When we had decided that our initial full-time travels would include touring the Oregon Coast, we knew we would spend some time at Winchester Bay. Several blogs that we have been following made mention of the location, and in particular, the Winchester Bay RV Resort. This park is located entirely on a peninsula that juts out to the point (no pun intended) where the Umpqua River meets the Pacific Ocean just inside the treacherous Windy Cove jetty. And on its east side, the park also overlooks the Winchester Bay Marina. This is where our site was located, site #8, overlooking the marina. Here’s our view out the windshield…
Winchester Bay is adjacent to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area which stretches along the Oregon Coast to the south for about 25 miles all the way to Coos Bay. The dunes are an amazing sight to see, more like mountains of forest-covered sand in many places than what one would expect as a “dune”. Equally amazing, are the motor coaches and mega buck trailers that show up filled with “toys” to run the dunes. We saw more than one coach, trailer, all terrain vehicles set-up that easily exceeded 1 million dollars. Obviously, members of the “He who dies with the most toys wins” club.
But, as beautiful as the dunes are, we came to Winchester Bay to learn about crabbing. And the first thing we learned was that this area is a favorite for those that want to catch delectable and sought after Dungeness Crab. The second thing we learned is that catching crab is not particularly difficult…with a little patience and the right equipment. And, you don’t even need a boat.
We met Larry and Jerry, two close friends who, along with there wives Jan and Mary have been coming to Winchester Bay for years from Virginia City, Nevada. They became our crabbing mentors. They explained that you don’t need a nearly 100 lb. commercial type crab pot to go crabbing. There are several inexpensive types of alternative traps and snares for the occasional crabber. Maybe one of the more popular traps is the “book” type, which comes in different sizes. Basically, it is baited and lowered using a fishing rod and reel. When it is on the bottom, it lays flat like an open book. When it is raised, it closes like a closed book. The crab, or crabs, become the bookmarks. 🙂
This place is also great for bicycling, whether in the RV Resort, or over to the village, marina and coast guard station, down the road to the Umpqua Lighthouse, or to the beach. With a couple of good weather days while here, we finally got to ride our bikes.
We spent three days here and, except for the rain, we loved it. Having spent the last six weeks in the Pacific Northwest, with rain a lot of the time, we are ready for sunny weather. And although you expect rain here, even the locals are telling us this has been unusual. Nevertheless, we must be gluttons for punishment since we will be heading further NORTH from here before finally turning toward the east.