Today marks our fifth and final night at South Beach State Park
It’s rare that we stay in any one place for this long. In fact this 5 day stretch ties with our week in Livingston, MT for the longest stay in one place since we left Vermont. Why so much moving around? Well…I guess the short answer is because there’s so may places to go. The longer answer probably has to do with fact that we both have a tendency toward that “ants in your pants” feeling, and have a hard sticking sticking with any one thing for a long period of time. I think maybe that’s why this lifestyle fits us so well. Bored with where you’re at? Pick up and move. Don’t like your neighbors? Head to another campground. Anxious to see what’s happening in the next town or the next state? Hitch up your house and head on over to check it out.
See it’s perfect. Except that sometimes it’s tiring. Sometimes the thought of picking up all the dirty clothes, washing all the dishes, stowing all the electronics, and making sure all the cabinets are locked tight is exhausting (oops, did I just admit how messy it gets around here sometimes?) Not to mention the unhooking of water and electric, retracting the stabilizers and awning, hooking up the hitch, the constant checking of tires and brakes and all the other million things that have to be done before we can get on the road- only to know that you’ll have to do it all over again in reverse order when you arrive at the next campground. Ahhh! Sometimes it’s enough to make you just want to stay where you are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining…really I’m not. I’m only saying that it’s been nice to spend this extended amount of time in one place. Yesterday we never even left the campground. There was some sitting around in the sun, some football watching (not by me), a tiny bit of cleaning, a nice walk on the beach, and a lot of ball chasing (not me either).
The funny part about our five day stay here is that originally we only planned to stay three nights. Yesterday we were going to head down to Carl G. Washburne state park for a few days. Carl G. Wahsburne is another park on the coast known for its spectacular beaches and proximity to the Haceta Head Lighthouse. Unfortunately after scouring the Wheeling It blog review we learned that the internet was very slow and almost unusable at the park, even with an external amp. Well that wasn’t going to work for us right now, so we did the most logical thing- we stayed put.
By the way, I’ve been wondering lately how people traveled, or even lived, before the days of internet reviews. I find myself more obsessed than ever with online reviews. I check restaurant reviews on Urban Spoon and Yelp, hiking reviews on tripadviser, campground reviews on rvparkreviews and private blogs. I use the coverage app to make sure our next campground has internet so my online review addiction is not interrupted. I even look at laundromats on google street view so I know ahead of time that they’re not too scary looking. A review in one place is not enough for me. Before we go anywhere I need to find reviews on at least two separate websites to confirm that this place is really worth going. Hmm, I think I have a problem. I just re-read this paragraph and realize that I sound like a crazy person. Please tell me other people live like this. Maybe I need to take a break from the computer, or maybe I need to try a little spontaneity.
Back to the beach.
South Beach S.P. has more going for it than a usable Internet connection. In fact, we decided yesterday that when you factor in all aspects (location, beach, sites, facilities) this is our favorite Oregon state park so far. First of all, most of the sites get a decent amount of sun. Even in the more wooded sites the trees are short which allows some sun to shine down in. Our site in the back of D loop is very open with just a few trees on either side, and a big open grassy area behind us. I’m sure that in normal years the grass is nice and green around here, but since it’s been abnormally dry in Oregon, everything is brown and kind of crunchy. Who cares though, it’s still grass which is better than some of the dirt sites we’ve stayed at this summer. There’s a nice level pavement pad at each site, and this time of year you get a water and electric hook up for the low, low price of $22/night. The only potential issue with these sites is that while they are quite large, their angle combined with the closeness of the trees makes them hard to back into.
We had to try a couple times to make the turn without bashing into the tree across the street. Everyone else seems to be having the same problem and it’s been interesting to watch the big fifth wheels back and then re-back several times before making it in. The sites off the main road are occupied mostly by big motorhomes, which indicates that they must be easier to get into then the loop sites. This is a very popular weekend destination. We arrived on Thursday and by Friday night practically the entire campground was full. We saw 5 other Airstreams and even spotted one of the elusive drivable varieties.
In addition to the campground itself, the other thing we love about it here the close proximity to town. Newport is only a few minutes drive away where we have access to all kind of stores and restaurants. On Saturday we visited a really great small town farmer’s market where we picked up some kale, sweet red peppers, a delicata squash, some onions, a dozen local eggs, a loaf of freshly baked seeded sourdough bread ,and some gourds. More often than not when we’re staying near a town we seem to miss the farmer’s market by a day or two so it was a nice treat to make it this time. We ate dinner one night at the Rogue Brewery right on the harbor. The restaurant was packed so we ate in the bar which turned out to be a good choice. The bartender gave us complimentary samples of one of their Chatoe ales, which are brewed using all Oregon ingredients. You can even visit the farms where they grow the hops and barely- pretty cool. The food was good and the atmosphere very laid back and welcoming. We thought about going back the next day for a brewery tour, but somehow never made it.
While we greatly enjoyed exploring the town, the main attraction here is the beach of course! There are several paths of varying lengths that lead from the beach to the campground. The shortest path is a quarter mile and the longest is a half mile. Really you couldn’t get much closer without camping on the actual beach.
We’ve really enjoyed our extended stay here at South Beach. Tomorrow we’re headed east to hang out in Eugene for a few days and pick up the supplies for our highly anticipated solar installation!
Here’s a short video of Phineas leaping through the waves. He’s gotten quite brave!