Oregon: Bandon, Bullard’s and Beaches

Oregon — cool temperatures, green trees, rivers, beaches and the Pacific Ocean— couldn’t come soon enough after three hot, rough days traveling across Arizona and up California. Arriving at Bullard’s Beach State Park near Bandon Oregon, we were reminded how wonderful the Oregon State Parks System is. 

Old Coquille Light House

The Perfect Camping Site

We parked in a beautiful grove of trees, just a short hike from a seemingly endless beach — ocean on one side and giant sand dunes on the other. Not a house or structure in sight, other than the old Coquille Lighthouse at the mouth of the Coquille River. The high temperature for our seven-day stay was 61-degrees.


It was time to head into Bandon and do some grocery shopping. But first, a little tourist activity. Bandon has three majestic overlook views of Face Rock and of course has a Historic Old Town (one large square block). It had been 8 years since I ate at Tony’s Crab Shack. I was looking forward to it four years ago when we passed through, but it was off season (September) and at 6:30 pm, the town was already buttoned up. 

Everything You Need, But Underwear!

Bandon, Oregon is a small place. When golfing at nearby Bandon Dunes Resort eight years ago, my suitcase never arrived. Luckily, the airline got my clubs there so it was four days of golf in the same shorts and underwear. I could buy a new shirt each day in the resort pro shops but no underwear for sale anywhere that I could find. I washed them in the sink with hand soap, but with the cool weather they were cold and wet each morning. I'm not sure the provided hair dryer had been used as I used it before.

Tony's Crab Shack / 5 Stars!!

A fine Chardonnay to go with our crab!

Deborah was cold and wanted to make sure we could get a seat inside Tony’s little shack. She passed on renting a crab trap and setting on the dock for an hour to catch our own crabs for Tony to cook. I couldn’t brag enough about how good the food was going to be. The place may look like a 2-star joint but it has 5-star seafood.

Fortunately, we got the lone low top table in the corner. After placing our order at the single counter window cubbyhole, we sat and enjoyed a bottle of the only chardoney ($21.50) choice available. It’s simply amazing how good a cheap wine, in a cheap joint, drank out of a cheap plastic cup, can taste! As I gazed across the street I pointed out the old Mercantile building to Deborah. “They sell everything in there,” I said, “except underwear.”

Tony does have great food, from several varieties of crab sandwiches to full crab, shrimp, and clam dinners. All, of course, served on paper plates with plastic forks and knives. No dishwasher needed here. Another limited need is a crab supplier. As mentioned, Tony supplies the full tourist experience. First he rents you a crab trap to drop into the bay off a dock no more than 200-feet away.  You get a grand $2 off your crab dinner for each crab you offer him to cook for you. Then, finally, after a great experience and wonderful food, he sells you a couple of tee-shirts!

Life in a Motorcoach

#LifeInAMotorcoach is a style Deborah and I have embraced. We knew very little when we set out last summer but jumping in, the learning curve was very accelerated. Thus, we thought we set off as veterans this summer. Perhaps our confidence was overly optimistic as we quickly made a couple of dumb mistakes.   Humbled, we were able to use our experience to our advantage. If you ever dreamed of wandering our great country in #RVLife, allow me to reassure you that fulfilling those dreams is easier than you may think.

Oregon State Parks/5 Stars

We hurried to get out of the early June heat in Arizona and overachieved when we reached the southern coast of Oregon. At Bullards Beach State Park, just north of Bandon, coats were standard and plenty of blankets were needed, at night, with temps dropping into the 40’s. Without a doubt, Oregon has the nicest State Park system of any of the western states we have visited.

At Bullards Beach Campground, we parked in site B-52. It is a very private and well maintained pad with electric, water, and sewer. We lucked out as this pad had a sliver of an opening through the trees to the southeast so our Direct-TV dish worked. The quietness of camping without TV for a long weekend or a short vacation is quite enjoyable. When you are living in a motorcoach, TV is nice to have.

Bullards is quiet. It is nestled in a grove of trees, protecting it from coastal winds and away from any road railroad noise. Located just a short half-mile hike through wide-open links land which lead to massive sand dunes before the Pacific Ocean.

Walks on the Beach

Once on the beach, there are markers every mile so you can remember your entrance point through the dunes. Without them, one could easily lose their position. The view is uninterrupted for miles, no signs of other humans other than an occasional couple, starting as distant specks and slowly taking on life form as they approach and pass. They are usually accompanied by one or more dogs enjoying the freedom on an endless beach run.

It is a long, flat beach where you can sometimes wade 100 yards out into the chilly North Pacific water and still be less than knee deep. The only variations are an occasional giant rock that rises up from the beach and the size and amount of drift-logs that the ocean has pushed all the way up against the dunes. Sometimes, giant stumps rest halfway up the beach where the ocean has not yet moved them all the way to the dunes.

Deborah’s Perspective

Time in Oregon has been such a wonderful way to start our 2018 Risk Blossoming Adventure.  Oregon casts a spell on visitors, and inspires one to truly chill, sit back, and enjoy the scenery.  And, we have done exactly that.  

The time at Bullard’s Beach allowed us to re-organize the contents of BAM with its new space effective design, learn how to operate our new dishwasher, and wash clothes, towels, and sheets in our stackable washer and dryer. I am loving BAM’s renovations!!  

Friends from Home

Meeting up with Steve and Chris Fell!!

I also loved meeting with with Chris and Steve Fell. Through Facebook, we both discovered that we were in Bandon, and quickly decided to meet up one evening at Foley’s, an Irish Bar in historic downtown Bandon.  I had worked with both Steve and Chris at National Bank of Arizona. While Tim knew of Chris and Steve, it was truly a first time for all of us to spend quality time together. The Fells were navigating their motorhome north along the beautiful Oregon Coast with their sights set on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  We had a wonderful time comparing notes and discussing places visited and things to do. 

The camaraderie, story-telling, and a couple of Irish Whiskeys created a wonderful foundation of “friends for life.” 

The Gift of Connecting

For me, staying connected with friends, meeting up with old and new friends, getting feedback from our followers with recommendations on where to go or what to eat is such an important part of our Risk Blossoming Adventure.  So please stay in touch.  We love hearing from you - and we would love connecting with you - should the opportunity present itself.

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Please share, leave comments, and let us know if there is an opportunity to connect or a suggestion to go see one of your favorite places!  We love hearing from you.