Sunday, June 28, 2009

Port Orford

One of my neighbors called early this morning to see if I was up to a trip to Port Orford for the day, and of course I was. We had quite an adventure and I saw many things that were new to me. The day was clear and sunny, but very windy and a little cool -- lovely, nonetheless.

I'd driven through Port Orford often, and stopped often at its beautiful beach, but hadn't seen the rest of the town. Because there is no protected marina here, the sizable fishing fleet lives on land, with the boats hoisted in and out of the water on a daily basis by two very large cranes. Since this was Sunday, the boats were all at home. I've never seen anything quite like this.

There is a state park in town on the site of what was a Coast Guard lookout tower, way out on a high bluff. Trails cross the area and the views are superb in all directions. We spotted these lazy sea lions way below where we stood. After we'd walked around here for awhile, the tide was reaching its low for the day so we headed back to the rocky beach in town to see what sea life we could find. We found plenty!

This looks more like tropical waters to me, but it's not..

There were countless starfish of all sizes and colors clinging to rocks amidst the closed anemones, or basking on the sand. The big guy in the middle is a great big sea star -- kind of creepy, but beautiful in its own way. Note the mussels in the photo on the lower left -- Port Orford is known for its mussels, and since I have a shellfish license I was tempted to take some home for dinner.

If you've been reading this for any length of time, you know my fascination with patterns and reflections on wet sand. I thought this one was particularly pretty.

After we'd tired of the beach we still weren't ready to return home, so we drove further north to visit the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. This sits about 6 miles off the highway and I'd never driven out to it, so this was lovely. The road out was lined with cranberry bogs and wildflowers in fields -- foxglove, daisies, wild azalea, lupine, yellow daisies by the hundreds. The wind out on this bluff was strong -- it was hard to stand still enough to take a photo.

To take this one I had to lean against the car for support, still couldn't stay very still. You might not want to try enlarging this one, but it's a pretty view and gives some sense of the location. After this, windblown and chilled, we headed back to Port Orford for some suds and some of the best fish & chips I've ever had, at a funky, crowded place called the Crazy Norwegian. I think a nap is next on my agenda!

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