Tag Archive: bandon

Oregon Coast Day 4: Yachats

Heceta Light and the setting sunOur fourth day on the Oregon Coast had us driving from Bandon to Yachats.  Overall, Yachats is a pretty good place to stop.  It’s past Florence and the dunes, and the coast makes a definite transition to a less rocky landscape, with softer beaches and finer sand.  It’s also a good distance from Bandon yet still leaves a lot of distance until a next major stop, such as Depoe Bay or even farther north.

The truth is that after getting beat up by the wind at Bandon, we took it easy on this drive.  First, if it’s possible, we spent too much time photographing around Bandon, trying to catch every beautiful moment from sunrise to sunset.  Second, I wanted to devote a good amount of time to Shore Acres State Park, which many tell me is the one place they’d go for even an entire week.

Everyone says that one needs to be ready for just about anything in terms of weather in Oregon.  We were ready for rain, we were ready for gloom.  We weren’t quite ready for tremendous wind, but weren’t complaining since it came along with clear skies and the sun.  Something else we weren’t expecting was such calm seas.  Now, we had waves, and in Depoe Bay we had some good blasts of water now and then.  But we never got the massive waves crashing into the sheer cliffs kind of experience that everyone told us about.  So Shore Acres, known for its big cliffs…was a bit of a let down.  busy bee I will say that the park there really is quite impressive, though, and it was one of the times we really had a chance to break out the macro lenses.

To top it off, the sun actually wore us down a bit.  So we didn’t get big waves and got worn down by the wind and the sun.  So we hit the road and went straight past Coos Bay (including past the Coos Bay Bridge, which I wanted to photograph but reached at the worst time of day, in terms of light).  We stopped off here and there, but overall just kept looking for nice vista points and a good place for a sunset photo.


Oregon Coast Day 3: Bandon

We stayed another night at the Sunset Motel in Bandon.  There is simply so much to do in the area.  The original plan was to spend day 2 in Bandon heading north, perhaps as far as Shore Acres but probably not quite to Coos Bay.  However, we really wanted to keep things flexible and just see how things went.

Coquille Light

Our second day in Bandon, and third overall on the trip involved sleeping in a little bit, and staying in the overall area around the town.  The Coquille River runs right up along “Old Town” and across from the fish and chip shacks is Coquille Light.   This short, interestingly-shaped structure is in Bullard State Park, which also offers some nice dunes and what seems like all of the driftwood in the entire Pacific Northwest.  The funny thing is that when one drives to Old Town Bandon the lighthouse is right across the river, and seems just a few hundred feet away (and might be less than 1000′).  But to get to it one drives out of town, up 101 for a few miles, into Bullard Park then all the way down to the very end at a blazing 20 miles per hour.  A lot of trouble to get to the other end of the mouth of the river.

On the way back to the hotel, on Beach Loop, one has access to Coquille Point, which offers a great view down the beach and out to sea.  And is also a place where the wind can practically lift you up and throw you out to the waves.  Heading down to the beach from Coquille Point, one has good access to some sea lions bathing in the sun.  If the wind weren’t so vicious I would have made it out a bit farther for closer pictures, but I did manage to find some refuge in the rocks and a decent vantage point.

Bullard Park offers quite a bit, to be honest.  Most of the park is pretty sheltered by the dunes and trees, meaning that one can do some good photography of the foliage and plants without dealing with the wind.  This would be a great place for some infrared photography, actually.

Heading out to the lighthouse, the beach is long but relatively narrow – most beaches seemed to be deep and flat, with big differences between high and low tides.  It’s also just covered with driftwood.  One wonders if somehow this beach catches everything, leaving Bandon Beach free and beautiful.  As you can see from the photo of Coquille Light, there is quite a bit of driftwood out on that outcropping of rock, as well.

sand dune, Bullard State Park

The beach offers very nice options for one wishing to work with dunes, as well.  With all the wind that we experienced on our trip, every 30 minutes or so gave a fresh, almost untouched look to the sand.  The driftwood makes for interesting elements against the sand itself, as well.  Of course, the sand itself against the side light of a setting sun creates very interesting textures and shapes.

Finally, combining the setting sun with the grass, sand, and the lighthouse isn’t a bad idea, either.  It creates a nice composition that I think is pretty subtle yet still gives all the colors that one appreciates from a nice sunset.Coquille Light behind the dunes

When it comes down to it, though, the sunset on Bandon Beach, with all its stacks, is the highlight of the area.  It’s hard to take a bad shot, even from one’s balcony.  After a few photos around the lighthouse a short but maddeningly slow drive back through the park and over to the motel brought me back down to the beach.  Having gotten a bit more comfortable with the location the previous night, I played around with a bit of long exposure and different elements in the foreground.

The bottom line is that from Brookings to Bandon (and eventually up to Shore Acres) is a truly wonderful area with so much variety.  Next time, I would probably base myself either in Bandon or perhaps in Brookings and just work that entire area for weeks.incoming waves, Bandon Beach

Oregon Coast Day 2: Bandon

This is a bit longer of a review so I’ve done a “click for more” separation because we stayed two days in Bandon and I have a lot to say about what we did around there during those days.

Also, I’m separating the days out pretty strictly for these accounts.  For instance, this covers the trip from Brookings to Bandon (day 2), and our next day, still in Bandon (day 3).  I won’t cover the trip from Bandon to Yachats, as that’s part of day 4.  It’s hard to separate the days out as we might have done something on day 3 specifically because of the drive between Bandon and Yachats (that we would not have done had we been driving from Brookings to Yachats, for instance), but I have to cut them up somehow…

Basic facts:

  • Stopped off throughout the Samuel Boardman State Corridor, Cape Blanco, and a couple of other places along the way
  • Stayed at the Sunset Hotel in Bandon, in the Vern Brown Addition
  • Food – see the rest of the post

Stuff I learned on my own:

The Sunset Motel really is worth the effort.  And it’s all about the Vern Brown Addition, stacks at sunset, Bandon Beachfrom which one can literally shoot the sunset from one’s balcony.  The rooms are a bit dated (really just the TV’s, actually) but the views are stunning.  Bandon is tiny as a town, and I’m not sure it’s a “Must Stop” as one guide mentioned.  But the beach itself is really impressive, with some great stacks and smooth waves.  It’s also a quick ride to several different places, so it’s a tremendous base of operations for the whole region.  Yachats as the next location is a good idea since it’s sufficiently far enough away that one can explore the entire Bandon to Coos Bay area.