the wandering chick
...Loon Lake
and Highway 38

Our first destination was the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. It was very close to where my travel companion and I were staying, so it didn't take long to count the elk we saw, wait for some movement, then decide what we wanted to do next.

Then we saw the sign to Loon Lake. Well, we had to go see if there were loons. We weren't expecting the lake to be so large with nooks and coves at every turn, so we realized there was little chance we'd be seeing loons on this outing.

But we were quite impressed with this jewel of a recreation site 20 miles inland from Reedsport, deep in the Coastal Mountain Range. It has a swimming area with a sandy beach. All boating sports are allowed, as is fishing. A campground with paddle boat and kayak rentals is also available.

We may not have seen loons at the lake, but we did see a small herd of elk at the viewing area.

Highway 38 meanders along the course of the scenic Umpqua River, particularly tranquil on this beautfiul sunny day.

Loon Lake
Loon Lake
Loon Lake
Loon Lake
autumn leaves
autumn leaves
buoys in water
paddle boats tied at dock
kayaks on shore
small herd of elk in field
This and the next few shots were taken at the Loon Lake Recreation Site. Loon Lake runs for two miles, covers 220 acres and is surrounded by forests of Douglas fir, western hemlock and red cedar.
male elk with rack in field
The Umpqua River
Elk at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, Highway 38, east from Reedsport
The Umpqua River is the focal point of Highway 38 as the scenic two-lane road leaves Reedsport. The Umpqua empties in Winchester Bay after traveling a little more than 100 miles inland. As are most rivers in Oregon, it's popular for fishing and boating. There are several pullovers on the highway for just standing and taking in its beauty.
the Umpqua River
The Umpqua River
the Umpqua River
There is some history behind the name of this wayside overlooking the Umpqua River. On August 8, 1850, the schooner Samuel Roberts was making its maiden voyage and a record. It was the first American vessel to navigate the Umpqua River. The crew grounded on the sand bar, however, and decided to wait until morning for the tide to float the boat back out. With nothing to do that evening, they 'floated' their worries away with a little too much on-board brandy. Hence the name, the Brandy Bar Wayside.

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