Re-Visiting An Old Favorite – Bandon, OR
There’s no denying that we have a very strong affinity for the PNW beach towns. The coastline is spectacular (of course) and 100% dog-friendly (of course), both aspects that add exponential bonus points to every place we go here. But there’s also the whole feel of these spots. It’s that vibe thing again, and everything on the Oregon Coast just seems to have it for us.
The whole length of OR Hwy 101 is littered with small towns, most of which developed around fishing & logging that have now transformed into vibrant little spots with a very local focus -> local community, local produce, local shops. Many of these places don’t have a Redbox, Starbucks or Walmart in sight. Instead you’re getting your DVDs at the local video store (remember those?), you’re buying your coffee at the local drive-through espresso stand (an Oregon specialty) and you’re shopping at the local farmers market where everyone remembers your name.
“You’re here early this season aren’t you?” said the guy behind the coffee bean stand “You still like the dark roast?”
We hadn’t been in Bandon for 2 years and yet everyone (every single person!) at the farmers market still remembered me. The cheesecake lady (Chubby Girl Cheesecake -> seriously DO NOT miss this lady if you see her), the fish shop (fresh-caught Rockfish had been delivered that morning, plus they had just stocked-up on local pastured pork & grass-fed beef), the coffee guy (Capt Beans Coffee -> delicious stuff), the gal at the raw-food Pet Store (Dog Style Boutique -> the BEST doggie treats in the world!). They all remembered our story, the fact that we were local volunteers and exactly what kind of food-preferences we have.
I imagine that folks who grew up in a small town know this kind of familiarity all too well, but for us “big city” folks it’s quite astonishing. Coming here is like coming back home after a long absence. Your life might have changed 1000 times since your last visit, but everything here is still exactly the same and you’re welcomed back like you never left. Honestly there’s something really comforting in that.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Bandon is one of our top two all-time favorite towns on the Oregon Coast (Astoria is the other one, by the way) .
We liked Bandon so much over the years that we hired a Real Estate agent (TWO years in a row) to look at houses. We even got so far on one particular super-cute 1950’s cedar-shingled house that we had a contractor come in to give us a quote on a complete reno. The house was right no doubt, but the timing was just off. Mere hours before we placed a bid, we decided to pass it by. In our hearts of hearts we just knew our wander lust was still too strong, and we weren’t quite ready to settle-down, even part time.
But we still dream about this place.
When we re-arranged our spring travel schedule, we knew we HAD to make it to Bandon even if just for a few days. So we booked a spot at our favorite State Park (video review coming) and settled in for a week-end of beach-gawking, lounging and eating. And that’s pretty much exactly what we did -> we had fish tacos at Tony’s Crab Shack, enjoyed the ridiculously large $2 child-size ice cream portions at FaceRock Creamery, soaked in a sunset at super-cute Coquille River lighthouse (where we volunteered for 2 years), and basked in an afternoon of warm colors and sea-stack beauty at the ever-breathtaking Coquille Point. Plus, of course we couldn’t miss the excellent Fri/Sat Farmers Market, an absolute “must do” for anyone who visits the area.
I imagine that one day, maybe down the line, Bandon might become a part-time spot for us. After all, every period in life has a beginning and an end and we’ve always known that RVing would be just that for us -> a temporary period (albeit a rather extended one) that would eventually end. For me the key is not to grieve the possibility of those changes, but to try and live and love (as much as is humanly possible) in the present by fully valuing what we have now so that I may be able to embrace what might be in the future.
Oh dear, I’m getting deep again aren’t I?
Fear not dear blog readers. I may become philosophical about our travels ends, but our nomadic hearts are still beating strong and we have many, many miles of road ahead of us. I always say we started this RV journey as a “one-year plan” and we’ve been on a one-year plan ever since. We just haven’t stopped renewing it yet…
Our short stay here marks the end of our “accelerated” Spring Coastal drive north. We could have easily spent another month or two meandering along our old favorite Coastal spots, hanging at more of the lighthouses and indulging in the inviting vibe that is the Oregon Coast, but life moves on and we have stuff to do. From here we head inland for some “beastly” TLC (yearly service) in Eugene followed by an extended stay (for me at least) in Portland while Paul flies home to take care of his family stuff.
While Paul is gone I’ll get up to my usual solo explorations, and will no doubt have some Nina-worthy shenanigans to share on the blog. And as long as I don’t end up in the ER (which is a bit of a specialty of mine whenever Paul is gone), I think it’ll all go just fine. It’s what I do, after all 🙂
Adieu dear Coastline. You know we’ll be back!
Bandon – Related Blog Posts:
- SP Campground Review – Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon
- The Creative Art Of Sea Trash -> WashedAshore.Org In Bandon
- “Home” On The Beach – Bandon, OR
- Sentinals Of The Sea – Bandon Sea Stacks, Bandon, OR
- Gone A-Golfin’ (With The Paws)! Face Rock Golf, Bandon, OR
- The Perfect Sunset
- Exploring Nature’s Ocean Theatre -> Tide Pools Of The OR Coast
- Rocks In Rocks – Discovering The Cool & Wacky World Of Concretions
- Botanical & Geological Wonderland – The Cape Arago Headland
- Two Weeks And A Dane On The OR Coast
Coquille River Lighthouse Volunteering – Related Blog Posts: