A Scenic Road Trip

Close to Home

It’s an overcast drizzly day in Port Orford so we decide to check out the town of Langlois, 13 miles north of Port Orford.

Oregon author Jane Kirkpatrick is scheduled to speak on April 28th at the Langlois Cheese Factory so we head there first.

 google maps 

Jane has written 30 historical fiction and non-fiction titles. A lively, humorous, and inspirational speaker, 72 year-old Kirkpatrick is a frequent presenter for conferences, women’s retreats, and workshops. (jkbooks.com)


Unfortunately we don’t find this venue (with no cheese). All we see are old dilapidated buildings. I know it’s there somewhere.

What we do find are sheep… so cute… so vocal. As I get out of the car to take a picture, a few wander over to greet me. I take a video but when I play it back you can’t hear them baa-ing. Just look at these cuties!

Langlois is a quaint little community between mileposts 287 and 288 along Highway 101. The Langlois Market is the gathering place for local farmers and ranchers, especially at lunchtime where hungry customers order deli sandwiches or the house specialty, a hot dog famous for its special mustard sauce. Groceries available include Oregon wines, cheeses, and craft beers. For $5 you can fill up your growler with some local brew.

Across the street is the wool factory, a co-op of local merchants who knit, sew, and design amazing items out of wool in its various forms. Did you know you can make felt out of raw fleece?

The building that houses the Wild Rivers Wool Factory Outlet used to be a Catholic Church. It was built in 1917 under the direction of a young priest, just 20 years-old. Father Joseph P. Clancy was assigned to south coast mission churches, traveling the stagecoach line from Bandon to Gold Beach. (portorfordoregon.com)

On our way back, we head east on Elk River Road in Port Orford. Two summers ago we stayed a few nights at Elk River Campground off this road. The road runs parallel to the river and we decide to take a scenic drive through rolling pastures and hillsides covered in yellow gorse.

In 2 miles we pass Elk River Campground and continue another 5.5 miles east to the fish hatchery. The Elk River Hatchery collects salmon, incubates eggs, and raises natural and hatchery Fall Chinook and Winter Steelhead salmon. (dfw.state.or.us)

We continue for 10 more miles pulling over every now and then to take pictures of the delightful scenery, such as this unique mailbox below…

The rolling hills and pastoral settings give way to a narrow road lined with leaning trees.

Finally, Elk River Road, aka Curry County Route 208, ends and we pick up a U.S. Forest Service road which eventually turns into a one-lane parkway.

But here the river changes color.

The water becomes crystal clear and turns a beautiful aquamarine…

…And flows rapidly over rocks churning into foamy pools the color of milk.

Waterfalls seep from the hillside on the other side of the road.

Some trickle.

Others roar.

What a great day finding hidden treasures along Oregon’s southern coast.

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