More Beach Bumming

My Favorite Moments

Battle Rock Beach June 22nd

Ripples of sand…

Tidal pools…

Sea anemones…

On the rocks…

Redfish Rocks…

Hubbard Creek changes channels to the sea…

Washed up…

Black Oyster Catchers…

Rooted in the sand…


Paradise point/Agate Beach June 26th… HAppy birthday, dad. You would have been 92 Years old. ❤

It’s a w-i-n-d-y day!

This colorful little beetle blows away after I take its picture…

As we continue walking south along the beach our backs are pelted by the tiny pebbles carried by the wind. Ouch! The only bums bumming along the shore are us…


Battle Rock beach again July 7th

Bundles of bull kelp…

Navigating the waves…

Notice the fishing vessel in the photo above and Redfish Rocks in the photo below.

And now I capture them both in the same photo…

Pecking order… Fresh crab…

Snail shells and other stuff stuck on sea rocks…

Hubbard Creek and Humbug Mountain…

Serious sand sculpting …

Blue skies, evergreens, sandy cliffs, and pink flowers…


Tseriadun State Park/Agate Beach July 10th

Blackberries…

Yummily tart to the taste…

Live crab…

Tidal pools…

A starfish mosaic created by the wind…

Port Orford Heads…

“Mussel Beach”…

Splish splash…

Agate hunters…

Humbug Mountain Beach

Searching for Coal Point

Yesterday we explored the beach from Rocky Point south to the waterfall. Today we drive further south to the Humbug Mountain Trailhead to walk north along the beach toward Coal Point.

So, instead of heading up the mountain trail, we take a detour under Highway 101…

….leading to Humbug Mountain State Park Campground.

We take the campground road leading to the beach trailhead that weaves back under the highway again.

Brush Creek runs parallel to the trail before merging into the Pacific Ocean.

Jeff finds a driftwood log to test his balance on.

The waves swell and crash onto shore.

Redfish Rocks…

I look north toward Rocky Point wondering if the far cliff to the left is Coal Point. Highway 101 winds through the mist above.

We walk to the group of rocks on the the shoreline, seen in the picture above. High tides bash them and low tides flow through them…

…creating a perfect habitat for the clinging colonies of barnacles, bivalves, sea anemones, seashells, and snails.

My skin still crawls when I come across these beehives of sea life. Yet, I am always amazed and fascinated and can’t stop taking pictures.

Meanwhile we continue walking north until the sandy beach becomes a rocky shore.

We abort our mission to find Coal Point and turn around, heading back toward Humbug Mountain.

Cool moments along the way…

Brush Creek hops, skips, and jumps into the Pacific Ocean.

Redfish Rocks, seagulls, and the creek carving a channel through the sand…

The creek hugging the side of Humbug Mountain…

…as we follow it back through the sand dunes and under the road again.

Rocky Point

Redfish Rocks… Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area

Shortly after arriving in Port Orford for our 3rd consecutive summer, Jeff and I start looking for volunteer opportunities in the community. On the local radio station I hear about the need for interpretive rangers, a volunteer position to provide awareness and information about the 2.7 square mile Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and the Marine Protected Area that extends another 5 square miles beyond. On May 31st I attend the first training session. (But I will share the rest of this story in a future post…)

Today Jeff and I just want to check out the beach along the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. According to the map, the Reserve extends between Rocky Point to the north and Coal Point to the south.


We drive south on 101 past Battle Rock Beach and look for an unmarked road that takes a jack knife turn down to a trailhead.

Below is a picture taken from the small parking area showing the road leading back up to the highway.

The trailhead down to the beach explains the no fishing restrictions. Clamming, however is permitted above the low tide line, as is beachcombing.

Before taking the trail down to the beach, however, we notice another trail across the guard rail in the parking area. So we explore this first.

This path turns out to be a scenic spur overlooking Rocky Point.

We’ve arrive at low tide. Notice how far the rocks extend beyond the sandy beach… In the distance some of the rocks of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve are visible through the haze.

I take a picture looking north toward Hubbard Creek and Battle Rock Beach.

