Thursday, August 22, 2013

Another Oregon Coast getaway with friends

August 12-14, 2013
Florence, Oregon
Woahink Lake Cabin

One of the highlights of summers in Oregon has been staying overnight with our friends Mike and Moe at a lake cabin in Florence, Oregon. Moe grew up in the mid-West where she enjoyed vacations at a lake every summer. Not long after moving to Oregon, she and her husband Mike started looking for  lakeside cabin rentals for summer retreats and this year they bought their own! Luckily, we and another couple, Sharon and Bruce, have been able to join them for a few days every summer the past three years on Mercer Lake and this year we all had the pleasure of staying in their newly purchased cabin on Lake Woahink, just a few miles south of Florence. It has the great feeling of being in a tree house—perfect Oregon rustic charm and a wonderful sandy beach and dock for water


When we all arrived, I had to break out something I had been saving for two months: Pommery’s Pop Champagne that you drink from a straw. It seemed like a perfect way to inaugurate our time together.


Mike and Moe are big-time dog lovers. They used to have two labs, but now have just one, Fenway, who is an avid swimmer. One delight of going to the lake with them is having our dogs be welcome and giving them a chance to swim in the lake. Even though they are both water dogs, Jetta is the only one of our two dogs who likes to swim; Rico is actually a stronger swimmer, but he doesn’t like jumping off docks or swimming in deep water. Rico does like, however, going for a ride on the kayaks and chasing Fenway around. A trip to the lake is definitely a great pleasure for the pooches. (Somehow, I thought I was off-duty as photographer during this time.)

More importantly, we were able to spend precious time with our friends as Sharon and Bruce live in Mexico and we only make it to Oregon once a year now.  As you can imagine when three foodie couples get together, meals and drinks take center stage. We have discovered a great restaurant in Florence, the Waterfront Depot, which we have gone to every year but it is often difficult to get into without reservation which is what happened this year—on a Monday night! Fortunately, they opened an annex called 1285Restobar across the street which serves Italian food along with several Waterfront favorites. We all enjoyed it just as much as the food and ambiance were terrific.



Last year we brought our two Hobie kayaks to the Mercer Lake cabin and everyone had a chance to take them out for a spin. Mike and Moe were seduced by the mirage drive option—pedaling vs. only paddling—and made it a priority to buy their own this year which they did. Ironically, we did not bring ours this year but we all took turns touring the lake in their Hobies and Rico even got his chance to go with me for a ride.

bruce and mike at lakefront

moe and fenny in kayak

plan for day two at the lake was to swim, kayak, read, play cards and make our own meal on the grill.  I think Victor sneaked a nap in there as well.

vic and bruce on couches at cabin

The girls and I went into town to buy seafood for the grill and came home with tri-tip—the little fish market by the docks was closed. Bummer.

sharon and moe shopping for fish

Nevertheless, we had an amazing meal with portobello mushrooms, a garden salad, French bread with grilling cheese, and a dessert of Euphoria dark chocolate mint sauce on ice cream. (Oh, and I can’t leave out the Irish Coffee in vintage mugs.) The best part was the camaraderie of being together for a few days before we all headed in different directions.


On our last day in Florence, we all went on a beach trek at the South Jetty. One surprise was being able to use Vic’s national park pass for free parking as it is a National Recreation Area. To get to the beach, you have to climb up and down a pretty daunting sand dune.

Once there though, the beach stretches for miles and the sand is compact for easy walking. The day started out rather overcast and chilly, but by the time we reached the beach, the skies started to clear and, amazingly, the wind died down for a lovely beach walk.

bruce and sharon on beach

We saw a surprising number of sea creatures on our beach walk. Moe had quite a collection by the end of our walk which included a large piece of sea glass which I discovered. I also came across a stranded starfish and couldn’t help but think of the starfish story that ends. “It made a difference for this one.”  I had to save it.

After an invigorating walk on the beach, nothing sounds better than a bowl of clam chowder. We headed back into town for a late lunch before going back to the cabin to pack up. I am not big on goodbyes, so the lucky part here is that we all planned to meet again the next day for Happy Hour in Corvallis. Let’s just say we know how to have a good time and were committed to make the most of our time together while we were in town.

I leave you with a red rock crab and sand dollar. . . .


  1. Oh this sounds like such a good time with friends. I think I need some friends with a great cabin on a lake. You guys do know how to have fun in Oregon. I hope we can be there at the same time you are one summer so we can just follow you around.

  2. I love that Starfish story and thanks for saving it.

    That sounds like such a nice time with your friends and in a beautiful area.

  3. What a terrific time with friends:) It must be a beautiful home. How nice for your friends to finally have their own place.

    The lake looked so pretty. Great kayaking!

    Glad the dogs had a friend to play with also:)

  4. I love Florence. We had the best time there. Since we are lucky enough to have friends with an amazing house, we stayed at Harbor Vista County Park. Beautiful! Cape Perpetua is fantastic. What a lovely area for sure.

  5. What fun! And what great memories you made!
    The starfish is so pretty. And I love the seeing the pups having a great time too.

    That is such a pretty coast...I do hope we get there one day.

  6. Looked like such fun! Loved the crab and starfish pics!

  7. So glad you rescued the starfish! We never were fortunate enough to see a starfish on all the beaches we visited. Will try even harder next year. Maybe it was because we did not go to Florence?


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