Sunday Morning -Heading further north

Sunday morning I left where I had been staying in Gold Beach and continued driving north up the Oregon coast.

This is Sisters Rock, which is where I think I want to build my dream house…

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I stood there for a long time and just enjoyed the solitude.  There was hardly any traffic on the highway behind me, there were hardly any birds and the ocean was quietly coming in to the beach.  It was very relaxing.

Ultimately I set my daydreams aside and pressed forward….

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I soon arrived in the little town of Port Orford:

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This is the Port itself.

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On the hill to the right was a Coast Guard station, which also used the Port to launch ships to rescue people stranded at sea.  The facility now houses the Coast Guard Lifeboat Museum:

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I had a lengthy and, at times, amusing conversation with the woman volunteer who was at the entry to the museum (and her husband was in another room to explain some of the history of the facility).

Further up the road I stopped at a State Park near Bandon.  The coast remained socked in.  I took lots of pictures but you can’t see very much so I won’t post most of them (I returned to the same place on Monday and it was totally clear so I’ll post those photos next).  I do want to post one from Sunday, though.

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The thing that was really cool about this spot was the seagulls.  I stood at the top of a cliff overlooking the beach and the multiple rock formations just offshore.  Well, the seagulls would come zipping by where I was standing, only about a foot or two off the bank and sometimes not very far from me.  I was hoping the pictures I took with my smartphone would better reflect what I was experiencing.  I stood there watching quite a while, and returned to the same spot on Monday.

I drove into Bandon and an area called Old Town, your basic tourist town with many nice restaurants and shops, although there is also a very busy marina.  When I left Bandon to head north to Coos Bay I stopped at a store to buy something and saw this in the parking lot:

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I saw lots of electric car charging stations in California (as well as the cars that use them) and I expect I’ll be seeing lots more in Oregon and Washington.

Sunday Afternoon – 3 Lighthouses

Sunday afternoon I continued driving north in coastal Oregon to my next 3-night stop in Glasgow, just north of Coos Bay.  I would see (or try to see) 3 lighthouses during this leg of my trip.  First stop – Cape Blanco, the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon Coast.

This was the scene from the area leading out to the lighthouse.  Highway 101, which is the main coastal road I will be on for several weeks, was relatively clear of fog, though overcast.  Every time I brushed the coast, however, the marine layer lurked.  This was evident as I drove a few miles west to the lighthouse:

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I went in the Visitor Center for a while and by the time I came out it had cleared just a little:

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Cape Blanco is the westernmost point in the lower 48 states.  This lighthouse was commissioned in 1870 and is still operational today.  It is 63 feet tall and sits at 256 feet above sea level.  In the Visitor Center I saw this photo of a ship (one of many)  which didn’t heed the warning:

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I headed back out to Highway 101 and continued north to the town of Bandon.  On the opposite side of the bay sits the Coquille River Lighthouse:

The first two photos were actually taken Monday.  I got there around noon on Sunday and the photo of the east side of the lighthouse was rather dark.  I did take the third photo, of the west side, on Sunday.

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This lighthouse was not so much to protect ships from the coastline but, rather, to guide ships into the Coquille River bay and harbor.  It was commissioned in 1896 but was taken out of service in 1939 after improvements were made to the river channel and navigation technology improved.  The tower is no longer accessible but the building houses the Visitor Center.  This tower is 40 feet tall.

Further north I missed my turn for Route 540 and ended up driving in to Coos Bay, the largest town on the Oregon Coast.  I had dinner, then backtracked to the third lighthouse on my list, at Cape Arago.  I already knew I wouldn’t be able to get out to the lighthouse itself but the brochure I had indicated there was a viewing area about a quarter mile away near the entrance to Sunset Bay State Park.  I didn’t get there until almost 6pm local time and as I approached from the north I knew it wasn’t going to go well.  It had been foggy along the coast all day and now the evening fog was getting even heavier is so this was all I could see:

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It’s out there – on land just to the right of the center of the photo.  Here is a photo I took Monday from roughly the same vantage point:

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The reason I said that Cape Blanco was the oldest standing lighthouse (1870) is that this is actually the third lighthouse to be built at Cape Arago.  The first was commissioned in 1866 but became a victim of physical deterioration and land erosion.  A second lighthouse was built in 1908 and ultimately suffered the same fate.  This one was commissioned in 1934 but was taken out of service in 2006.  It is 44 feet tall and sits 100 feet above sea level.

 

Saturday on the Coast – Post 1 of 3

Saturday I went back to many of the same spots on the southwest Oregon coast which I had stopped at Friday when I entered the state from California.  These were taken at various times Saturday morning.  Some, but not all, of the beach pictures have people (or animals) in them as a size reference.

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About 20 minutes after I took the photo above the sun started to break through the fog:

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Saturday on the Coast – Post 2 of 3

Saturday I went back to many of the same spots on the southwest Oregon coast which I had stopped at Friday when I entered the state from California.  These were taken at various times Saturday morning and afternoon.  From some vantage points you will see a big difference between photos in the morning before the fog burned off and later in the day when the sun was out and the ocean reflected the blue sky.

Someone seems to have misplaced their boat (it appears to have been abandoned on shore)

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And then the sun came out….

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Saturday on the Coast – Post 3 of 3

Saturday I went back to many of the same spots on the southwest Oregon coast which I had stopped at Friday when I entered the state from California.  These were taken at various times Saturday afternoon.  Some, but not all, of the beach pictures have people in them as a size reference.

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And Saturday afternoon I saw three more people wind surfing, this time in the ocean and not on the calm Pistol River.

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I stood and watched them for 20 or 30 minutes.  They traveled continuously back and forth up the coastline and out into the ocean and back near the shore.  I only saw one of them wipe out that whole time so they all seemed to be very experienced.  I can only imagine that this activity must be physically exhausting though it appears to be a lot of fun.

Focus on Arch Rock

I’ve already posted some pictures of Arch Rock which I took on Friday, July 27.  Here are photos taken the next day, at various times throughout the day, which show it in a variety on sunlit and shaded states.  This is the Arch Rock off the southwest coast of Oregon.  I discovered last night that there will be another Arch Rock out in the ocean when I get up to northwest Oregon in about a week and a half.

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Puffins!

I was looking forward to finally seeing my first Puffin but evidently they have literally “flown the coop” with nesting season being over and have traveled north into Canada and Alaska for the remainder of this year.

Here are two photos I found online:

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(Photo credit: hbw.com)

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(Photo credit: Greg Homel  abcbirds.org)

And here is a Puffin statue at one of the beaches I went to Sunday, constructed entirely of litter found on the beach (sad but creative)!

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Those photos are all of “Tufted Puffins,” one of the two varieties sometimes seen in the Pacific Northwest.  The other is a “Horned Puffin”:

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(Photo credit:  E. J. Peiker)

In the northeast US (Maine in particular, and also in eastern Canada) “Atlantic Puffins” are the variety most commonly seen.  A fourth variety, the – are you ready for this – “Rhinoceros Auklet” is generally found outside the United States.  Over 60% of the world’s Puffins live in or near Iceland.

Young Puffins are called chicks or pufflings.

A group of Puffins can be called any number of things:  An improbability, a parliament, burrow, raft, gathering, loomery, puffinry or, (I love this one) circus!