We spent two great days hanging out with my sister and her husband, and by the time we pulled away we had a batch of fresh reservations waiting for us at campgrounds along the California coast. Jeff was feeling much better now that we were at a lower elevation, so we repacked the car and headed for our first camp site – Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon.
Jeff and I had never been to Oregon, so this was going to be a first for both of us. But before we could get there, we needed to cover 1,000 miles and get through what turned out to be the most tedious, creepy portion of the entire trip. We had decided to break the drive into two days and spend the night in Sparks, Nevada. Driving north from the Vegas area, Route 95 basically consists of hundreds of miles of desolate desert interspersed with teeny-tiny towns every 100 miles or so that time has clearly forgotten. A good chunk of it was only two lanes, and between the desolation, zero cell service, dearth of other cars, and smoke from the California wildfires hanging in the air, it felt like a weird Mad Max post-apocalyptic world. I found this picture on Google Images, from an article titled, “U.S. 95 is the worst highway in Nevada.” We haven’t been on many Nevada highways, but the author is likely correct. Picture hundreds of miles of this:
We were more than happy to put Route 95 in our rear-view mirror as we approached Sparks.
The drive from Sparks, NV to Brookings, Oregon, however, was filled with beautiful, scenic byways – pine trees, mountains, and lovely views.
It couldn’t have been more different than the previous day. And after another 500 miles we were gazing upon the Pacific Ocean. Ahhh. This had been our longest stretch without seeing an ocean since we began cruising, and it was most definitely a sight for sore eyes.
Harris Beach State Park was a great campground. The campsite had nice privacy and you could hear the ocean at night. It was a five minute walk to a bench that looked out onto the ocean, and we took our tea and coffee down there every morning after breakfast.
We enjoyed a scenic drive along the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor and generally reveled in the green foliage and the ocean after spending so many weeks in the desert and mountains.
They say you’re either an ocean person or a mountain person. When we were in Colorado I started wondering if I might be a mountain person. But when we got to the ocean there was no doubt in my mind: I’m an ocean person through and through.