Mid-May, Bandon OR
Traveling during the summer is hard. Kids are out of school and campgrounds are full of family vacationers, especially in popular state and national parks. To make matters worse, the weather can be hot making for an uncomfortable boondocking experience.
Last August, we got lucky and snagged a three night stay at South Beach State Park on the coast near Newport, Oregon. It never got above 70° even though temperatures 30 miles inland were in the uppers 90’s. We loved being there and it was then that we decided to plan better and return to the Oregon coast for this summer. With commercial RV parks costing lots of $$ and state parks limiting camping to 14 consecutive days, our best alternative was to seek out a volunteer position. So here we are, in Bandon, OR working as interpretive guides pointing out coastal wildlife to the locals and traveling tourists.
We’re volunteering with the Shoreline Education for Awareness, Inc., (SEA) a friends organization with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We’ll be here through early August explaining to visitors the habits of wildlife along the Oregon coast. Since our favorite pastime is critter-watching, we couldn’t ask for a better assignment.
Cindy and I work atop the cliffs along the mainland. Using high powered spotting scopes, we point out the nesting birds on the rocky islands just off the beach. Common Murres, pigeon guillemots, western gulls, pelagic cormorants and Brandt’s cormorants are the most common nesting birds we see but we’re also fortunate to have observed nesting peregrine falcons, black oystercatchers and tufted puffins. Visitors come from all over to see the tufted puffins and I hope to have a picture here soon.
Other volunteers work the tide pools at low tide. Cindy and I look forward to spending time down there during our days off.
Since we’ll be here for another two months, expect many more photos to come. This place is a photographers dream.