Port Orford and a Big Humbug

Welcome to Port OrfordFrom Trinidad, California, we moved on up the coast to Port Orford, Oregon, a lovely coastal town with a working port. Our drive up the coast went smoothly, despite occasional heavy rain, and the rainy weather made for some very interesting coastal vistas along the way. Port Orford features a stunning coastal vista of sandy beaches and massive sea-stack rocks, including the well-known Battle Rock formation. Humbug Mountain is visible in the distance along the coast.

While in the Port Orford area, we stayed for seven nights at the Humbug Mountain State Park campground. Although we have visited the area several times in the past, this was our first time camping at this park. The Humbug Mountain campground is an altogether lovely park set in a forested valley between Humbug and China Mountains, right off the Pacific Ocean. A short trail leads from the campground and under a bridge on highway US-101 to the beach. Jasmine and Pepper certainly enjoyed our hikes down to the beach and getting to chase after balls in the surf!

One of the attractions in Port Orford is the working port. It was fascinating to see the fleet of fishing boats in dry dock on the pier. The fishing boats would motor into port and tie off at the pier. The catch-of-the-day would be hoisted up, sorted, weighed and put on ice for shipment to market. The fishing boat would then pull forward and be hoisted up on a trailer and wheeled into dry dock. After watching the activity on the dock for a while, we enjoyed a nice dinner at Griffs, a small restaurant and gift shop on the pier. Griffs was certainly the place to go for fresh seafood!

During our stay, we visited nearby Cape Blanco State Park. We took a tour of the historic Hughes House, visited the Cape Blanco lighthouse, took in the sweeping coastal views from the headlands and admired the colorful wildflowers in bloom throughout the park. Unfortunately, no tours of the lighthouse were available, since the state park was understaffed with volunteers. We had toured the lighthouse during one of our previous visits so this was not too disappointing.

We also took several day trips along the coast to Gold Beach and Brookings. In Gold Beach, we enjoyed seeing the historic Patterson Bridge and the waterlogged and decaying hulk of the Mary D Hume – a ship with a long and storied past, now left to slowly subside into the muck of the salt marsh. Other sights we visited along the coast included Arizona Beach, Whales Head Beach and the Pistol River State Park. While in Brookings we found a nice produce stand and picked up fresh Peaches and Blueberries. We enjoyed having fresh Peach Cobbler and Blueberry Pancakes over the next few days.

One morning, we revisited Pistol River State Park. Kim hung out with the dogs at the beach while I hiked to a vantage point to photograph the jagged rocks of Mack Reef and the massive Mack Arch. The hike requires about a 3 mile round trip slog in soft sand, a scramble up grassy dunes, and crossing a rocky headland, but the view is certainly worth it. On this day, heavier weather was blowing in and threatening rain showers. At times, Cape Sebastian and the Pistol River coastline to the south were completely obscured by fog and drizzle. I had about twenty minutes of clear conditions to photograph the reef and arch before the weather closed in and I packed up and began the wet slog back to the truck.

Upon returning I found that our truck, the Toyota Tundra, had a dead battery and would not start. Fortunately, we had cell reception and could call AAA auto club. Several kind folks in the beach parking area offered to give us a jump, but we declined since AAA was already on the way from Gold Beach and the wait would only be about 45 minutes. We also knew that AAA would test and replace the battery if necessary. (We hoped the problem would not be our alternator!) Sure enough, the AAA service-tech arrived, tested the battery and found it in need of replacement – no surprise since the battery was about four and a half years old. Just a few minutes later, the tech had installed a new battery and we were on our way back to camp. AAA comes to the rescue, once again!

The rest of our stay in the Port Orford area went smoothly. We had a great time and look forward to another visit, sometime in the near future.

That’s all for now. Take care and enjoy the journey!

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2 thoughts on “Port Orford and a Big Humbug

  1. Hi Jerry, Well two months later after meeting you and Kim in Petaluma’s Koa, I finally checking out your blog. Thanks for sharing! Rita (from Corona)

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