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  •  The Great Around-the-USA Adventure

    Oregon: Brookings to Tillicum Beach

    4 May 08: We finally made it to Oregon this afternoon, after 5 grand weeks in California.

    For pictures and comments of all the campgrounds we visited, click on "Campground Reviews" in Top Menu or on the links in the journal.

     or0003 5 May 08: Our first night in Oregon we spent at Harris Beach SP, right on the coast just north of Brookings. After supper we took a little walk down to the shore. That big rock on the left is known as Gorilla Rock. 
     Near Gorilla Rock was this very large rock with an tall narrow passageway, through which the waves came.  or0009
     or0002  Almost sunset at Harris Beach. That large rock on the horizon is known as Bird Island, and is said to be the largest island along the Oregon coast. I find that hard to believe!
     6 May 08: The Thomas Creek Bridge is the tallest bridge in Oregon. Built in 1964, the roadway level is 345' above the creek level.  or0011

    Today was a momentous day - I finally got my Nikon D50 camera back today - picked it up at the Port Orford Post Office. It had suffered a fatal malfunction back in El Paso in March; I left it there for repairs. Between then and now, all the pictures were taken with an inexpensive digital camera. Actually it has served us quite well.

    While in town we went down to the harbor, where by pure chance we caught this tall ship, the Lady Washington, just pulling in. She was on her way to Coos Bay, but strong headwinds made her decide to make port here.

     She had a buxom lady up front. or0024 
     or0025  The Port of Port Orford is rather unique - it's one of two ports on the Pacific coast where the ships are lifted out of the water daily, because of prevailing strong winds. One local told me that even at that, gale winds have knocked ships over even on land.
     Two new cranes, one rated at 25 tons, the other at 15 tons, were insalled in 1997.  or0021
     or0035  The Cape Blanco lighthouse stands at the westernmost point in Oregon. Commissioned in 1870, the light is the oldest standing lighthouse on the Oregon coast. Sitting atop a 245' bluff, the tower rises 59'. The light is just a short distance from the Cape Blanco State Park campground, and is open for tours.
     The clouds and fog were in and out during our visit, and steadily getting worse. or0038 
     or0039  7 May 08: We don't know what this stuff is, but we've seen a lot of it the last two days. It seems to be some sort of juniper.
     Standing on the north bank of the Coquille River, the 40' Coquille River Lighthouse was commissioned in 1896. It ceased operations in 1939 after improvements were made in the river's navigation.  or0044
     or0047  Unfortunately, this was the best I could do for a picture of the Cape Arago Lighthouse. The 44' tower stands on an islet 100' above sea level. This is a fairly new light, built in 1939 to replace an earlier tower. In fact, there were two earlier lights here, built in 1866 and 1908; both succumbed to weather and erosion. Nearby is Sunset Bay SP and Bastendorf Beach County Park, where we're spending the night.
     8 May 08: Two days ago we encountered the tall ship "Lady Washington". She normally travels with a companion ship, the "Hawaiian Chieftain", which we saw this morning sailing into Coos Bay. or0052 
    or0056  The Umpqua River Lighthouse guards the entrance to Winchester Bay. This is the second light here; the first fell into the river in 1861, only 4 years after being commissioned. The new 65' tower was built in 1894, and is located on higher ground 165' above sea level. 
     Just after sunset, a Coast Guard helicopter came in and hovered over the river. Evidently involved in a training exercise, a para-rescue technician was lowered several times from the chopper and then hauled back up. This took place directly behind our campsite at Winchester Bay RV Resort in Winchester Bay.  or0057
     or0060 9 May 08: Before heading out on the highway this morning, we took a short ride out to the Umpqua River Lighthouse. We had a much better view than we did yesterday. 
     This may well be the most photographed lighthouse on the west coast - the Heceta Head Light. The tower rises 56' from its base located 205' above sea-level. First illuminated in 1894, this is the most powerful light on the Oregon coast. or0074 
     or0091  Just north of Heceta Head at Cape Perpetua is the Devils Churn. Here the water has carved a narrow channel several hundred feet inland. The waves surging in and out splash from side to side and make some thunderous crashes.

    11 May 08, Mothers Day: This is our third night here at Tillicum Beach USFS CG. Great sunset!

    Come along as we continue north to Newport and beyond.