No Place to Stay

We plan to spend the night in Seaside, roughly 200 miles north of Winchester Bay. The last time we stayed in Seaside, 3 years ago, we stayed at Circle Creek RV Resort. Jeff called them several times and left messages, but no one ever called back so the only place with room for us was at Trucke’s 1 Stop, a gas station and RV Park. We reserved a spot, only to find out when we arrive, that for $35 a night in an open backyard we only have electricity. We need water too.

Back on the road, heading north, we ponder what to do. We stop by a few RV places and call others nearby, but everyone is full. One park had room, but our motorhome at 35 feet was too big.

So, we keep driving and calling and looking and stopping from Gearhart to Warrenton, to Astoria in Oregon to Megler to Chinook to Ilwaco in Washington. Nothing!

Finally I find a place in Ocean Park, Washington, the Ocean Park Resort Motel & RV Park. It’s a bit out of the way off of Highway 101 on the Long Beach peninsula between Cape Disappointment State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

The woman on the phone couldn’t have been any sweeter if she was rolled in sugar!


Here we are crossing the Columbia River…

And here we are in Ocean Park, Washington, arriving at our overnight place.


Long Beach Peninsula

This arm of land in southwestern Washington is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Columbia River to the south, and Willapa Bay to the east and north. The peninsula is known for its 28 miles of continuous sand beaches, making it a popular vacation destination for people from Seattle, WA (165 miles away) and Portland, OR (115 miles away). (en.m.wikipedia.org)

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The Chinook people first occupied the whole peninsula area. After European seafarers discovered the area, a fur trade arose. Later, pioneers arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and by the 1830s an oyster trade began in Willapa Bay. Settlers soon followed. By 1850 there were permanent settlements around Willapa Bay. Oysterville soon dominated the northern area of the peninsula. (chinookobserver.com)

Although tourism is now the principal industry… fishing, crabbing, oyster farming, and cranberry farming are major components of the local economy.

Ilwaco is a small fishing village located on the southern edge of the Long Beach Peninsula. It was the home to the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company,  a 3-foot narrow gauge railroad that ran for over 40 years  (1889-1930) from the Columbia River up the peninsula to Nahcotta on Willapa Bay. Unofficially known as the Clamshell Railroad, the only railroad that ran with the tides, it served tourists, residents, Willapa Bay shellfish growers, farmers, and loggers. (en.m.wikipedia.org and historylink.org)

Seaview was developed in the 1880s by Jonathan Stout, a cooper from Ohio, as a summer community for the gentry of Portland. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

Long Beach began as Tinkerville when Henry Harrison Tinker bought a land claim from Charles E. Reed in 1880 and platted the town. Incorporated in 1922 as Long Beach, the town boasts miles of beaches, a 1/2-mile-long dunes boardwalk, and an 8.5-mile paved coastal trail. It is the quintessential beach town with colorful shops, lodging, amusements, and recreation galore. (en.m.wikipedia.org and oregoncoastmagazine.com)

Ocean Park was started as a Methodist church camp in 1883 in response to the raucous nature of Oysterville, about 10 miles north on the Long Beach Peninsula, by settlers convinced that a more religious environment was needed. (chinookobserver.com)

Nahcotta is named for Chief Nahcati of the Chinook people. This small eastern fishing port was the end of the line for the Clamshell Railroad. (visitlongbeachpeninsula.com)

Oysterville was first settled in 1841 by John Douglas who married a local Chinook woman. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought settlers here to spend their gold on Willapa Bay oysters. Settlers and Chinooks filled schooners with oysters and shipped them to San Francisco. By 1854 Oyster Beach became Oysterville with a population of around 800. When the native oyster business came to an end, so did the town. Today it remains as a historical district preserving days gone by. (chinookobserver.com)

Winchester Bay

After spending a lovely time at Shore Acres State Park, we head back to Tony’s RV Repair for some not so lovely news.

First of all, the wrong lights for replacement were ordered. Secondly all the seals on the RV will need replacing. So, we schedule an appointment for this 2-day process for September 16th when we are back in Port Orford. But wait, there’s more…

It’s not a “must do” yet, but the rollers under our 2 slide-outs are causing wear and tear on the underside of the slide. This will take 2 weeks to repair and cost thousands of dollars! Fortunately we have time to mull this dilemma over and perhaps get a second or third opinion.

So, we head to Shark Bites and eat some delicious fish tacos. The water they serve is flavored with fresh slices of lemons, limes, and oranges.

