Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area

I am pleased to report that I have FINALLY seen a fairly large number of elk in the wild.  I had stopped at this area a few miles east of Reedsport, Oregon on Wednesday as I drove up to Florence, which features a lengthy parking area parallel to the main road (but separated from it) where people can safely watch the fields for elk which have come out of the wooded area behind it.  These are free range elk but evidently choose to hang out in this area on a fairly regular basis.

When I stopped by on Wednesday I saw, of course, zero elk.  Par for the course for me.  I have been to a huge elk preserve outside of Jackson, Wyoming on two different trips there and didn’t see any there either.  Nor did I see any in central Pennsylvania (a state I’ve lived in most of my life and didn’t even KNOW there were elk there).  A few years ago I was driving through rural northern Wisconsin at night (I had put myself “on the clock” and arrived later than expected at my Airbnb there).  That night I saw signs warning of elk crossing the road for the next 20 miles.  I’ve wanted to see an elk in the wild but was glad that I DIDN’T see any that night!

But I digress…

Thursday afternoon I returned to this area near Reedsport and, sure enough, there were maybe 30 elk out grazing in the fields.  There were quite a few adult females (called cows) and their offspring, which were obviously smaller in size but were getting pretty big.  I did not see any adult males (called bulls).






I returned Thursday in the late afternoon and spotted one huge bull – although he wasn’t in the “viewing area” but in a field about a half mile before it (where there wasn’t anywhere to safely park).  I went and got pictures of the other elk (maybe twice as many as I had seen earlier in the day) then parked back towards town and walked back along the main road to get some pictures of the bull.  This group of cows was evidently his “harem” – that’s really what they call it.  Adult males will amass a loyal following of females which he breeds with and that group is, in fact, called a harem.











Darling’s RV Campground & Marina

This was my Airbnb home for two nights while staying near Florence, Oregon.  I was in a one-room apartment without any scenic view (which I knew when I made the reservation) but I was there mainly to sleep, shower and post my blog.  The other features of the facility more than made up for it.  The campground sits a short ways off busy Highway 101 so there was virtually no traffic other than people coming to the campground itself and a handful of neighbors.  The campground sits just across a small road from the north shore of Sitcoos Lake, and they have a few docks where you may rent boats, jetskis and kayaks or put your own in the water and enjoy the lake.




The current owners bought the dormant 100-year old resort about 4 years ago and have breathed new life into it by putting in a lot of hard work and long hours.  They have a small, friendly staff who help maintain the grounds and cook 3-meals a day in their restaurant/pub.  It is a wholesome, family environment and reminded me very much of a husband/wife operated resort in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania which was a client of mine when I lived and worked up there.  Most of the guests here have their own motorhomes or large pull-behind trailers but there were also some more primitive campsites and rental units like the one I stayed in.

Thursday evening, my final night there, I caught these scenes in the early evening as the sun was setting out over the ocean: