Woke with proof that David was getting better. He woke at 5 and then at 8 and managed to get himself out of bed by himself both times. Previously, having stiffened up overnight, getting him out of bed was a complicated manoeuvre of levers and pulleys, leaning my body weight to gently raise him to vetical with as few yelps and yells as possible.
We had to sample the delights of Green Salmon Cafe for breakfast again before leaving the delights of Ya’Tel Motel and turned south down the coast in fog and rain. South of Florence the weather improved. This is an area of 50 miles of coastal dunes, stretching about 3 miles inland, the largest rising to 500ft. A few miles south of the town we stopped at Siltcoos recreation area and took a mile and half trail alongside the waxmyrtle creek down to beech. The dunes are actually a complex and varied ecosystem and we passed through trees, wetlands (where we saw herons) and then throuigh more classic sandy dunes with tufts of dune grass. Sections of the dunes were restricted from access as they were a site for the endangered nesting snowy plovers.
Try as I might I did not see a plover – but then as David said, if I had we would have been oin the wrong place. Coming out onto the ocean beach was magical. Mile upon mile of empty white sand in hazy mist and spray. We passed one hiker who was walking the Oregon trail to a wedding in california (not his we presumed). We waded across the river Siltcoos – just passable in the incoming tide without getting too wet and circled back to the car. The sun had even come out. 3 or 4 miles in total so further proof David was improving.
Onwards south and next stop Charleston. The guidebook write up described this as a quaint fishing village — I suppose I can’t help thinking of little stone fishermens cottages with thatched roofs and cobbeldy streets with that description so it did not quite live up to expectations. However the recommended Port House Restaurant did live up to expectations and we had delicious seafood pasta, watching a cormorant ducking and diving on the estuary outside the window. Pity we were still driving on as would have been perfectly accompanied by a bottle of wine and afternoon nap.
Onwards we were going though and next stop Bandon. Trying hard to be a seaside town it appeared rather down at heal, However the beach to the south of the town was amazing with large rocky outcrops in the surf, home to birds, seals and sealions. Lots of birds seen but the sealions seemed to be out of town here as well.
Last lap to Port Orford through a torrential thunderstorm. 2 motels in town were distinctly dingy and we decided to move on. Just coming out of the town David sneezed then croaked – which I interpreted as ‘look there’s another motel let’s take a look’ as he then gasped in pain ‘got to get out of the car’. Luckily this motel is pleasant with great ocean views. We are cozy inside while more thunder storms move through – there are some benefits to motorised travel and nights inside and not under canvas!