After completing our grocery shopping we return to Tony’s to hitch the tow and load the car. And off we go…


Winchester Bay… Salmon Harbor

About 20 miles north of Coos Bay is a small fishing village located near the mouth of the Umpqua River. The town of Winchester Bay sits on Salmon Harbor. We spend the night at Windy Cove County Park Just across from the harbor.

Cute restaurants…

A great place to get fresh tuna, salmon, and crab.

Chain-sawed carvings…


Besides fishing, ATVing is a popular sport as there is easy access to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

 

A glimpse of the Umpqua River Lighthouse, the only one on the Oregon Coast that emits a red and white light…

The original lighthouse, built in 1857, was the first light on the Oregon Coast. Four years later, however, it started to succumb to erosion and by 1864 it was abandoned and dismantled.

A second Umpqua River Lighthouse was built farther inland on a headland above the mouth of the river and the lantern was lit on the last day of December 1984. (lighthousefriends.com)

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Shore Acres State Park

Charleston, Oregon

We’re off for a month long tour of Olympic National Park, Mt. Ranier National Park, and Glacier National Park. Don’t worry, Port Orford, the Jernigans will return in September for another 3 1/2 weeks before returning to Thousand Palms, California!

Anyway… We start our journey in Coos Bay, 50 miles north of Port Orford, at Tony’s RV Service and Repair where we have an appointment to check the roof and seals of our RV, replace some indoor lights, and replace the tube for the front window washer fluid.


After dropping off the RV and unhitching the car, we travel southwest of Coos Bay on Cape Arago Highway (Oregon Hwy 540) to Charleston, a quaint fishing village. Jeff wants to see Cape Arago Lighthouse. Unfortunately, we discover that the road to the lighthouse is inaccessible.

The current lighthouse, the newest on the Oregon Coast in terms of service, is actually the 3rd to be built on this site. It’s lamp was lit in 1934. The previous 2, built in 1866 and 1909, succumbed to the effects of harsh weather and erosion.

The property and lighthouse were turned over to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians in 2013. (oregoncoastmagazine.com)

Not easily discouraged, we continue south and west on 540 through Sunset Bay State Park. After seeing a sign for Shore Acres State Park, our destination, we drive by a turnoff and catch a quick view of the lighthouse.

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Shore Acres State Park

Shore Acres began as the private estate of lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson. What started as a summer home became a 3-story mansion, overlooking the ocean, with a heated indoor swimming pool and a large ballroom. The grounds included 5 acres of formal gardens, featuring an oriental garden and a 100-foot lily pond.

In 1921 after fire destroyed the original mansion, Simpson built an even bigger one to replace it. During the Great Depression, however, Simpson suffered severe financial losses and both the house and gardens fell into disrepair.

In 1942 the state of Oregon purchased Shore Acres for use as a public park. The mansion was grazed and an enclosed observation building now occupies its site. All the formal gardens were restored to their original splendor. (park brochure)


Two forces are wearing away these rock formations day by day. The first force is the powerful ocean surf hitting the rocks and exploding into 25-40 foot geysers. The second force is the evaporation of these billions of droplets of seawater deposited on the rocks that cause salt weathering. (plaque inside observation building)

Take a look at this picture of a wave exploding at Shore Acres!

According to oregonsadventurecoast.com, Shore Acres State Park is one of the best stormwatching spots on the coast because of its location on an 80 foot cliff. (The term “stormwatching” has more to do with ocean conditions rather than actual weather conditions.) When conditions in the ocean create large swells, they explode into amazing waves.  A 15-20 foot swell will turn into a wave over 100 feet high, and swells of 25-35 feet create waves as high as 250-300 feet!


What are these clamshell-like protrusions standing at attention?

Called concretions, they are compact masses of mineral matter embedded in a host rock. They form before the rest of the sediment hardens into solid rock. The pre-rock cementing material collects around a nucleus of decaying organic material. (plaque in observation building)

This concretion looks like a piece of driftwood!

These layers of rock are part of the 45 million year old Coaledo Formation, a geologic formation in Oregon that has preserved fossils dating back to the Paleogene period. (plaque in observation building and en.m.wikipedia.org)

The layers tilt at a 40-45 degree angle from the Juan de Fuca plate colliding with the North American plate. (plaque inside observation building)


Before we leave the cliffside overlooking the sea and walk over to the gardens, I snap a few shots of wildflowers…

Kneeling angelica blossoms… perhaps?

Could these be calla lilies…?

I think these are buffaloberries or bullberriesThe single berries look like a small blueberry and are sweet with a bitter tasting skin.

