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Driving at night along the coast

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West Haven, Utah
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Driving at night along the coast

I have a 7 day itinerary from San Francisco to Seattle, mostly up Highway 101. Pretty packed in, but comfortable with what we are doing until we get to southern Oregon. I am planning a Rogue river jetboat trip that goes from 2:30 until 8pm, then have to drive 2.5 hours from Gold Beach to Florence after 8 pm. Is this crazy? I already have reservations in Florence, and we have an early reservation for the sand dune buggy ride, then meeting family in early afternoon in Newport, so it could be tight. Should I stay in Coos Bay or Reedsport instead and just get up early? Keep in mind, I am traveling with 3 teenagers at the end of July. 1) Will I miss a must see and 2) will I be driving mostly in the dark on a long winding road?

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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1. Re: Driving at night along the coast

Nope, not crazy :-)

First of all, I see you are not from a big city, which helps, lol! It will stay light until about 9 pm or a bit later, which will put you between Bandon and Coos Bay. From there to Florence the road is mostly inland, so you'll not be missing any "wow" ocean views. That particular stretch is pretty darn straight and flat. There is the hill north of Gardner, but it's easy, same for the one south of Reedsport.

One thing I would highly recommend, though, particularly with teenagers. Take a few minutes just south of Reedsport and visit the Umpqua lighthouse. Yes, after dark. It has both white and red lights, and is set against some hills, and the lights reflect off the hills in an almost psychedelic(sp?) pattern - quite cool! Follow the signs west as you near the top of the hill, it's about a mile off 101.

You will miss the elk inland from Reedsport, but you should see them on the stretch north of Eureka, north of Orick.

Oregon
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2. Re: Driving at night along the coast

well. it will be tight, but sounds like you have no options with commitments made.

Not what I would recommend, but...

Depends on where dune buggy rides are and what time for deciding stop for night. traveling til 11 at night only requires a room when you get there. not much to see in drive along coast from Port Orford to North Bend, and North bend to Florence so-so, and worse at night if you are just driving.

Many nice stops off 101 if you have time.

However with kids that age you mave have right plan.

Florence, Oregon
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for Oregon Coast
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3. Re: Driving at night along the coast

Very doable drive from Gold Beach to Florenc and the time estimate is close. I do encourage you to keep your speed down and watch the shoulders for critters, especially deer. If you see eyeballs glowing, slow WAY down or stop b/c if there are one set, there are usually more.

Reedsport, Oregon
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4. Re: Driving at night along the coast

2.5 hrs. in daylight, with good conditions and knowing the road, yes it could be doable. At night and not knowing the road I think that's pushing it. And one thing not mentioned yet is the possibility of fog. Sometimes a hot day in the valley will draw in the fog on the coast. If you leave GB at 8:00 you should have roughly 45 minutes to sunset and with twilight it should get you past Bandon. And with another hour it would get you to Reedsport. Between Bandon and Reedsport the highway is not too bad. Past Reedsport the road gets back to more hilly and winding. And after that boat trip you will be beat. I have done it twice. Personally I wouldn't push it past Reedsport. Then you only have a half hour drive to Florence after that.

West Haven, Utah
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5. Re: Driving at night along the coast

Thanks a ton for all your insights! Definitely food for thought. I am sure we will have a great time....

6. Re: Driving at night along the coast

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