Tag Archives: black bear

Sutton Campground and Sutton Creek Trail, near Florence, OR

Since we’ll be managing this area next year we thought we’d camp and explore it.  Sutton Campground is located about 4 miles north of Florence and accessible via Hwy 101.   Campsites are nestled in dense, lush growth typical of coastal Oregon.  Some sites, in loops A and B, overlook Sutton Creek.  Most sites have a feeling of privacy due to the dense forest.  Loops A , B  and D  have sites with electricty.

Sutton Campground Map
Sutton Campground Map

Although you access the campground via the Sutton Beach Rd, there is no easy access to the beach.  Sutton Creek Trail is a system that provides easy to moderate hiking for 2 – 6 miles.  There are some level areas and some rolling hills.  Views include Sutton Creek, dunes, Alder Lake, Dune Lake, Buck Lake, Sutton Lake, Holman Vista and Darlingtonia Trail.

Sutton Creek Trail Map
Sutton Creek Trail Map

Loop C is for tent camping and has about 11 sites.  Loop D is reserveable for groups and contains 11 sites with a common picnic area that has electricity.  2 other campsites in this group have electricity at the site.  These loops are not recommended for trailers or large RVs.

Loop D Group
Loop D Group Picnic

A couple restrooms in Loops C and D look pretty new.  Maybe they upgraded them last summer?

Flush Restrooms
Flush Restrooms throughout the Campground

The sun was shining this morning, and I hadn’t been for a walk in a while, so I decided to walk the trail towards the beach.  It’s 1.25 miles to the beach.  That doesn’t sound too bad.  As I started thinking about the Hosts telling us about the black bears that live in the area, I tried my whistling skills.  hahaha – I’ve had no whistling skills since I was 10 when my braces took them away.  Then I started getting tired and realized how long it had been since I’d exercised regularly.  Maybe I should have had breakfast first?   Maybe I should have brought the cell phone?  I wonder if the walk back would be shorter if I took the road instead of the trail?  I thought I remembered going to Holman Vista last year and being disappointed by not being able to even see the ocean.  Then the trail came close to the road.  I kept thinking, “I’m almost there.  I should just keep going.”  Nope, my legs are too tired.  So I walked back on Sutton Beach Road and Don was waiting for me at the campsite.

Sutton Creek Trail
Sutton Creek Trail

It is a pretty trail.  I wonder if kids play in the creek in the summer?  We drove down to Holman Vista and walked out on the boardwalk to the view point.  It is pretty also but the dunes block your view of the ocean.  I like seeing the ocean.  We saw foot tracks over the dunes so I’m sure you can get to the ocean from there.  Even though the campground is over a mile away, we could hear the waves when we laid in bed last night.

Osprey, Racoons and Bears, Oh MY!

The Forest Service law enforcement officer, Ginger, came through yesterday.  She spent a lot of time talking to people who were leaving coolers out in their sites.  When we (campground managers) talk to the campers it’s like a mom.  They get so used to us that they put us on ‘ignore’.  But, when law enforcement comes in, it’s more like when ‘dad gets home’!  Anyway, the bears are still coming through the campground nightly.  It has been a sow with two young cubs for the last 3 nights – well, early morning between 4 and 7am.  Bears go by sight as much as smell.  If they have found food in a cooler, plastic container or grill once, they will check out every one they see again; even if it doesn’t smell like food.  So, basically, if we aren’t preparing or eating food, all the containers need to go back into the vehicles.

Beyond Hope Marina
Beyond Hope Marina

Hope is the closest town to Sam Owen Campground.  But the Beyond Hope resort community is all around us.  Ginger said there are a lot of new homes in the area.  That means there are fewer places for the bears to turn over rocks and stumps to find food.  We have encroached on their territory so we shouldn’t be surprised when they come knocking on our door.  We were talking to a home owner this week about the bears.  She said she had one of those ‘Freddy Kruger’ moments the night before.  They were upstairs sleeping when the bear came into the downstairs to feed out of her refrigerator for the 4th night in a row.  The bear, for whatever reason, stood up and was scratching on the ceiling!  They don’t own any weapons but their neighbor does and, next time, they’ll call him!  They decided to empty their fridge and leave the door open so the bear could see there was nothing inside.  So, hopefully, he’ll go somewhere else for breakfast.

Our Backyard
Our Backyard

The deer have left our hanging baskets alone and we even see a hummingbird every now and then.  Calliope Hummingbirds are supposed to be prevalent here but we haven’t gotten a close enough look to tell what we’re seeing.  This view is a little better than the Lodgepole view of the Dump Station. 🙂

Sam Owen Campground Beach
Sam Owen Campground Beach

I almost called this ‘Rocky Point’!  That was a campground in northern California, near Chester, where we worked a couple summers.  Sam Owen reminds us a lot of that campground.  As you can see, the beach is more gravel than sand.  But, I’ve heard, that the bottom is sandy after you get out to about hip deep in the water.  I heard a loon this morning!

Osprey
Osprey

The young osprey have fledged now.  They are learning to fish on their own now too.

You don’t normally see racoons during the day but a dog scared one out of a culvert yesterday (no camera with me).  It was a pretty good sized racoon!  A couple nights ago, when a bear ate the food out of a camper’s cooler, the Host asked if it could have been a racoon instead of a bear.  The lady showed him the teeth marks in the cooler and the scat and they decided that it was either a 300 lb bear or 300 lb racoon…it didn’t much matter which.  We just knew we didn’t want him back.

Hidden Picture - Can you find the fawn?
Hidden Picture - Can you find the fawn?