To the south is Coal Point and Humbug Mountain.

We turn around and head back to the trailhead after deciding not to climb down to the beach from this cliff wearing our old sneakers.

And now we walk down to beach on the proper trail…

Can you see the red spot in the center of the photo below?

Here it is close up a few seconds later…

Another short jaunt…

And the ocean appears…

But to get to the beach, aptly named rocky, we have to climb over driftwood.

As we make our way through the driftwood jungle, I stop and take a picture of the Redfish Rocks.

We descend onto the rocky shoreline and discover tidal pools.

The tide has been out for awhile and there is no interesting sealife to observe.

The rocks reach way out to the sea.

And greet us every step of the way.

We head south and arrive at a l-o-o-o-o-o-ng piece of driftwood.  There’s Jeff standing at the far end.

And here is a view of the same long piece of driftwood taken from the scenic spur above.

As we continue walking south along the shoreline, the rocks on the beach get larger.

And the cliffs overhead show the uplifted stratified rock caused by the lifting of tectonic plates.

Below the cliffs, the shoreline rocks erode into grooves creating highways leading to the sea.

Meanwhile we continue heading south scrambling through the rocks and stepping over tidal pools.

Then I spy a long piece of bull kelp draped dramatically around some larger rocks.

Some powerful waves must have pushed this piece of driftwood ashore.

In the haze, Highway 101 runs across the top of the cliff.

Suddenly a waterfall appears.

And it gurgles its way to the sea.

We turn around and walk back, discovering works of art created by Mother Nature. Checkout this mixed-texture collage below…

Sand collects under crevices in the rocks while seaweed, fresh and old, sunbathes over a piece of driftwood. The yellowed kelp reminds me of a tattered garment.

I can’t think of an appropriate title to name it. Maybe you have one?

The artwork below is titled Kingdom of Cousin Itt.

The fog is lifting and you can see the 6 rocks of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. Usually only 5 are visible.

Below, Highway 101 cuts through the cliffs. It’s still quite hazy to the north. This stretch of the shoreline is less rocky.

But notice the large boulders covered with green lichen on the left side of the photo.

As we pass, I take a close-up shot of the limpet shells and barnacles attached like glue inside the crease of the rock.

And here’s the same picture a few feet away…

We are almost back to the driftwood jungle leading up to the trailhead. I get a good close-up of the Redfish Rocks and the low tide line.

This looks like the spot we need to climb through to reach the trail.

As I stand tall on a pile of driftwood, I take 2 more pictures.

Looking north…

And looking south…

On the far right you can see 2 of the 6 Redfish Rocks.


We return 5 days later to View Rocky Point during high tide.

Here are my photos comparing Rocky Point during low tide and high tide…


Low tide

High tide


Low tide

High tide


Low tide

High tide

…pretty amazing!

Cape Blanco Part Two

North of the Lighthouse

We park the car in a grassy turnout,  across from the road leading to the Cape Blanco State Park Campground, and enter the North trails trailhead. It’s 11:30 in the morning.

Today we plan on hiking to the mouth of the Sixes River and then return along the beach just below the Lighthouse.

So, it’s over the meadow and through the woods, with viewpoints of the beach below along the way… the same beach on which we will return.

Can you find the Cape Blanco Lighthouse in the picture below?

Somewhere out there is the mouth of the Sixes River. The promontory jutting out to sea is Blacklock Point.

We return to the trail…

The tree below demonstrates how wickedly the winds blast through here.

Another short spur with an ocean view…

The pine forest greets us with a colorful display…

Jeff finds an unusual rock sitting on tree limbs…

We continue through the forest…

It’s 12:00 when we head toward the Sixes River…

Foxgloves are blooming…

We reach the Castle Beach Trailhead at 12:30. Free range cows graze here but we don’t see any as we make our way to the ocean.

Ten minutes later…

There’s Cape Blanco in the distance below. Can you find the Lighthouse?

Castle Rock and the mouth of the Sixes River are further north. We make our way through the driftwood-littered beach to see them up close.

