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South Jetty – Florence, OR

I crossed over into Oregon on my drive north and went to South Jetty, a Thousand Trails park for a couple weeks. The park is in the Oregon Sand Dunes Recreation Area and the dunes are right down the street from it. It is heavily wooded so finding a space where I could get satellite TV was not easy. The section to the right of the guard shack I don’t recommend for large rigs. It is very narrow with small spaces, steep hills, un-level sites, and way too many trees. I drove past the family lodge and pool to the D section. There is a clearing way in the back of D where satellite may get through but I chose a lovely large spot on the road to the adult lodge instead where I was able to get over the trees.

My cell phone was able to pull in the weak Verizon signal there most of the time. I did have to haul my laptop to the family lodge a couple times to work over their free and super-fast WI-FI a couple days. That was actually a pleasure to some degree because of the DSL like speed and because there was a group of line-dancers practicing in the lodge every day.

The pool and hot tub there are nice. The restrooms are clean. The chair swing on the veranda of the lodge overlooking the pool is a great place to hangout in the evening. They have had a lot of damage from a storm that passed through which toppled trees and damaged the family lodge roof. It also took out electricity in the B section which is now closed until it is repaired.

The laundry room is a good place to spend some time talking to other Thousand Trails members, doing a puzzle, or reading magazines. I got some good info on other parks there.

I went for a drive through the nearby dunes to watch the off-road vehicles climbing them and checkout the bay. This is a national recreation area so they do honor senior and handicapped passes. Be sure you stop to get a payment envelope if you don’t have a pass or the ranger will nail you. I considered going over the dunes to the beach but the walk was a bit much for me.

Oregon Sand Dunes Recreation AreaDune buggies

Later in the week, I went to the Sea Lion Cave nearby. They bill it as the world’s largest though I’m told there may be a larger one in New Zealand. Sea lions winter in the cave and hang out on the rocky ledges outside in the spring to mate. There was one male sea lion who had taken over a large rock in the middle of the cave with his harem of females. I was told he will not leave the rock for a long time because female sea lions are not particularly loyal when the male is not around. Hmm. Wink wink. Be prepared for the smell. Sea lions may look cute but boy do they stink, at least in caves.

World's largest sea caveMale sea lion and haremSea lion mating shelf

From up above, you can see the lighthouse in the distance. That is Heceta Head Lighthouse which is one of the most photographed ones. Currently, it is undergoing renovation and hidden beneath tarps. To get to it, you have to drive to a parking lot below it on the beach and then hike a mile or two up a path.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Another day, I went down to Newport for shopping and just had to stop in Depoe Bay to see the world’s smallest harbor.

Depoe Bay Harbor

For more pics click here.

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