The Oregon Coast ever beckons--and you can get there several ways from Portland OR:
North on I-5 to Longview WA, then Hwy 30 to Astoria
Take Hwy 18 from Portland to Lincoln City
There are a couple more tortuous routes, but these are the main ones.
Aug 2021, we traveled I-5 south to Hwy 38, then west to Reedsport. We stopped at Oak Grove Rest Area, milepost 206 on I-5 southbound. Photos below.
Here’s a handy map and list of Oregon Rest Areas, with brief descriptions.
Hwy 38 & the Umpqua River
In late December of 2020 our trip included Hwy 38, and we took the following photos.
Scottsburg, Hwy 38 on the Umpqua River
Scottsburg is an interesting historic little hamlet along Hwy 38, which is a bit narrow for getting good photos. They have been building what appears will be a beautiful bridge across the Umpqua River there. We did get some photos of the county park over the river, beyond the bridge. Late December 2020 we had traveled that way & took photos of Umpqua Wayside a bit further west.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area--just east of Reedsport
Every time we drove to or through Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, just east of Reedsport on Hwy 38, there were either no elk in view, or none close enough to hardly discern in a photo. When I mentioned that to our fellow travelers this trip, who frequently drive that road, they were totally surprised, and said they always saw elk. Well, they must have some attractive force, because this time we saw lots of elk, to my utter delight!
We’ve traveled through Reedsport on a couple trips, mentioned on our way home—scroll to the end of
But first, look around Reedsport. Their centennial was 2019, and in Aug 2021 things looked beauteous. Turn right at the Post Office with the cool statue of an elk (N. 3rd St), next right again onto Water Ave where there's RV camping (a small logging display, the fabulous fish fence and picnic tables, and other facilities for their annual Salmon Derby Labor Day weekend), then left at Riverfront Way to get to the Umpqua River access/boat launch and a bit further is the Umpqua Discovery Center (museum). When done there, return to the main road through town to find gas, groceries, restaurants, parks, a place to stay, auto repair . . .
On the north end of Reedsport Hwy 101 crosses Bolon Island, and with curiosity killing me, I exited for Bolon Island Tideways State Wayside and/or Tide Ways Island Memorial Park. I didn't find much--gravel parking, boat ramp, and porta potty. I don't recall seeing a sign about Jedediah Smith, and I think I would have remembered. Other people have seen it, though. I think I just didn't go far enough.
This was my Crabbing on the Coast trip of Aug 2021. I spent about a week exploring the Oregon Coast, traveled both north and south of Reedsport, and saw so much I found it necessitated 4 posts. This is the 4th of the 4. The first 3 posts:
North of Reedsport--as far as Florence, about a half hour drive if you don't stop, detour, or slow down
Oregon Dunes Day Use Area--15 min north of Reedsport
Not to be missed! Great accessible views, lots of sand in the restroom, trails not really wheelchair accessible.
Carter Lake (not Crater Lake)
There's a day use area, a boat ramp, and a campground amongst hills and trees. I thought the road in the campground not great for large RVs. Here’s some info and reservations
Siltcoos, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
There are so many things named Siltcoos in this area it can be confusing. To reach this place, be sure the sign says Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Small day use area, kayak the river, hike the dunes if able, about 4 campgrounds.
Westlake Boat Ramp, Lane County Park--Dune City OR
There's more to explore on the Dune City Hall website, but here are a couple that are pertinent.
Tyee Campground—5 mi south of Florence OR
A small campground near Dune City OR
Jessie M Honeyman Memorial State Park--about 4 mi south of Florence OR
The ranger station is off Hwy 101 to the east. East on Canary Rd off, Hwy 101, is the Group Camp, West Woahink Recreational Meeting Hall that can be reserved, and East Woahink Lake Day Use Area; on the west side of Hwy 101 are Cleawox Lake Day-Use Area including restroom and bathhouse, the sand dunes, and the campgrounds (including showers).
South Jetty Dunes and Beach--just over the river from Florence OR
We went here for our Dune Buggy adventure, but there was more to see beyond where we bugged off for the excitement of riding the sand dunes. I had seen mention of an accessible fishing pier out that way, but the ever-encroaching sand made access to it pretty much impossible for a solo person in a manual wheelchair when I was there.
South of Reedsport--as far as Bandon, about an hour drive if you don't stop to gawk, eat, or wander
Here's an interesting link for the Southern Oregon Coast
Winchester Bay, Salmon Harbor--about 5 mi southwest of Reedsport OR, just off Hwy 101
We drove around Umpqua Lighthouse State Park through Winchester Bay, of which I made brief mention, including about 9 photos, at bottom of my Dune Buggy post, but I wanted to show more than an honorable mention of the place.
Myrtlewood Factory—3 mi north of North Bend OR, Hwy 101
I’ve always been so curious, but still didn’t have time to look inside.
North Bend boardwalk
We took a trip to the coast winter break of 2020 (late December), but due to COVID, weather, and time constraints, we didn’t get to see all I wanted to. So this trip I managed to include a little more.
Coos Bay OR
Bandon—West Coast Game Park Safari
I did a little touring around the area of Bandon, beside touring the Game Farm. I'm including some photos. An intriguing aspect of Bandon is cranberry growing. I can't resist posting some neat links.
Though we have visited Bandon a few times, we’d never made it to the Game Farm--I was so anxious to go. We all enjoyed our time there. It’s wheelchair accessible, though I took some care of where I rolled, as part of the park has free roaming, pet-able animals. With a manual chair it was helpful to have a pusher at times.
I've been in a wheelchair for 30+ years. It poses some challenges for traveling. Maybe others can benefit from my experiences.