The Oregon Coast is not to be taken lightly, or quickly. Maybe that’s one reason for fog. The meeting of cold and warm air forces one to pay attention, like no other force of nature. This is because fog doesn’t slam into our lives, wreak havoc, and leave. It rolls in, lingers and only leaves when the heat of the sun burns it off.
I began the day with a full breakfast at Mattie’s Pancake House, my first pancakes in six months being blueberry cakes- with large, freshly-picked Oregon berries. These, and a large sausage patty, gave me yet another day of sustenance.
First up, once I got on the road, was Brookings’ own Azalea Park.
Here, the renowned director and producer Elmo Williams, who has given us “High Noon” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, built a capella for his beloved wife, Lorraine, with whom he raised three children, and who died in 2004. This incomparable memorial is now shared with Elmo’s neighbours in the city of Brookings. Here, the visitor may sit and reflect on the important themes of life, and on a clear day, look out at the Chetco River flowing into the blue Pacific.
The redwood tree does not stop at the California/Oregon line. Southwest Oregon is graced by its share of the arboreal giants. Here are some redwoods of Azalea Park, which also has a population of deer.
From there, it was three or four miles at a time up to Bandon. Chetco Point, Harris Beach, the seven turn-offs of Boardman State Park, and beyond, serve up the legendary sights of this unique coast- the other O.C.
Sometime ago, I lost a walking stick, which had helped me on several trails. This morning, while entering Chetco Point Park, I spotted a redwood walking stick leaning against a trash can. The stick was left there for disposal, so I gratefully rescued it and now can take its place on my meanderings.
Another thing about Chetco Point: It reminds me of Cheju, the Korean island where Penny and I taught university-level English for a few years, and where Aram was born.
Harris Beach, about a mile north of Brookings, was my third stop. A common feature of this, and subsequent stops in Boardman State Park, is the presence of jagged rocks and islets, which are in turn a part of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and are off-limits to the lay visitor.
These scenes repeat themselves continuously along this fascinating coast. One may either admire the scenery from the frequent overlooks, or take a trail down to the beach. I did some of each, and one particularly scintillating and challenging place was the view of two natural bridges, on the northern end of Boardman State Park, just south of Gold Beach.
Many other great scenes presented themselves today, and will be organized in my Flickr account, when I get back to Prescott. I was unable to visit the lighthouse at Cape Blanco, just north of Port Orford. I was able to check out the headlands of that fine little town, themselves and had a delectable scallop dinner at Bonnie’s Grill, a fairly new establishment in Port Orford. I know of a cousin-in-law of mine, named Bonnie, who lived in Orford, NH, the last time I heard, so it obliquely rang a bell to see the sign for this place; hence, the dinner stop.
Above is a view from the top of Port Orford Head. Below, is Bonnie’s Grill, Port Orford.