Acres SP)

While birds were our first priority, we could not escape being overwhelmed by the constantly changing Oregon coastline with so many public access points. We more than got our money's worth from our $20 investment in an annual state parks pass.

Rock Face SP

Several of the parks we visited included: Sunset Bay, Umpqua River, Bullard's Beach, Shore Acres (with an interesting tour of what used to be a privately owned estate), Face Rock, and Cape Arago. In addition to views of the coastline many of the parks are honeycombed with hiking trails, many overlapping the Oregon Coastal Trail. The OCT, a long-distance trail following the coast stretched from the mouth of the Columbia River at the Washington/Oregon border to just south of the Oregon/California border in Brookings, CA. The actual walking distance will vary depending upon whether or not a ferries are used to circumvent estuaries and rivers, is listed as 425 miles. 39% of the route is on beaches (be mindful of the tide tables and seasonal high waters), 41% on paved roads (often shared with cyclists), and 20% on trails or dirt roads. Camping in state parks or free at primitive camping areas along the route.

John Dellenback Dunes

Monday rolled around and we hooked up our trailer for the short drive to Porter RV in North Bend. Our plan was that after the awning was installed to return to Mill Casino RV, park overnight in their large free parking area along the highway, then head for California in the morning.
We arrived at Porter RV at the appointed hour. The service techs began in earnest to install the awning. During the two to three hour install we busied ourselves perusing new RV's on their lot. After forty-five minutes the service manager tracked us down to tell us the bad news. While the awning and roller assembly were the correct parts, the motor assembly and parts were not. What!!??
Apparently the service department at Pierce RV (a KZ dealer no less and following a physical inspection of our RV) had gotten it wrong. This was in no way Porter RV's fault - they in good faith had ordered the correct wrong parts. So what were our options?
Well, we couldn't very well haul a sixteen-foot wide piece of awning with us until we found the correct motor assembly parts so it was agreed that Porter would order the correct parts and ship 2nd day air. We returned to Mill Casino RV to await the new parts. Fortunately, the folks at Mill Casino were extremely helpful and allowed us to continue with our discounted rate through the end of the week that we originally thought we would need and had booked. In the meantime we busied ourselves by exploring more area highlights: Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Simpson Reef, the John Dellenback Dunes, and Bandon Marsh NWR.
During one of our outings we got a voice mail from Porter RV asking us to call. This could not be good news. It wasn't. The parts we needed were on back-order at the manufacturer in Colorado. How long before they might be shipped from CO? Another week. Maybe. Curses! Would we ever get a new awning

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

While we certainly appreciated our stay at Mill Casino RV, we really had run out of options of things to do when faced with another week. It wasn't that we were not mobile without an awning so instead of sitting still we formulated a plan to drive an hour further down the coast to the small town of Port Orford. We had passed through the town during one of our outings and it looked intriguing. And an hour's drive back to Porter RV when the parts arrived wouldn't kill us. Carol phoned the RV park we had in mind only to find out that they were full. Great! However, they suggested another park in town, Port Orford RV Village. Carol made the necessary reservation. And what a stroke of good fortune that turned out to be!!!

Black Oystercatcher

Tom points to Graham Thomas Rose
at Simpson Estate rose garden

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