It is a long drive from Boise, ID to Florence, OR. Google maps shows almost 9 hours, however pulling a trailer adds a considerable amount of time to the drive. The area between Boise and Bed, OR is rather desolate nad not much to see in that area. Fortunately Liz had found a good audio book for us to listen to!
We stopped for fuel at La Pine, OR. Our fuel stops are determined by our two fuel cards, Gas Buddy and EFS, both of which use apps to locate fuel stops on our travel routes. Our Gas Buddy app showed pricing recently reported by a card user at the station we chose. This stop was our worst fuel station experience we have ever encountered. In Oregon you do not pump your own fuel, there are attendants that do that. We waited several minutes while the attendant was chatting with the driver ahead of us. Once we finally were at the pump, the attendant told us the station does not take Gas Buddy cards. We knew this to be untrue as anuther card user had just reported the pricing. He made it clear that he wold not even try the card, which we knew from his attitude that he just did not want to have to deal with putting in the pin code.
After leaving I saw in my mirror that the fuel cap had not been installed. After driving for miles before finding a place to pull over, we finally found a place. I jumped out to install the cap and unknowingly I apparently swept the Gas Buddy card out of the truck. After discovering the card was gone, we backtracked but never found the card.
Anyway, it was a long day and a bit frustrating as well, but all in all there were no significant issues.
Arriving at South Jetty
Arriving at the RV park we had reserved was a huge disappointment, details HERE. After one night, we moved to a different campground in the area.
At this point, we elected to leave the campground and moved to a Good Sam RV Park in the area. Click HERE for details.
Oregon, as all states we have been to, requires permits for watercraft, including kayaks. On Day 2 we were reminded that most roadside attractions have parking fees. We knew this from previous visits and also recalled that a coastal pass is available to cover most of these state and federal fees. Finding where to purchase a pass is always something to sort out. In Florence, we purchased the watercraft pass at a Bi-Mart, (also available at Fred Meyer.). The watercraft passes are available for 1 week, 1 year, or 2 years. We purchased a 1 week and will likely buy another 1 week later in the trip. Two 1 week passes are less than a 1 year pass. The Coastal Pass was more difficult, there was one place in Florence that sells the pass, The Sportsman, and they were out of them. We found that pass at Honeyman State Park at the ranger/information building. This pass is a one year pass. We acquired the passes on Day 3, along with the other errands we took care of.
While we have been to the Oregon Coast many times, we have not really explored the Florence area to any extent. Florence is a fair sized coastal town with a reasonable selection of amenities. It does however, in our experience take a bit of effort to find what you are looking for. The town has a Safeway and a Fred Meyer, but the selection of organic food is at a minimum. The old bay front, which is along the Siuslaw River, is a nice setting and an enjoyable place to spend time.
The town of Florence is not actually on the ocean, the Siuslaw River is between the ocean and the town. And of course, sand dunes everywhere.
The RV park where we stayed is at the north end of the town where the Siuslaw River meets the ocean. Heceta Beach is the first beach you come to, which is at the north end of the town and where our RV park was located. The beach is a long sandy beach that extends from the river jetty to the north.
Our Experiences in the Florence Area
Day 1 – Exploring Florence
Day 2 – Heceta Head
Day 3 – Errand Day
Day 4 – Cape Perpetua / Devil’s Churn
Day 5 – Cottage Grove
Day 6 – Free Day / No Agenda
Day 7 – Hiking