Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last Days On The Oregon Coast

We were in Oregon for almost two months in 2014. Only a month this year. A combo of no planing and a heat wave in the interior. Anyway, we will drive south Tuesday into California. We hope the fog will stay off shore and we can see the coastline in the short six days we will be there. At $45 a night, my Scotch blood would much rather buy a quart of decent whiskey than give it to California State Parks. 

This is what's been going on the last week or so Diary.

Woohoo!  $2.03 a gallon. That is the cash and rewards card discounted price at Safeway in Coos Bay. I am sure it’s lower elsewhere, but we thought that was cheap for Oregon where someone pumps your gas. A benefit of pump attendants is that people can not park their cars in the bay and go inside for a slurpie. Those people chap my ass.

Sunday - August 14

After eating oysters for the first time in 30 years, Dorothy had a night of GI distress. I thought it might be prudent to come into town if she did not fully recover. She was fine the next day. As it turned out we stayed three days in the overflow lot of a casino. Free, with laundry, showers and great wi-fi. When she saw they had a Sunday champagne buffet, she was all in for that. Breakfast is her favorite meal out. We over ate big time. Love prime rib with my eggs. I’m always concerned that “free” champagne will not be good, but that was not the case. Don doesn’t like it and I’m sorry that I did not get his glass also. Nothing like drinking at 10:30 in the morning, but it was accompanied by good food, especially the ham. Must admit that the “scrambled eggs” weren’t real eggs. Whatever they were, they reminded me of my father of telling about the instant eggs the navy served the men during WWII. 

The days we spent here subtract from the time on the Rouge River as we now have reservations after that stop.

Deer can live anywhere. We are parked 75 yards from 101. Across 101 is a wooded hillside lot with homes on both sides. I saw eight deer come from the river and cross busy 101 to their home in the trees.

We left our happy home with all we could eat bandwidth and all we could eat buffet and drove 60 miles south. We were going to spend two nights at Cape Blanco. We have stayed there twice and both times we never saw the coast and the wind was strong enough to blow us off the cliffs. Dorothy said we drove out there once and found it foggy and windy and we bailed. On a splendid sunny afternoon, it turned foggy within a mile of the coast. We parked and napped after that huge breakfast and then continued on to “our place” on the Rouge River. 

It was 66 at the cape. It’s 78 here three miles up the river.

Verizon service improvement here, now four bars of LTE.

The scenery on the way down past Port Orford was more spectacular than we recalled it. You would think that after making the trip seven times we would have it fixed in our wee brains. We are going to track back to Port Orford and spend some time at the over looks and the beaches.

We past a biker/car accident. The guy had part of his skull missing. Tragic, but biking on 101 is like peddling Bibles in Saudi. It’s probably not going to work out well. It’s an adventure for sure. The slow speed gives time to enjoy the magnificent scenery. But riding on a busy two-lane highway seems too risky to me.

Monday - August 15

We were headed north to photograph the coast when Dorothy realized she had forgotten her long pants. While it was 77 on the river with a light breeze, it was 69 with a stiff breeze on the coast. What a difference three miles inland makes. There was no sense in continuing if all she could do was sit in the car. Besides my long pants were no match for the breeze. So we wheeled around and went to the fish market to see what days would be best for buying fish. Turns out, probably none. The breeze is keeping the boats tied up. They had a few pieces of Ling so we got that and hope there will be more later in the week. Tho the wind forecast is not promising. Just damn, one of the reasons we are here is to buy, cook and eat fresh fish. At least they have some frozen fish. Their biz will suffer going into the winter without a large stock of frozen fish.

Ling fish, aka cod, many varieties, some with green flesh.

We had an educational chat with the lady in the fish market. We saw a boat that had a sign, “Sea Lion Patrol”. It was circling one of the three dozen fishing boats. We decided it must be a “green peace” type of activist. Actually, it is hired by the fisherman to protect the salmon they catch. When a fisherman starts to bring the fish in, those sneaky sea lions feel that dinner is served and bites off the belly of the fish.

It’s been hot in the valley. That’s why we here, instead of there The forecast for Medford is 100 tomorrow. That accounts for the strong sea breeze.

Dorothy cooked the Ling for lunch and was quite tasty. We spent the afternoon photographing the coast from Gold Beach to Port Orford. Got a pint of Gelato in Port Orford and ate it all while watching the surf.

Tuesday - August 16

Lazed around in the morning, did a few chores, cooked my sausage and cabbage dish. After nap, we went into town and bought more fish. Rockfish for tacos tonight and salmon for lunch tomorrow.
We watched a guy windsurf in the 25+ breeze. He did not tire out.

The fish tacos earned an A rating. Dorothy made a tasty sauce that blended well with the fish. We will have them again.

Wednesday - August 17

It was warm last night, 69. I had my fan on all night. Strong land breeze this morning. Our neighbor informed me that means the sea breeze is blowing strong enough to suck warm air out of the valley.

While we were having coffee sitting on the “terrace”, two dogs paid us a visit. One was a vicious pit bull who rested his chin on my arm. We find the breed to be loving and gentle.

We drove south to find our secret cove. Well, it seemed secret to us two years ago. I saw a picture of it in a brochure, but no one I asked about knew where it was. I looked at map and there was only one real candidate based on the shore line. The trailhead was a gravel pullout with no signage. Finding the trail took some searching and going down one false trail. That’s all changed. Now there is signage and the overgrown trail has been cut back. It’s called Thunder Rock Trail. It’s still a bit steep but we walked the loop trail and took a few pictures in the sun without any fog.

The only house in the cove

For our money, the shoreline between Port Orford and Brookings is as good as the Big Sur area.

Thursday - August 18

We drove up river seven miles to one of our fav Forest Service campgrounds. It’s in a grove of Myrtlewood trees and the scent is wonderful. Even dead leaves retain the scent. If you squeeze them they release.

We found a site under a huge oak tree with the front of the rig in the sun. That way we can be cool in the back while the solar panels are in the sun charging the batteries.

It was hot when we arrived. Very little breeze. It was 79 down river and 89 here. We sat outside with our big fan on us for an hour and then a breeze kicked in and cooled us off.

Friday - August 19 

We decided to stay another day. D&W is an attraction. We paddled the yaks on a tame section of the wild Rouge. There was a little current so went up upstream and came back fast. One of the jet boats full of tourista’s came around a bend, saw us and spun the boat in a circle to stop quickly and prevent his wake from getting to us. We were prepared for him and had our bows pointing into the middle of the river to take the waves head on. But, it was a nice gesture and probably a rule of the river. Besides, they spin the boats a few times every trip to wet the passengers for a little thrill. Amazing how three 400hp engines can move 40 tourists at 40+ mph. 

1 comment:

  1. Being from California, I can attest to the lousy State Parks. Very expensive and with a few exceptions, run down. Rarely stay in one.