The trip to Brookings is a familiar one. I didn’t even plug in Garmin Girl to show us the way. The route is the fastest way to get to ocean from where we live, less than 200 miles, and we know it well. Over 140 to Medford, north on I-5 to Grants Pass, then west on the beautiful Highway 199 toward Crescent City in California before turning north on 101. After meandering through the pastoral Illinois Valley, the road descends along the wild and winding Smith River and is designated a Scenic Highway for many miles. The route passes the magnificent Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park a few miles east of Crescent City, but we had other fish to fry and just passed through. Even with a few errands to run in Medford, our 10 am departure dropped us into Brookings by 2:30 in the afternoon.
We had reservations at Harris Beach, not wanting to take any chances, but they really weren’t necessary. While the front A loop with ocean views was all full, the rest of the park was very nearly empty. Our site was perfect. Just one space in from the view sites with a lot more privacy, and I can see a “peep” of the ocean from the bedroom window. It’s quite enough, and the big open private site is lovely. After settling in and setting up, we took the baby car to town to look around a bit and see how much has changed since Mo sold her condo a few years ago. The condos look just fine, with new paint, and only one for sale. Surprisingly, the prices are only about 25 percent less than they were in 2006.
We drove up to Azalea Park, a special pride of Brookings. Even though we have been here many times, I haven’t seen the rhodies in bloom the way there were on Monday afternoon. The park is lovely, and a special treat is a small chapel that seems to be some kind of memorial, with a view of the ocean in the distance. It was closed when we were there, but the architecture is amazing, even from the outside, with soaring windows, and glass and wood and metal woven together in a magical work of art.
Brookings is a great little town, in what is called the “banana belt” of the Oregon Coast. When we arrived on Monday, there was just a bit of residual cloudiness in the skies, but by the time the sun set, it was beautifully clear. After a stop at the very large Fred Meyer store for some minor supplies (chips!) we settled in to a beautiful sunny evening.
We took Abby for a walk on the beach, and I took way too many photos of breaking waves. I always think I will delete most of them, but then I have a terrible time with that cutting knife. I like first one, then the next, then another, and before you know it, I have a dozen photos of the same rocks with a different wave breaking just a little bit differently than the first. ah well. It’s digital, and doesn’t hurt anyone but me when I try to organize my photos and make sure I have enough storage for all of them.
Mo built a great campfire and I heated up leftover turkey pie brought from home for supper. Jeremy joined us outdoors to explore the campsite, (on his leash of course). Even though it was 8pm and the sun was shining, the breeze came up and I had to give up and go inside before the fire was all the way down. With cable tv for an extra buck, we enjoyed an episode of Dancing with the Stars before falling into a great night’s sleep. I do think I probably missed about half the show, since I was all worn out with the fresh air and relaxation. Amazing how relaxing can wear one out, isn’t it. Of course, I took many photos, so if you want to see lots of flowers and rocky Oregon coast, click here.