From the Redwood National Forest, we head north to hit our 16th state, OR. Our first stop will be Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The “Wreck” of the Mary D Hume
The Mary D. Hume is worth a stop on the drive. This “wreck” has some significant history. It was born right here in Gold Beach, OR in 1881 to haul goods from Oregon to San Francisco. She also served as a whaling vessel and even a tug boat in Alaska. She returned to Gold Beach and was retired in 1978, the longest commercial vessel in service on the Pacific Coast.
Shortly after she was retired, she was listed on the National Register of Historic Places but, sadly, an accident caused serious damage before she could be restored and turned into a museum and there were no funds for her repair.
While this might look like a hunk of trash, the now deteriorating structure provides a thriving environment for aquatic species.
Sunset Bay State Park
Sunset Bay State Park draws quite the crowd even on what us Phoenicians think is a cold day. The bay itself was the playground for lots of families and even one wedding. The rest of the the area offers hiking and lots of ocean scenic lookouts.
There’s even a 7+ mile out and back hike out to Cape Arago where you can walk out and watch the seals and sea lions laze away in the warm”ish” sun. We made it about 3 miles before realizing we could also drive out to the cape… Total hike, 6+ miles.
Check out the difference between low and high tide!
And did you know the first transcontinental balloon flight took off from right here? Me neither! But now you do.
Coos Bay Boardwalk and Marshfield Cemetery
We took a day trip into Coos Bay to check out the Boardwalk. While it didn’t hold a lot of exciting sites, it did share some of the history of the area and had an old Tug boat you can check out, but not go in.
We also visited the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery. The Oddfellows purchase the parcel of land in 1888 and opened the cemetery in 1891. Because it is the final resting place for some historically significant individuals in the Coos Bay area, the cemetery is now on the National Register of Historic Places and the upkeep is managed by the City and volunteers including those of the local high school right next door. In fact, to gain entry to the cemetery, you need to request the access code which can be obtained inside the principle’s office.
One of the crazier things we saw were the huge piles of used clam shells. Turns out these shells are actually used for fertilizer and even as a cement additive so there’s good money in recycling all those slimy edibles.
Do these photos look a little gray to you? Par for the course in Oregon along the coast, it’s been chilly and damp. Not much sun peaking through.
Miles hiked at this stop – 20, including a 6 miler!
Animal Sightings to date – 10 including these guys!
Next stop, Crater Lake National Park!