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Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial SP, OR

One of our favorite stops in Oregon was our time at the Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Campground. This is the second largest campground in the state of Oregon with over 300 various campsites for tents and RV’s, ranging in offerings from no to full hookups. There are two lakes located in the park and access to sand dunes making this park popular with boaters, ATV vehicles, sand boarders, and other water sports enthusiasts. Honeyman is located outside the city of Florence and this particular area is well appreciated for its Oregon Dunes. According to Wikipedia, the dunes are an accumulation of windswept sand over the millions of years of wind and rain erosion and are said to be the largest area of coastal sand dunes in North America. They are undoubtably beautiful and the contrast of the white sand next to the blueness of the waters of Cleawox Lake  is breathtaking.

We had been told that July and August were a popular time at this park with families. “Popular” of course is synonymous with “crowded.”   We felt very fortunate to be visiting here in June as it was rather empty on the lake side and on our side of the campground.  In fact, the loop in front of us was closed and there were no other campers on our loop leaving us to feel as if we were the only ones in the park.  We visited this park Wed. July 18th- Sat, July 21st and stayed in loop E.  Being the only ones camping on our loop meant we enjoyed the bathroom/showers located on our loop to ourselves.  The facilities were always clean and the showers were free.

We spent most of our days on the Cleawox Lake in the water or on the dunes.  Hubby found a sand board rental shop in town that carried both adult and child boards.  They even had sitting boards which my daughter preferred to use.  The boys picked up sand boarding quite easily and alternated their time between the dunes and the water.

Dogs are allowed everywhere except on the swimming beach and in the boat rentals. Lucky for Lady, hubby received an inflatable boat for Father’s Day and she was able to accompany us on our boat as we toured the lake. We had one set of oars and will need more as rowing was quite popular activity for the kids. This gave hubby and I the chance to sit back and relax, pretending to be on a date together in a relaxing setting rather than the reality of our situation. The reality was we were all crammed together with our active splashing and often argumentative kids fighting over turns with the oars and shouting directions while our dog preferred to lay across us rather than have to sit by the wet and loud children. Ah…good times.

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Ultimately, three days was not long enough and we could have stayed a week or two to include participating in the Jr. Ranger programs, visiting the other lake, more boat rides, bike rides, picnics by the lake, sand boarding and ATVing on the sand dunes. We enjoyed our time thoroughly and wouldn’t mind a return visit if we happen to pass this way again on our travels.

And now I will leave you with an interesting observation. Did you know newts like to be submerged in the lake?  We see lots of newts in California in the damp forests and by creeks but I had never seen one in the water before.  All along the shore line in the clear water you can see them moving across the bottom of the lake.  A little strange to see them scurrying along the floor of the sandy shore. Collecting and playing with the newts at the beach was an added enjoyment for my littles.

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