They call it the best kept secret on the Oregon coast, at least that’s the friendly motto that greets you when you enter the blue-soaked Marina. We were about to put that claim to the test on a fully booked-out family summer week-end with absolutely no reservations. Yes rather crazy of us, especially given our “beastly” size (we don’t exactly do “stealth”), but if it’s really a secret we should have no problems, right?
Well, I tell ya they weren’t kidding.
We left a bustling, rather nutty gathering of kids and dogs at Harbor Vista County Park and glided into a spacious lot with 4 empty spots on either side of us and 180 degree views of soft, calm blue. Nothing but the bright sounds of sea-gulls and the lulling music of boat riggings (I don’t know why I find that particular sound so relaxing, but I just do) with just a whisper of lapping water to top it all off. Oh, and we paid $14 for the privilege. We may be parked on concrete without any hookups, but holy smokes what a spot!
How did we know about this little gem? Previous research, my dear Watson. Last year we passed through this area and immediately fell in love with ultra-cute Winchester Bay. It’s an active fishing port famous for it’s locally-grown oysters and the massive nearby dunes. There’s a lot of ATVers that come to the area to ride the 40 miles of the dunes, but there’s also some pretty cool hikes (last year we loved the John Dellenback Trail so much we did it twice!), not to mention another excellent lighthouse. The real kicker and best-kept secret though is the quiet dry-camping in the Marina. Right on the water-front with unobstructed views for $14/night, $84/week or $252/month. How can you beat that value?
This time around we simply wanted to slot into one of those prime spots, relax and bask in the area.
And so we did. Taggart plonked herself royally in the RV window to soak up the view and the sun while pooch and us wondered over to nearby Ziolkouski Beach Park to play in the sand. In the late afternoon we ALL sat on the “porch” admiring the boats and the sounds of the Marina. I even took a quick trip back to Umqua River Lighthouse to watch the sunset turn her white paint pink and redden the sky. Quite the special spot and a fitting “end” to our southern drive before starting our summer hosting jobs in Bandon, OR.
I’ve got one more post (a quick review of the dry-camping spot) before I bring you up to date on our new gig and “home” for the next 2 months. Until then, my friends.