An All Day Drive to the Winchuck River in Oregon

Wednesday 4, 2015 Winchuck River Oregon

I was up early this morning for me, about 8:30. Once I got me going, I loaded the rest of the stuff in the van and did a double check on things on the way out the door. I left Guerneville around 9:30AM after gassing up the van.

My goal of to drive north on highway 101 and get across the Oregon border to the Winchuck River where I might kayak if all the conditions are good. My GPS said I should get there about 4:30PM if I didn’t dally on the way too much on the way.

With a forty gallon gas tank in the van, I didn’t have to stop for fuel. I only stopped a few times and each time was brief. Just enough time to get what needed to be done, a short break and I was on the way again.

There was quite a bit of high fog when I left Guerneville and along a lot of the way, but no rain yet. I didn’t see the sun much today.

I moved right along and arrived at the Winchuck River just after 4PM.

When I jumped out of the van, I could hardly walk, but that’s just my age. :O) I looked around at the mouth of the Winchuck to see if I wanted to kayak it. But everything said no, not today. It was already getting darker and it was misting a bit. And the tide was out, so I would have to move the boat a longer distance to put it in the water and the river’s current was a bit on the strong side, but doable.

This was my view of the Winchuck River’s mouth looking out into the Pacific Ocean. You can see the tide is out and it’s dark and misty.winchuck

 

This was my view looking up the river to the highway 101 bridge and you can see the river’s current is a bit strong.winchuck101

 

I gave up on kayaking the Winchuck, and moved to the next part of the plan, which was to cross highway 101 at the Winchuck entrance and go up CR896 about 8 miles and camp at a free place on the East Fork of the Winchuck River. I’d been there once before, but didn’t remember exactly how to get there. I remembered it was in the trees so there were no stars to be seen. It’s supposed to rain, so there’s plenty of clouds up there instead.

I drove up the road and found my campsite, but it had a big tent in it. I drove up the road further and didn’t find another place suitable to camp. So, I turned around and found a place just past the big tent, closer than I like, but this is the forest and there are only a few places to camp. I’m out of site of the tent and so far no one has shown up at the tent. The river is just outside the door and flowing fast enough to make a bit of noise, so I can’t hear anything else, except the water droplets falling on the van roof.

I’m not sure when the rain is going to start in earnest? I will try to kayak the Winchuck again in the morning if conditions are favorable. Then I will go to Brookings, OR. and get fuel and post this blog, then continue north to where Steve is staying, just below Humbug State Park, which is just below Port Orford.

I’m not sure what I’ll do or where I’ll go after that as we have at least a couple days of fairly hard rain to get through. I might stay where Steve is at the Arizona Lodge. I also have a nice campsite up the highway a few miles at a county road work area that I used before. It has a nice view over the Pacific Ocean and is good to view the sunsets. I also want to explore some places up the rivers by  Port Orford to find some camps out those roads, or just explore them. With all the rain coming, we’ll likely have a bit of time before the rivers will be good enough to fish and kayak again.

I’ll likely be following Steve around a bit as he fishes for steelhead, so we should get some good fishing pictures and who knows what? :O)

That’s the plan and don’t expect me to stick to it as I play it all by ear when I’m traveling around and exploring.

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