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The Bay Area: Our Oregon Adventure Part XI

After visiting the disco house, we were not feeling like the Coos Bay area was just right for us – at least not the houses we were finding. The neighborhoods were gorgeous with tree-lined streets and beautiful houses. It just wasn’t rural enough for our liking. We wanted to be more immersed in nature. The nature in Oregon is what really drew us here, the beauty of the place, the magnificence of nature that never stops growing. Of course, that would come with a lot of water in the form of rain, but we were eager to try it. We drove past what was once a beautiful, old farm home in a meadow where the nature was taking it back. Vines and trees were growing up and through the home. It was like a large, over-sized planter filled with a variety of foliage and most likely a few small critters. It was a great reminder of how powerful nature is and how destructive to structures it could be when left uncontrolled.

Finished with the Coos Bay homes on our list, we hopped over to North Bend – not to be confused with Bend, Oregon (the more well-known town). North Bend and Coos Bay are essentially the Bay Area of Oregon. Two towns that sit side by side, it’s almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. It’s one of the largest towns on the coast with practically everything you might ever need. Shops, repair, museums, restaurants… these towns have it all. There were a handful of houses on our list in North Bend that we were excited to see. One was just a property right next to the sand of the dunes! We quickly learned that because North Bend was a larger town, it was also more like our previous home. Tighter neighborhoods with less property. More asphalt and sidewalks, less nature. The houses are super cute and there are so many great neighborhoods. But we were really looking for a change from the suburb living that we were in already. We wanted a little of space, a lot of privacy, and that beautiful nature wrapped around us. One of the homes was close to what we wanted, but still had quite a few homes surrounding it.

We camped again that night and made a plan to go back to the lake house and see the lake the next day. It was only a few miles up the coast from North Bend/Coos Bay. It was October and the weather was bi-polar. One day it would be rainy and cloudy all day, the next it would be gorgeous and warm. It reminds me of a meme we saw later, after moving to the coast. The meme said, "Oregon, you can't have all of the seasons in one day" and the Oregon cartoon character said "Hold my beer". ha! The weather really can change on a dime. I loved the constant changes during our trip (and still do). Something we rarely had in the desert. We never checked the weather in the desert. You could wake up every morning and be sure of two things – it would be sunny and there would be wind. In the summer it was really hot (in the 90s and 100s) and in the winter it was pretty cold (in the 30s and 40s). Very few days with fair or moderate weather. I used to joke that there were 364 days of sunshine each year. It sounds glorious on paper, but it does get a bit boring to live in a place with only two seasons.

The start of the rainy season in Oregon meant that it was also mushroom hunting season. Dennis was finding GIGANTIC mushrooms in the campgrounds just by walking about on the trails. He had gotten a little lesson on which ones were good to eat and which weren’t back when we were in Newport. An Oregonian was mushroom hunting and shared some of his knowledge with Dennis, so kind! It’s not a great photo, it was in the evening and hard to get enough light, but here are two giant mushrooms he found at the campground that night. Look at the size of those things! Wow!

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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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