Port Orford, Oregon, Cape Blanco State Park, Sept 15 – 17, 2014

 

We made the 65 mile drive up Hwy 101 to our next destination, Port Orford and the Cape Blanco State Park. This became our home for the next three days. We very much like these easy drive days and it cuts down on the fuel expenses too! Cape Blanco is a first come, first served, campground (i.e. no reservations) so we wanted to arrive between 1 and 2:00 pm. We arrived around 1:00 and found several openings and chose the best one to allow some sun on our solar panels.

Later in the afternoon we visited with the WheelingIts, Nina and Paul, and with the Technomads, Cherie and Chris. It was great to finally meet Nina and Paul; I’ve been reading Nina’s blog since we first started RVing. We have followed her recommendations on MANY camping locations. We have similar tastes when it comes to RV camping sites. Neither of us is interested in RV Resorts (i.e. RV parking lots).

When we went on the road the first time I researched “RV and Internet” and the first thing that popped up was the Technomads. I purchased their small book and followed their advice on how to stay connected while on the road. Because I still teach project management classes online for UC Davis Extension, I can be on the road and still earn some money—as long as I have an Internet connection. I’ve been reading their blog ever since.   It is always fun to get together with Cherie and Chris. We all like to laugh A LOT!

Both Cherie/Chris and Nina/Paul are volunteering for a couple of months to conduct tours of the Cape Blanco lighthouse. For volunteering they get a campsite with full hook-ups in exchange for 16 hours of work per week. We took the tour with Cherie and Chris and they did an excellent job!

There are nine lighthouses along the Oregon Coast built on prominent headlands or near major estuaries with most of them established by the former U.S. Lighthouse Board between 1870 and 1896. Ultimately the US Coast Guard became the caretaker of the properties and the keeper of the lights, before passing them on to other government entities (state andlocal).

When the lighthouses began they were fueled by oiled and manned all night to ensure the light remained lit. In the 1960s the Coast Guard began installing automated beacons. All the lighthouses are part of the National Register of Historic Places and seven are open for public viewing and visited by 2.5 million visitors each year. We plan on visiting each one and taking the tours when available.

At Cape Blanco we were able to climb to the very top where the Fresnel glass lens is located. It was an amazing work of glass craftsmanship done by a Paris company and shipped to the US in a crate filled with molasses to protect it. The lighthouse sits on top of a cliff with a focal plane 256 feet above the sea, making it visible for 20 miles. The Oregon Coast is very rocky so it is important NOT to miss the channels coming into the various ports. The lighthouse provides part of the guidance system, along with markers in the water.

We also toured the historic Hughes House and Ranch. The Hughes family were lighthouse keepers and ranchers in the very early days. The house was built in 1898 after the Hughes family spent 30 years in a one room house with nine children! The house has Victorian furnishings (right up my alley) and was interesting to tour. They use volunteers too. Now that’s something I would love to do. I have such an affinity to the Victorian era that sometimes I feel I lived during that time. Who knows!

Port Orford is a very small, funky Oregon town and has a port called the “Port of Port Orford”. Because there are no seawalls protecting the port, they have to hoist the fishing boats in and out of the water via crane. All the fishing boats sit on wheeled trailers in a parking lot instead of docked at a marina. I think this is done in only two other places in the world.

Again with Yelp’s help we found a small restaurant on the docks that served the BEST fish and chips ever! The fish was fresh, it wasn’t battered – it was seasoned and not oily at all. We both loved it!

We walked the trails in the park and climbed down to the beach. When the tide was out we poked around in the rocks to see what we could find. The coastline is absolutely stunning here. LOVE IT!

Our next stop is Bandon, Oregon.

Here’s a few photos that don’t do it justice…but just the same….

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The Happy Campers!

The Happy Campers!

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