Volunteering at Bullards Beach gave us the opportunity to stay rent-free for an additional month before heading south for the winter. We had checked the Oregon State Park volunteer website and saw that they had a vacancy for lighthouse hosts. After contacting the park, we learned that the lighthouse would only be open the first two weeks of October, and that after that we would do site maintenance. It sounded different and new, so we signed up.
Arriving on the 1st of the month, we set up in one of the host sites near the entrance. The site was long and expanded in the back to become quite large, and was separated from other sites by trees and bushes. We had full hookups with 50A, a fire ring, and table. The only drawback was that we were across from the dumpster which didn’t exactly provide a scenic view.
Our Interpretive Ranger was a lovely young lady named Julie who was friendly and easy to work with. We started with two three-hour shifts in the lighthouse, from 8-5 PM. Our duties were for Brenda to welcome visitors and sell items from the gift shop, while I was stationed in the small light room where I’d tell people about the lighthouse and what they were viewing. As it turned out, we only pulled two shifts before a coastal storm with huge waves covered the parking lot with debris and closed the lighthouse for the year.
And so we began our new careers in “site maintenance” which was really campsite cleanup. Monday thru Friday we would pick up our list of sites to be cleaned, usually between 10 and 20, check out a cart, and head for the sites. I’d clean the pad with the leaf blower while Brenda raked if needed and picked up any trash, usually less than ten minutes per site. We usually had to wait for a few people to vacate by the 1:00 checkout time, but generally were done by 1:30 at the latest. Easy to do, and once we were done, we had the rest of the day free. No campers to deal with, no firewood to sell, nothing but enjoy the area. Unlike Humbug Mountain, Bullards has volunteers who are “greeters” and sell firewood, so site maintenance hosts don’t get involved. We felt sorry for the Yurt hosts, they spent hours cleaning – not our kind of volunteer work.
The great little town of Bandon is three miles away with shops, restaurants, waterfront area for crabbing, and a great farmer’s market on Friday and Saturday. Coos Bay and North Bend, with lots of shopping and restaurants (and casino) is just 20 miles north. We highly recommend this park and may return some day.