Since I'd spent a good amount of time in Humboldt/Crescent City/Smith River on past roadtrips, I booked it through the rest of northern CA with only a short stop at the Crescent City jetty/pier. The "Welcome to Oregon" sign came and went, and I took a short break to hike down to Whalehead Beach.
Breezing through Coos Bay, I met Bridget and her friend Stephanie in Winchester Bay at 3pm. Our meeting point was the Windy Bay Sourdough Bakery, where Bridget and I split a sourdough bagel and tasted all the mustard samples. mmmm. We looked at a map of Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and selected the nearest trailhead: the Tahkenitch Dunes Trail. The complete loop, along the Threemile Lake Trail, the Tahkenich Dunes, and back along the Dunes trail is 6-miles.
The first leg of the trail meanders through the woods past some small lakes, with glimpses of the coastal dunes. In some locations a river of sand had come pouring down the hill, covering the trail (see pictures below).