We turn around and walk south along the beach toward the Lighthouse.

I take pictures of the amazing beach landscapes we encounter, far and near…

Note the rocks in the foreground below.

Now share my amazement of the same rocks, close up…

A mosaic of “glued” shells, barnacles, and smaller rocks…

I try to pry loose some limpet shells but they are unwilling.

Sprays from crashing waves…

And where did this come from?

Barnacles still line its crevices…

And challenge Jeff to climb…

It’s 1:00 now. The beach is mellow today, the winds are calm.

Sometimes we walk through a Zen-like garden of rocks and rippled sand…

And sometimes we crush through a colorful rough patch of sea stones waiting to be discovered…

I look up and recognize the forest…

The rocks below are covered with old barnacles and mussels that fascinate me and gross me out at the same time…

I look up and recognize the meadow…

The Lighthouse and a haystack rock…

The Lighthouse focuses into view…

Kelp attached to barnacles, or barnacles attached to kelp…?

Sea foam..

Kelp or seaweed? Or both?

Both…

Catching surf perch…

The Lighthouse looms closer overhead…

We approach the trail leading from the beach back up to the Lighthouse gate…

Can you see where all the barnacles and shells cling to the rocks below?

A tangle of mussel shells attached to kelp…

The rocks below are a beautiful shade of green…

At 1:35 we recognize the driftwood entrance to the trail leading up to the Lighthouse gate…

We walk another 1/4 mile along the road to our parked car.


Some rocks and shells… including an agate, a tiny sand dollar, and blue sea glass.

Jeff posts the Oregon painted rock on Facebook but takes it down after he is deluged with comments.

He decides to hide it again…

Got Sand?

Paradise Point to the Mouth of the Elk River

Recently we hiked south from Cape Blanco to the mouth of the Elk River. So… today we decide to walk to Paradise Point and trek north along the beach to the mouth of the Elk River.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and the sky is so blue. The colorful spring flowers beg me to take their picture. We pass by Garrison Lake twice as we make our way to Paradise Point.

A little over a mile later we descend onto Agate Beach. The time is 11:02…

The sand is is so deep. The wind blasts us from the north. Tiny pebbles pummel us as we slowly slog our way toward the tributary of the Elk River.

A half hour later we are enjoying the view of sandy cliffs and driftwood washed ashore by high tides…

And we continue for another half hour, still amazed by the cliffs dripping with sand…

Meanwhile, the wind creates ripples of sand on the shore and the waves wash up pulverized pieces sea debris…

…stinging us in the face as we trudge forward. I can hear the sand hitting our jackets and sunglasses.

We slog, on tasting and smelling the sand as it flies by our noses and enters our mouths through gritted teeth.

The view of the carved cliffs along the shore keeps us happy and urges us forward.

The crashing waves entertain us.

Driftwood buried in drifts of sand intrigue us.

Finally we reach the place where the Elk River starts winding its way through the sand.

Free range cows from a neighboring farm mosey down to the beach.

We can’t be too far from the mouth of the Elk River now, can we?

Another half hour of slogging…

More driftwood buried in drifting sand…

I look back in the direction from where we started.

More driftwood ahead…

We’re both tired from the wind… But we have come too far to turn back. So we continue slogging north, hoping we are close.

Another half hour goes by…

The Elk River continues carving a channel to the sea.

…Until sand dunes block the view…

Here’s a good example of what the sand actually looks like. Notice how it is mixed with billions of tiny particles of shells and rocks ground down by the powerful forces of waves and wind.

In the distance is Cape Blanco, the landform jutting out into the ocean. Look closely and you can barely make out the Lighthouse sitting atop the green cliff to the right of the sandstone edge.

Directly in front of us is the litter of driftwood deposited by high tides.

Closer to shore this embedded piece of wood stands stoically while getting pounded by waves.

And we’re still not there yet!

But the river is visible again cutting through the sand along the cliffs. There’s more driftwood collections.

At last… Eureka, we find it! I zoom in and take a picture of the Elk River getting swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean.