And I take pics of these…

Red-hot pokers and daisies planted near the observation building…


Some of the flowers are labeled in the formal gardens.

Bear’s breeches from Southern Europe…

Prickly rhubarb from Chile…

The lily pond…

Australian fuchsia, called “dusky bells”…

Gorgeous gladioli

I call these next set of flowers “pretty in pink”

Mexican shell flower

And another?…

Japanese cedar

A monkey puzzle tree from Chile…


Simpson Beach is a short and scenic hike away from the gardens.

We keep hearing seals barking and are expecting to find them on the beach.

But we are wrong and a little disappointed, so we follow a trail beyond the beach and trust our ears to guide us in the right direction.

We’re getting closer to the sounds.

These salt weathered rocks remind me of alligators.

The seals sound like they are frolicking on the line of rocks just below the marine layer.

This is as close as we can get before the trail starts looping away from the ocean. Jeff wishes he had brought his binoculars!

We turn around and retrace our steps back to the beach and to the observation building and along the side of the 80 foot cliff back to our car.

I find 2 very interesting trees. This one looks like a creature from a sci fi movie.

And this one’s roots remind me of one of Paulene and Kenneth’s chickens named Paulene because they both have big feet!


What a place!

Washed Ashore Project

Art to Save the Sea…

Paulene and I spend a “girls’ day” in Bandon’s Old Town on the Coquille River.

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We have breakfast at the Minute Cafe.

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We enjoy browsing through the stores in Old Town.


THEN, we discover these outside sculptures created from trash!

We head inside to the Washed Ashore museum and we are amazed!

Washed Ashore builds and exhibits aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways and spark positive changes in consumer habits. (Mission Statement)

Look what you can crotchet out of plastic bags…

These exhibits will astound you!

A sea star…

A sea anemone…

Dinosaur bones…

A shark…

A seahorse…

A sea turtle…

The plaque below Tula the Turtle points out that nearly all species of sea turtle are now classified as threatened or endangered. Humans are primarily responsible for the decline in their numbers.

Plastic bags are one of the most common marine debris items in global oceans where they can be mistaken as jellyfish and eaten by sea turtles and other animals.

B.Y.O.B… Bring Your Own Bag… Every bag you refuse could save a turtle’s life!

Masks…

I’m not sure about this one. I call it the Darth Vader forest…

Styrofoam rocks and barnacles…

…and Paulene in the middle…

The project area is sorted by color.

We spend a few minutes sorting out bottle cap rings.


WashedAshore.org… Art to Save the Sea

washedashore.org

Founder and Director, Angela Haseltine Pozzi, began this project in 2010 with the help of interns, apprentices, a small dedicated staff and thousands of community volunteers. Together, under Angela’s direction, they began creating artwork made completely from garbage collected from beaches.

Now, thousands of pounds of marine debris have been removed from beaches and processed into over 60 works of art which travel the country to raise awareness and teach about the tragedy facing sea life in the world’s oceans. (plaque in museum)

Lowest Tides of the Year

July 3rd… Tseriadan State Park and Agate Beach

Piddocks burrowing holes in rocks…

Pholadidea, also known as piddocks or angelwings, are a family of bivalve molluscs similar to a clam. One of the piddock’s shells has a set of ridges or “teeth” which it uses to grind away at rock to create tubular burrows. The shape of these burrows is due to the rotating motion of the piddock as it grinds the rock to make its home. The piddock stays in the burrow it digs for the entirety of its 8-year life span. Piddocks use a tube-like structure on their body, called a siphon, to filter water for food. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

Port Orford Heads is the huge land mass in the background. From the Coast Guard Museum you can walk out onto the Head and look over Agate Beach below. Do you see the footprints in the sand and a person walking? Those beaches are usually inaccessible except during minus tides.

Glorious tidal pools…

Limpets, barnacles, and mussels…

A kelp forest and emerald green seaweed…

The uncovered rocks are alive!

Jeff and I walk to the beach under Port Orford Heads.

I spy a purple Sea Star, a lime-green Anemone, and multi-colored kelp on my way back.

Too beautiful for words…


July 4th and 7th… Battle Rock State Park and Beach

Sea Stars and more…


The seashells move in this tidal pool!

Hide-and-seek…

A closer look at the inside of a Jellyfish…

The colors!

This Sea Anemone is eating a crab claw. Seriously… you try pulling it out of its grip!

I can’t stop taking pictures!

An osprey’s nest…

We discover friends on the beach too… Star Humans!

