Highway 101 Road Trip (Tragedy)

Skylar and I decided to hop in the car and take an overnight trip to California during the weekend of June 24-25. We stopped at the Trees of Mystery and got a few more redwood tree saplings and ended up down in Brookings. We stayed the night in Brookings, Oregon, had lunch at a wildlife refuge, and on our way home ended up being first on the scene at a single car accident. The man fell asleep at the wheel of his car and hit the embankment and flipped. His car, which was a Jeep Cherokee, caught fire and was completely destroyed by fire. The road trip overall was a great time, but that car wreck was pretty traumatic. On a side note, Skylar and I always enjoy taking random road trips. Mostly our trips are day trips, but from the where we live to Brookings was a lot way to drive. There were parts of Highway 101 that we haven't seen before, so overall it was a nice trip. 
 
We didn't make a lot of stops on our way to the Trees of Mystery, but once we crossed over the California border, we started to slow down some and enjoy the view. Highway 101 through this area of California is beautiful and the entire redwood area of the northern part of California is one of our favorite drives. Trees of Mystery put face masks on Babe the Ox and Paul Bunyan. We were actually happy to see that the gift shop was still open so we could get our redwood tree saplings. 

Coming into Eureka, California we took some pictures of the "Ghost Train" and along the side of the road was a dead bear. I've never seen a bear alive up close, so this was almost fascinating to us. It's sad to know that it probably got hit on the road and someone pulled it to the side. It wasn't a full-grown bear, and it's sad that it met his fate to a car.



We ended up staying the night in Brookings, Oregon, and video chatting with Jeff, since he had to stay and work. It was a nice night just checking things out in and around Brookings and relaxing for a bit before driving back.



We stopped for a bit in Gold Beach, Oregon. The last time we were here we road the Rogue River Jet Boats. Gold Beach is kind of a hidden gem of Oregon, really. There's a lot of beautiful things in and around this area. 


In Gold Beach, Oregon, the wreck of the Mary D. Hume sits and slowly is reclaimed back to the earth and salt water. The history of this tugboat is amazing and it's sad to see it just slowly falling apart and deteriorating. But, it had a good life when it was still functional.

We then came into Port Orford and as you can see from the sign, "Oldest Townsite on the Oregon Coast." Port Orford, Oregon, is one of my favorite little towns along the Oregon coast and Highway 101.

Not sure where this giant rock was headed, but that's the first time I've ever seen a rock this large being transported by truck on the roadway.

We stopped for lunch at a wildlife refuge in Bandon, Oregon. We pack light when we take road trips and make sure to eat foods that are filling, but won't be too unsettling in our stomachs. The items shown here are all organic, believe it, or not. They are:
  
We like to take the flour tortillas, spread cream cheese over one side, lay a pickle down in the middle, and roll it up. It's a quick, easy, on the road-type of snack and it's filling. You can click the images above to purchase this exact meal shown on the snack plate.

We arrived in Coos Bay, Oregon, which is about 50 miles from Port Orford. The drive along this area of Highway 101 is a bit boring, but there's still a lot of sites to see once you get to Coos Bay. We didn't stay long in Coos Bay, but took the time and checked out the pirate/fishing boats along the bay. 


I'm always drawn to tiny houses and this one was sitting along the bay front in Coos Bay and we stopped to admire it. I think it would be a great adventure to travel for awhile in a small, or tiny, home across the Pacific Coast Highway. Maybe one day soon.

We stopped at the Umpqua River Lighthouse once we left Coos Bay. This lighthouse is located in an area named Winchester Bay. It was build in the mid 1800s to give a point of reference for the river head. 



We stopped along the way to take some pictures of the fog and Heceta Head Lighthouse. We were really enjoying the trip until we came around the lighthouse viewpoint and saw this...

A man fell asleep at the wheel of his car and hit the embankment and flipped. As stated above, his car caught fire and burned completely. It exploded, and gas came burning out of the car like a hot torch. Skylar, me, another man and his son, as well as an off duty sheriff were right there when it happened. We helped get the man out of his car, get him stable, but there was nothing we could do about his car. He said he had been down on his luck and living in his vehicle. I felt helpless. You can read more about it in the following images. Skylar posted a story online about our experience. We are still pretty shaken up over it all. I do hope the man is going to okay and that he gets back on his feet soon. Definitely a road trip we won't be forgetting.


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