Shore Acres & Bandon Lights

December 16-17, 1994

This was an overnight trip expressly to see the Christmas lights at Shore Acres State Park, southwest of Coos Bay. It was the first time we have scheduled a December trip, so planning started in January. Rooms were set up at the Harbor View Motel, 100 ft. above overlooking the harbor; it was managed by some very helpful young people. We stopped in at the Arctic/Maritime Museum in Reedsport for a tour of the “Hero”. We skipped the Dunes Center, with lunch at the Museum of North Bend. Checked in early, about 2:30, at the Motel, and left about 3:15 for Shore Acres, arriving in rain and heavy wind. The waves at the cliff front were monstrous. A new gift shop greets you at the gate. There is a Friends of Shore Acres group that provides money and volunteer receptionists, guides, etc. The color was magnificent, with some 150,000 bulbs. Because of the weather, which did not ease up, many spent a lot of time in the old caretaker’s cottage, now fixed up for socials: hot cider, cranberry juice and high schoolmade cookies. We left about 5:45 to get back in time for restaurants that closed at 7:00. At 8:15, we went with the motel manager as guide to view the “Old Town” lights, but most spectacular was a sight six miles out of town where Larry Sabin had set up some 50,000 lights in his driveway with a U-turn around the house. Principal interest was not the number of lights, but the 3-D effect achieved. Spectacular!

Saturday was a day of Jane’s type back roads, where Ewart led us to the rural valley of the Coquille, with interesting geology explanations. Then over the isthmus to the Cow River Valley, with more back roads up to the Golden and Silver Falls, the second major point of interest. All the heavy rain had made the falls look truly magnificent! They are at the end of a dead-end road. We were due to leave at 2:00, but could not find our driver. Richard Shrope is a very nice fellow, conscientious and a careful driver. But he had gone up the long trail by himself. Ray got his orange emergency whistle from his pack and went searching. He found Richard coming down about half-way; said he had become disoriented, lost his hat and glasses. Ray sent him on down and went up further and found the lost items. It is conjectured that Richard had had a spell and had fallen over. He subsequently got back to the bus to start the engine to make sure the batteries were good, the source of some previous trouble. The Borchardts walked down the road about three miles to the first house and called “911rdquo;, which arrived about 4:30, and called the Bus Company in Eugene; Don Moorehead arranged for a local school bus to bring us home. We reached Eugene by 10:30 after a stop in Coos Bay for a quick snack; we left at 8:30 in a crowded bus.

Riders were Ewart & Margaret Baldwin, John & Marian Borchardt, Mary Bridgeman, Shirley Cameron, Bernice Claypool, Clair Cooley, Shirley Froyd, Bep Fontana, Elizabeth Fox, Evelyn Hile, Ray Jensen, Rita Johnson, Rosella Jones, Beatrice LeFevre, Marie Loome, Norman Lumian, Mary Mallery, Perry Morrison, Virginia Prouty, Lois Schreiner, June Smith, Robin & Ethel Steussy, Christy White, Margaret Wiese, Birgitte Williams and Bill Eaton (leader).

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