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Coquille Lighthouse, Sand Dune Surfing

August 15, 2009
south of Bandon - our view as we go to sleep

south of Bandon - our view as we go to sleep

We just watched a pink sunset over the most beautiful beach we’ve been on so far in Oregon, and look forward to exploring it when we wake up in the morning.  We’re in Bandon and looking to do some crabbing tomorrow.  Add this town to the list of beautiful free camping spots.

Running on the dunes

Running on the dunes

Took a big sunny hike in 300-500 foot sand dunes this morning, and the kids don’t have to be told what to do when they see a dune anymore:  they ran ahead, and we had all we could do to keep up with them as they plowed up and rolled down, trudged up and flew down.  No wonder they’re both gaining muscle so fast – Holt’s arms are getting thick these days, and Mazie’s shoulders are growing.  My heart felt expansive, playing with them in all that great space.  I remember running and playing the same way with Judy years ago at White Sands.

On our honeymoon years ago, very near here, we hiked through the dunes and came to an empty beach where we let Judy run to her heart’s content, chasing flocks of little birds, the ones who rise up as a group and fly just far enough, then settle back down.  It’s really an ideal chasing/teasing situation for a dog, and we let her just tear it up, of course never catching a one.  As we made our way back, we passed a sign that said “Beach Closed for Nesting Season of Endangered Snowy Plovers”.      Oops.

Sprinkled some of her ashes on the dunes today in memory of those playful days.

The stunning Manzanita

The enchanting Manzanita

Climbed up into Coquille Lighthouse today.   The volunteers manning it had just come from Idaho’s Selway Bitterroot (not too far from home) where they hosted the ranger station for a month.  We also ran into a woman who was a Krantz from St. Ignatius, and it turns out we had just attended the wedding of her cousin before we left Montana.  The families that used to run the lighthouses are said to have slaved to keep everything spotless and the brass shining for the white-glove inspections.  I can see needing to keep the tower glass spotless for the inspector and for the good of the job, but the inside of their family’s house??  That’s just someone on a power trip.  Did you know the lighthouses each had their own signal, their own pattern of on/off to allow ships to distinguish which port they were at?  Ships just off the coast here could see three different lighthouses at once and their different signals allowed a good idea of where the travellers were at.

We’ll be sleeping to the rhythm of the ocean waves tonight.

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