Monday, October 4, 2010

Turn Right at the Pacific Ocean: Sept 29

It's a bacon, fruit, and yogurt morning.

The sentinel coast redwoods, standing as they have for a couple thousand years, are unmoved by our departure. A couple miles more and we end our westward ho with a single right-hand turn on California 101, heading north a scant 15 miles to Oregon.

The fog hangs in sheets over agricultural land.

And then, our first glimpse of the Pacific this trip.

We stop briefly in Brooking OR to hit an ACE hardware and Sac's Thrift Avenue to pick up an extra short-sleeved shirt for Art and another pair of shorts for me. It's been so warm we need reinforcements (naturally, as I write this on Oct 1 I'm sitting in in a cool foggy harbor in long pants and a turtleneck).

The drama out the car window as we drive north is captivating.

We cross the Rogue River in Gold Beach, heading toward Cape Blanco State Park.

A left-hand turn toward the ocean and three miles later we're there.

Today's route in pink:

The fog is crazy, pouring in giant waves out of the sky and onto the ground. Looking upward, the sky seems to be moving on fast-forward.

Cape Blanco is perched over the Pacific and offers some worthy attractions in addition to its inherent beauty. We never make it to the Howard Hughes house, built in 1898 for a pioneer dairy farmer. The 11-room, 3000 sq foot house built of old-growth cedar is on the National Register.
We sign in and I drop $20 into the envelope, wondering as I almost always do what marvels await us for such an affordable admission fee.

The camp host and WW2 guy give me a hand with wood.

I ask about his hat and he tells me it's from the ship from which W announced "Mission Accomplished." The camp host remarks that he's not certain he'd be telling people that were he the one wearing the hat. (I say nothing.)

The wind is blowing like crazy. I gotta put pants on. We like the wood carts here, $5 a load.

The perfect lunch, with a capful of dry sherry stirred in.

Towering pines backdrop our site, with a slope to the ocean. Generous spaces here.

Plus a lovely lighted path to the bathhouse.

It's here I run into the WW2 guy's wife and her pal picking huckleberries to make jam. She tells me they do it every year. Turns out they're growing everywhere and everyone seems to be gathering them--a fly fisherman tells us he's picked 6 quarts for his wife to make pies.

We unpack and walk the mile or so to the lighthouse, and once we leave the campground the winds off the Pacific become wicked.

However, the views are worth the battering.

A worker tells me in the 1960s the winds were recorded at 160+ mph here before the measuring device broke (I guess so).

This is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast. Commissioned in 1870 to support shipping generated by the gold mining and lumber industries.

As we head back, the light changes and Art gets a couple magnificent shots:

 I follow in his wake.

Click the picture to see the brilliant blue bird who scolded me for getting too close on our walk back. He was loading up on ripe huckleberries.

Can you see Art on the camp road? More enormous trees.

On sunny days I like to air out our bedding. Art asks me if we're sleeping on the picnic table tonight. We make popcorn to restore our energy levels after the windy walk.
Dinner is steamed broccoli and beets with miso...and pate and crackers. Tomorrow we'll walk the beach trail.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are both having a wonderful time and enjoying the weather... Chicago is supposed to frost tonight!