Lounging In The Banana Belt! Brookings, OR
We’re in the banana belt and the natives are restless…or rather the Scandinavian nomad travelling through this sunny beach-town is taking rather a lot of photos & needs to blog more often! We’re in travel-mode again and it’s an energizing time. I always seem to have inertia to get moving once we’ve settled in a spot, but then I love it when we finally do. “The beast” was meant to drive, and when that big old 400HP Cummins Engine roars to life you feel the pull of the road and the draw of the wilds. Ahhhh, the wide open trails, the endless possibilities!! This is what RVing is all about, is it not?
But back to this banana thing. I’ve been wanting to come to Brookings for ages, and very specifically Harris State Beach Park. It’s the southernmost portion of the Oregon Coast (thus the inferred banana-happy weather), the only part we’ve never seen and I’d been lured here by bloggers “The MoHo And Other Travels” who’ve raved about it for years. We arrived early this week and set-up in our gorgeous green spot with slice of ocean view out the front (not too shabby). As RV serendipity would have it, who would happen to be here at exactly the same time but Sue & Mo from The MoHo herself?? I got a comment on the blog inviting me to their campfire and within moments I was chatting with both lovely ladies & their friends just a few hundred feet away. No photos taken, sadly, but a fine evening with some fine bloggers. Don’t you just love those coincidences?
Apart from being an RV blogger magnet, the thing that’s been drawing out my camera and piling up the shots is the gorgeous nature of the park itself. It’s yet another excellent Oregon State Park with the bonus of a pretty rock-silhouetted beach just 10 mins walk from camp. It’s the perfect place to lounge in camp, hike to the sand w/ pooch and snap those elusive sunset shots. Sue & Mo almost never leave the place when they come here, and having lingered a few days I can see why.
The town of Brookings itself is not as cutsey as some of the other towns we’ve seen on the Coast having no real downtown or old town area, but it has all the shopping you need as well as a rather nice harbor. The latter is probably the most interesting part of town and offers some pretty marina views, nice shops and (probably the most important thing) a really good fish & chip place in the form of Chetco Seafood Company (thank you Sue&Mo for the tip!). Should you feel compelled to camp there you can even dry-camp right on the water for a mere $17/night.
But that’s not all! Just to the north of us is more good stuff in the form of Samuel H.Boardman State Park. This 12-mile stretch of wild and cliff-lined coast is dedicated to the first superintendent of OR State Parks. Way back in 1919 this man had the vision to acquire state lands so the likes of us can enjoy them today. The park covers many scenic stops and large portions of rarely-used parts of the Oregon Coast Trail as well as encompassing Oregon’s highest bridge, the 345 feet (105 m) high Thomas Creek Bridge. We spent a superb afternoon with doggie hiking portions of the trail, climbing around on the Indian Sands (unique sandstone formations) and enjoying deserted Whaleshead Beach. See all the stops by milepost HERE. Just awesome!!
We’ll be spending a few more days in this little southern tropical paradise before shooting across to the mountains. So far, the place has lived up to it’s reputation of fine, sunny weather albeit in the 60’s rather than true equatorial temps (who am I to quibble with such small discrepancies?). We may not be camping amongst banana-trees, or (for that matter) anyone dancing in grass skirts but I remain ever hopeful. We are at the southern tip of Oregon, after all, and the natives are restless….
Post Blog Addition: A Few Notes On Recent Developments Affecting RV Travellers
I wanted to make a quick comment on 2 things which may be affecting ours (and other) RV travellers in the near future:
Federal Lands Closure: The government shut-down on Oct 1st closed ALL federal campgrounds including National Parks, National Forest, BLM and COE including those run by concessionaires. If you were planning to stay at these spots in the near future my advice is to make alternate plans. State Parks are *not* affected, and our information is that boondocking/dispersed camping on undeveloped public land is (as of yet) not affected. We have adjusted our near-term travel plans to suit and will probably be boondocking most of October in the Eastern Sierras instead of staying in NFS & BLM campgrounds.
Affordable Health Care Act: As you all know the ACA Exchanges opened on Oct 1st, but (as of yet) I’ve not been able to get in or known anyone else who’s been able to get in. Whether the new health care act will give more insurance options for nomads is yet to be determined. There is no doubt it will benefit those with pre-existing conditions, and those who are able to get subsidies, but for young nomadic RV folk (such as ourselves) I have yet to make a judgement. As I gather more info on this I’ll be sure share our results & decisions with you on the blog….stay tuned!