Goodbye California, Hello Oregon.
Driving along the Pacific shores I couldn’t image this state would have beauty to rival what we’d already seen. Such a thought was completely wrong. God continually displays unique places that take our breath away.
Bandon is one of the small fishing villages along Highway 101, the coastal road. Today the old buildings have been transformed into cute shops. The locals are quick to tell you which places to try. One was a little old building on the harbor which looked freshly painted a bright sky blue. The population of the community is 4000, and while we had lunch there customers continually streamed in and out for fish and chips, and clam, crab, or smoked salmon chowder. The pier outside was a community gathering place where log sculptures turned a stroll into an art exhibit. I especially enjoyed watching the people on the docks pulling up their crab cages which you could rent at one of the shops. Then take your catch to another spot where they cook them for you.
Another darling store was Cranberry Sweets. Just as we found the entrance a charming lady burst out to greet us. She was wearing a fluffy dress and a flat topped straw bonnet with ribbons and flowers around the rim. Her sweet voice warmly welcomed us in. She explained the building was one hundred years old and they once made the candies there, but had outgrown the space so now they only sold their delicious sweets. The founder was a home economics teacher. The area grows cranberries so she experimented with the local product until she created a jelly cranberry candy square. Ms. Sweets gave us samples and after eating the one bite I had to just stand there and savor the goodness. It didn’t even sound good to me but the flavor was delicious. Next our guide explained the entrepreneur wanted to perfect candy that tasted like lemon meringue pie. That’s my favorite pie so I had to try that one. After taking a bite I stood there dreamily. The best of any lemon pie was in my mouth minus the crust. Jim offered me a chocolate sample but I didn’t want any other flavor to violate what I was experiencing. Perfection. You know it’s good if a woman passes on chocolate. Needless to say I took some home.
Sorry, I got lost in the candy. Anyway, our hostess said they had samples of all the products for us to try as much as we wanted. Then she took us to one of those mirrors that make you look skinny saying we didn’t need to feel guilty. We could just look in the mirror.
The shop also had beautiful household items. Everything was so pretty. The whole experience was … refreshing.
The town also boasts the third best golf course in the nation. People are friendly and quick to get acquainted.at the RV parks. At Bandon we met another couple from Texas. He was excited to play their course because his travel goal is to play a golf course in every state and this was one of the best. It’s always interesting to see how people choose their destinations. Many want to go to all the national parks. We met a couple who had a large notebook to collect all the stamps of the national parks as souvenirs of their visits. Some parks have as many as five different places to find them.
As we visited with the Texas couple we learned they live in Eagle Mountain Lake. Ten minutes from where we lived.
We were in Bandon on the first Monday of the month when the tsunami alarm was sounded. A woman’s voice blasted across the whole community that the alarm was about to blow. When the noise quieted she announced again that it was only a test. We have been in and out of tsunami areas all along the coastline.
One of Oregon’s lighthouses guards the rocky shores here. Its fog horn still rhythmically sounds the warning of the rocky cliffs. We enjoyed watching the ocean waters crash against the shores from the cliff park above the lighthouse where walking paths make a nice stroll for the community. Seals lazily spread across the rocks below.