2021 Pacific Northwest - Escaping the Smoke

Bandon Beach Night 2Bandon Beach Night 2Herb is always antsy to get on the road, so since it had been, in his mind, an interminable 4 weeks since our last getaway to Tahoe, it was time to hit the road again.

But where to go? Wildfires and the resultant smoky conditions were impacting most of the west coast. However, if you looked at an air quality map, there was a sliver of consistently good air along the coast. So the coast it would be.

I am the planner of the outfit, but this was Herb’s idea, so I left it in his capable hands. However, when the day before departure, I discovered that his plan was to just wing it, I sort of panicked. Since Covid, we have found that everyone seems to have discovered camping and the beautiful natural areas that the west has to offer the outdoor enthusiast (many of which are recent converts). Plus, the coast didn’t have as much BLM land for dispersed camping as such places as Moab, so we would have to rely more on established campgrounds or motels.

Cairn sunsetCairn sunsetTo feel more comfortable, I had to put a stake in the ground, if even just for the first night. We had heard wonderful things about Bandon Beach, Oregon, and seen photos in our Photographing Oregon book, so I decided to look for a motel there for our first night. I selected the Lighthouse Cove Inn, mostly because I liked its name (I am a sucker for marketing), and it was located near the Old Town, which meant convenient access to restaurants and cutesy stuff.

For the rest of the trip, I was always trying to stay a day or two ahead in terms of finding accommodations, which although a bit stressful for me, worked out just great in the end.

So we headed off in the 4Runner, fully equipped for camping, and headed north towards Bandon.

You can download a detailed pdf Road Trip Travel Itinerary or zipped Microsoft Streets and Trips Travel Road Map file for this trip using the links shown below.