So true are these words from the 2007 blog of Terry Richard, travel and outdoor recreation reporter for The Oregonian since 1973. “It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the Oregon coast — and hardly anyone knows about it.”
We found out about it from the woman volunteer at the Port Orford Visitors Center. So today we decided to check it out. And luckily we did because tomorrow the whole area will close for a week for an emergency response training practice.
Terry Richard describes it best as “a rugged headland just north of Cape Blanco and one of the wildest spots on the coast. Traffic on U.S. 101 whizzes by three miles inland; only a few travelers make the effort to find it.”
But found it, we did… by traveling about 3 miles north of the entrance to Cape Blanco State Park toward Langlois. There is no sign, so slow down when you see Pacific High School on the right. Then, quickly look for Airport Road on the left. Take this road till it ends at the no longer used airport tarmac. There are places to park the car and a trail sign.
And we begin heading west on a wide off-road trail through the coastal forest. Then the path narrows and we stop suddenly so Jeff can calmly walk by a sunbathing snake. I, however, can’t move. When I finally do, I run by quickly and make so much noise that the poor little guy or gal slithers away.
We continue passing through Douglas firs, coastal pines, a winding creek, and several boggy areas.
The trail narrows…
Two signposts later and 2 left turns, we arrive at a large area under a canopy of pine trees. And I spy the ocean in all its glory, dotted with whitecaps and framed by trees bent by the wind.
And just beyond, we reach the coastal bluffs.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse shines periodically as it rotates around its fresnel lenses.
The sea stacks dominate the view.
The wind blows fiercely.
And I find a flower that tickles my fancy.