Map collage of Oregon’s South Coast

Oregon’s South Coast

During Memorial Day weekend we visited Shore Acres State Park, the Umpqua Lighthouse, Sunset Beach, and Heceta Head Lighthouse Scenic Viewpoint.

Shore Acres State Park

I’ve visited Shore Acres on a few occasions and always enjoy photographing the flowers.  There are several gardens to wander through and a trail to Simpson Beach.  Another trail leads to the estate’s former tennis court located on a sandy, rocky cliff overlooking the ocean.  We found tadpoles in the fresh water that must have been left by all the rain we’ve had.

Umpqua Light House

Amber and I enjoyed the very informative tour and museum at the Umpqua Lighthouse that is a current US Coast Guard station.  It’s also the only lighthouse in Oregon that visitors may climb up into the light to view the beautiful prisms.

Beaches

I spent some time experimenting with the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Sweet 35 optic and Breakthrough Photography’s X4 10 stop neutral density filter.  I’ll have to go back to the beach to get some more experience and take their tutorials with me.  The neutral density filter could be addicting!

Maryhill State Park, WA

Maryhill State Park Site 49
The Beach House in Site 49

This past weekend we took a friend and her daughter, who had never been camping, to Maryhill State Park on the Columbia River.  We rarely camp on the eastern side of the state, but had a great time exploring the area and will return again.

We went Kayaking at Horsethief Lake in Columbia Hills State Park.  It was a bit windy, but the lake was perfect for people who had never been paddling in a canoe or kayak.  Petroglyphs can also be seen at this park.  We plan to go back and do the ranger tour.

Horsethief Lake

Karman loving kayaking!
Karman loved kayaking!  She got me sopping wet with her paddle, but had a blast and then beat her mom in a race to the shore!

After lunch we toured the Maryhill Museum of Art.  The museum had many wonderful exhibits that wouldn’t be expected in the middle of nowhere!  It’s very well worth the time to visit.  The international chess sets and the Marie, Queen of Romania exhibits were most fascinating.  I also enjoyed the history exhibit of the Columbia Gorge roads.

Later in the day we visited the Stonehenge replica overlooking the Columbia River.

 

Maryhilll State Park is very clean and well maintained.  The quiet, peaceful setting was greatly appreciated.  Considering that the park sits on the Columbia River between two highways and two train tracks, the noise level was quite low.  Watching the traffic roll by and the boats floating down the river are part of the ambience of the area.

Shao and Karman had a great time, and now want to try camping on their own!