An Artist’s Summer Vacation – Coos Bay

Coos Bay State Park, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon has all of the character that one would expect to find in a coastal fishing village.  Forget the glitz and glamour of a seaside resort because you won’t find it here.  What you will find is an authentic working boat harbor where you can buy the day’s catch from the fisherman who caught it.  Albacore Tuna, Sea Cod,  Dungeness Crab and Clam Chowder are the staples of the menu here and you are more likely to be sitting side by side with local working class folks in any given restaurant than you are with tourists.

We are camped in Sunset Bay State Park just across the drawbridge that separates Coos Bay from Charleston.  From here, we set out on foot each day to hike through the giant pine trees along the cliff lined coast.  This is a paradise for the painter and the photographer and we have been fortunate to have experienced it in the contrasting moods of sunshine and fog.  A couple of days ago, we scrambled down a 200 foot cliff and spent an entire sun drenched afternoon on one particular beach.  The day’s sightings included a whale, which is rare this time of year, Sea Lions, every kind of bird and an active surf crashing into the offshore rocks.  Tammy shot photographs while I took a crack at painting the ocean en plein air for the first time.  It was a great day.

Having Fun

Last night was cool as a heavy fog and a light rain enveloped the coast.  The blasts of the fog-horn at the Charleston light house have become louder and longer, warning the ships at sea that they are near the hazardous shore.  Perhaps the horn is also bidding us farewell and safe passage as we prepare to head south and east, on to new destinations as we travel back to Colorado.