Jeff and I with Penny, John, and Dana…

Penny is a volunteer at Port Orford Library. She recycles used books. Dana is her husband. John is Cheryl’s husband. Cheryl is the Youth Services Librarian with whom I am volunteering with on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Here she is on the end in this next picture…

Good, good people! The true stars of Port Orford!

Independence Day The Port Orford Way

4th of July Jubilee

We start the day at the American Legion Hall where we attend the Rotary Club pancake breakfast with our friends Kenneth and Paulene.

Kenneth and Paulene go back home to feed their 4 chickens and we decide where we will meet for the 11:00 AM parade.


Meanwhile, I walk along Idaho Street to check out the line-up of parade entries and get a preview of what to expect.

I end up at the Community Building where the Quilt Show is displayed.

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“Diamonds and Dots” by Debbie Startt (pinterest.com)

I start talking with a visitor quilter and learn all about the different patterns, stitches, and symbols. She explains the difference between sewing machine stitches and hand stitching to me. Together we admire a black and white quilt and she points out the subtle artistry of the quilter’s unique pattern of not repeating the same pattern.

Wow! I never knew… I leave with a deeper appreciation of the art of quilting. And… I have just enough time to meet up with Jeff, Kenneth, and Paulene before the parade begins.


The parade starts off with a bang, led by Greg from Buddha’s Wellness, the local herbal dispensary.

Phyllis, the volunteer diva, is the queen of the parade.

Our good friend, Kenneth (everybody’s friend), runs out to greet her.

Here comes Smokey the Bear… Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires! 

Local kids decorate their bikes for the parade.

The rest of the kids watching the parade collect bagfuls of candy strewn along the route. Paulene and I run out to collect candy for the children too shy to grab the booty for themselves.

The floats arrive. (I don’t understand some of their themes either…)

Horses with stars on their butts…

A humongous rock for repairing and reinforcing the jetty at Port Orford’s Dock…

A logging truck makes a political statement about Oregon’s upcoming vote on House Bill 2020, “Carbon Cap and Trade Bill” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (It fails to pass, by the way…)

And finally, on a lighter note… The parade police round up parade observers not wearing a two dollar 4th of July button and throw them in the pokey.


The Dinghy Races

Because the waves are too high on Battle Rock Beach, the dinghy races are moved to the beach by the dock. Four 2 person tag teams complete 6 laps from the shore to the anchored boat with the orange buoy. We meet up with Kenneth and Paulene and Faith and Allen on the hill overlooking the beach.

The winning team uses aluminum oars as opposed to the wooden oars of the other 3 teams. We cheer on the slow, steady, determined team who comes in last.


After the races, the 6 of us head over to TJ’s for brewskis and lunch.

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We make tentative plans to meet for the fireworks on Battle Rock Beach before we go our separate ways.

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But we never meet up…

Jeff and I get too comfy in our jammies. Kenneth and Paulene choose bed too. Allen and Faith live in a house overlooking the dock and have the perfect viewing spot for the fireworks from their windows and decks. (I guess they were in their jammies too…)


Since July 4th is on a Thursday this year, the Jubilee celebration continues into the weekend.


No other town celebrates July 4th quite like Port Orford! It’s an amazing event and experience.

Flowers Everywhere

Blacklock Point

Iris…

Bunchberry, also called Dwarf Dogwood…

Salal…

Rhododendron…

Trapper’s Tea (a type of rhododendron)… MAYBE 

Lupine…

Coast Manroot, also called Bigroot…

Lupine and Coast Manroot…


Sisters Rock State Park

Blackberry…

A prickly pod of something…

Bird’s-Foot Trefoil… MAYBE 

Beach Fleabane…

Scotch Broom…

Sea-Watch, also called Seacoast Angelica…

Some kind of Stonecrop… MAYBE 


Port Orford Heads

Salal and Sea-Watch…

Paintbrush…


Around Town

Sweet Pea…

Scotch Broom…

Foxglove…

Tiger Lily…

Prairie Rose…

Tinker’s Penny, also called Bog St. John’s-Wort… MAYBE… (the flower matches but the leaves do not)

Some kind of Wormwood that grows in the sand… Maybe 


And finally, I want to share this picture of a Bottlebrush Bush…

It’s not a wildflower. It is planted outside of the American Legion Hall where in a few days the 4th of July Pancake Breakfast will take place. The red flowers and blue sky capture the colors of the flag. The green leaves remind me of Mother Earth and her sacred splendor that I want to preserve.