Monday, June 3, 2013

Coasting- North

Another clear day with gentle but cool breezes sent us off up the coast this time to see what we could see. The mission was as it was for Coasting South- poke into all the nooks and crannies along the Oregon coast- only this time in a roughly 30 mile stretch from Gold Beach north towards Bandon. We had as always, some marvelous discoveries along the way, and we may have hit another 20 or so miles and gone all the way to Bandon but by mid afternoon the gentle breeze had become gusts to 40 mph. That's a lot of wind along the shoreline and when I tried to step out of the car to take a picture at Cape Blanco Lighthouse, I actually had a hard time opening the car door and a harder time getting out and then had to lean way into the wind to avoid getting swept off the bluff. I thought about being a rugged explorer and continuing on but decided it would be better to wrap things up right there and get back to the coach and the awnings and the tent we have set up. So far so good although we are in Day 2 of a big blow. Strange: you hope and pray for a clear day and then you get it and with it comes the wind and then you ALMOST hope and pray for the fog and drizzle to come back. I said ALMOST!

Along the way we stopped at one spot to talk to some fishermen and found out that it was FREE FISHING WEEKEND in Oregon- meaning that folks can fish where-ever they wish without the necessity of having a fishing license. It seems like a good promotion to get folks, especially kids, interested in the sport of fishing. To that end, Oregon Fish and Wildlife was holding a FREE FISHING DAY for kids under 10 at the salmon/trout hatchery on Elk River in Port Orford. Fishing for trout, including some enormous rainbows in the cement pond of the hatchery! You gotta love those odds, and sure enough the kids were hauling in the goods with a limit of three each under the guidance and watchful guides from the department. It was a fun experience. I think from the reaction of the volunteers we were the only non-parents to make a contribution to the program but we had as much fun as the kids did, got some swell photos, and, truth be told, Marilyn did try to get me registered for some free fishing. The warden said I didn't look like I was 10. To which Marilyn said , "No, but he acts like it sometimes and doesn't that count?"  Later he and I each agreed that we WERE 10 - about 6 and half times that is....

As an indication of just how isolated and inaccessible parts of this rugged coast can be, please watch for the thought-to-be-extinct brontosaurus picture we captured in this post's slide show!

And when it comes time to take a look at the boatyard we visited (Port Orford), please note that this is strictly a "dolly" yard. One of only 6 in the world! All boats are resting on dollies which are rolled to a lift and placed and retrieved from hoists on the dock. NO boats are left in the water either at the dock or on moorings- it simply is too rough and too rocky for that. There are a few pleasure boats about, but not many, as this is a place for serious fishermen and their commercial boats. Having said that, this is also the spot where we had our most favorite meal of all last summer- a tiny little hole in the wall shanty dead center on the dock called Griffs. We had lunch there again this trip and were not disappointed- the meal was excellent again. The seafood is cooked pretty much literally while it is still dripping wet with salt water- that's how fresh the product is. I had four oysters and a two piece fish and chips and Marilyn got a scallop plate. Put your thumb and your first two fingers together and touch them to your lips and blow a kiss in Italian style to understand how delicious it was.


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