Cape Blanco appears in the upper left of the photo below. Needle Rock rises proudly beneath it. The Lighthouse stands on the promontory to the left of Needle Rock.

We encounter 4 men with 2 ATVs. They passed us along the beach about an hour ago.

Three of them are catching surf perch and they let me take pictures.

As I watch and take pictures, they catch about 5 fish in a matter of several minutes.

Jeff and I walk up to the mouth of the river and sit on some driftwood, spill the sand out of our shoes, and shake out our socks.

As we head back to Paradise Point, the 4th man offers us a ride back to Paradise Point on his ATV. He is not fishing and knows how long it will take us to walk back along the beach. He has room for one passenger at a time and doesn’t mind driving us back in 2 trips.

Yes! Thank you! Really? Are you sure?

His ATV has a cargo bed so we spare him 2 trips. I sit in the passenger’s seat and Jeff rides in back.

Yes! Thank you!

As we ride back to Paradise Point I try to get a picture of Jeff in the cargo bed in the overhead mirrors, but I am not successful.

Here is our Good Samaritan, Larry Brown, dropping us off at Paradise Point!

Now it’s just a mile to home, sweet home…

Our catch of the day…

Oh, but what you cannot see is the sand we caught in our hair, ears, mouths, clothes, bodies, shoes, socks…

Something’s Fishy

“Fishy, fishy in the brook…”

The fishy is a rainbow trout and actually it was caught in Garrison Lake.

“Papa caught it on a hook…”

Actually, our neighbor, Kenneth caught it with his fishing rod.

“Mama fries it in a pan…”

Oh hell, no! Jeff fillets the trout and cooks it.

“Baby eats it like a man…”

“Jeff shows Kenneth the cooked pan…”

Then we eat it as fast as we can!

Cape Blanco Part One

South of the Lighthouse

We have never explored the trails beyond the Cape Blanco Lighthouse except to walk down to visit the beach near Gull Rock and return.

Today we start at the South Cape Trailhead, take the beach to the mouth of the Elk River, and return via the beach to Needle Rock where we find a path back up the hill to our parked car.

oregonhikers.org

Cape Blanco Lighthouse…

Needle Rock as it appears from the parking area…

The trailhead leads us through an open meadow with several detours leading to spectacular views of the Oregon coast. I circled the first viewpoint in the picture below. Some people are standing there now.

And here we are, replacing those people I circled before. That’s Needle Rock below, looking less needle-like from this perspective. The land form to the right,  jutting out to the sea, is the most westerly point in Oregon. The lighthouse is located on this promontory.

To the south is Humbug Mountain and the Port Orford Heads where the Lifeboat Museum is located.

North…

South…

Due west…

More viewpoints…

We enter the woods that run parallel to the Cape Blanco State Park Campground.

The woods emerge into a large grassy area with picnic tables overlooking the ocean.

We end up on a road that descends onto the beach.

To the north is a view of Needle Rock, the most westerly point in Oregon, and barely visible is the Cape Blanco Lighthouse.

The beach is calm here and flat. Jeff wiggles his 10 piggies in the cold waters.

We walk to the mouth of the Elk River.

Two kids just slid down this sand dune on their butts!

We arrive at the Elk River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

Then we meet Rover, the dog who loves to run and swim. He even catches a fish as he frolicks in the river waters.

It’s possible to cross the river, but we start back instead.

This is the most populated beach we have encountered in Port Orford. Of course, it is Memorial Day weekend and the closest beach to the campground. A few families with lots of kids and sand toys. Two sunbathers tanning on the sand dunes. Many beach bums like us. (I try to take pictures without people in them.)

Notice the sand drifts surrounding this piece of driftwood.

The south side of Needle Rock.

The east side of Needle Rock.

From the beach we search for a pathway leading up to the parking area. We can’t see it from here but we saw it from above and could trace it from the first viewpoint we came to on the South Cape Trail. I remember it went down to a pile of driftwood  to the left of the Needle.

I get a hunch and send Jeff up to survey. Eureka!

We make it!

Our beach souvenirs…