Monday, October 5, 2009

38-2009 Port Orford Oregon to Crescent City Califorina


Southern Oregon Coast

Port Orford Oregon

Smith River, California

Campground:  Evergreen Rv Park.  $15.50 Passport America discount.  Full hookups w/cable Tv.

Campground:  Salmon Harbor Resort.  $19 Passport America Discount.  Full hookups w/cable.

I left the Land of Umpqua and headed back to the Oregon Coast.  Leaving behind the smoke from the forest fires, the great company at the Last Resort campground oh and a few folks with off the wall ideas.  Though if anyone watches the cable channel news programs you’ve probably encountered some of that already.

I missed my turn off, yes even with my GPS on.  It redirected me to what I figured was an alternate route to get me back on track.  I ended up on a really narrow country lane that eventually had a sign posted, “pavement ends”.  What the heck, it looked like I only had a few more miles to go before I’d be back on the road I was supposed to be on.  Well, almost.  The road I was directed to further on down the road dead ended into a farmers gate locked tighter than a you know what.  With signs posted all over not to attempt to drive through this private property.  A kind farmer came on by, gave me the story that yes it would lead me to the highway, but only if I had keys to all 4 gates.  The farmer then opened his own gate to his pasture and let me swing my rig around and go back where I came from.

Back on the right track, I saw the continuing of itinerate campers (hobo’s and homeless) hitch hiking along Oregon’s roads leading south.  Stopped in a small town called Remote for lunch.  The two store town, ok, maybe three stores must have had a religious revival as there were many signs with Jesus printed on them and even some with bible versus.  Wouldn’t you know, the only restaurant in town also had a number of delightful sayings posted throughout the place.

Unfortunately the staff wasn’t as “Christian” as one might expect.  First a local guy, who rode in on a bicycle sat outside with his own can of Pepsi.   He stepped inside to order two scoops of ice-cream and you’d think he was worst individual they’d ever waited on.  He spoke with a gentle voice requesting the ice-cream in a cup so he could add the soda and go back outside to enjoy it.  The waitress was really put off that he had his own can of soda and asked him to leave after he paid for his ice-cream.

A trucker came in to order a sandwich to go.  Mentioned another worker who had waited on him the last time he was there and described her as having blond hair.  The waitress again acted as if someone had stuck a bee up her bonnet and said: “she has a name you know.  You don’t have to call her the gal with the blond hair, she has a name”.  Obviously the guy didn’t know her name and the waitress wasn’t about to tell him either.  He stepped outside to cool off for a bit and when he came back in, he told the waitress that that was the second time she had insulted him.  The waitress’s (there were now three of them at the counter)  acted as if they hadn’t a clue what was going on and said, “gee sorry, we apologize if we offended you“.

It was the oddest place I’ve been in recently.  Like a mini soap opera being played out in the town of Remote Oregon.   I left thinking, all those signs about being saved and Jesus is the one must have somehow gotten lost in the translation.  I had an image of the restaurant being the religious temples and Jesus shooing away the sales vendors.  Like the waitresses were selling everything and forgetting what the signs and messages around them meant.

In any case, that’s what makes traveling this country so interesting isn’t it.  I finally made it to the coastal town of Port Orford.  A small town of 1,000.  Originally a fishing and lumber town, it survives on a bit of tourism.  The town is noted for having the only harbor directly on the ocean.  All of the boats are lifted out of the water and placed on land.  None stay in the water due to the tides and waves and wind.  Speaking of wind, it’s common to get 100 mile an hour winds in the winter with 130 being average as well.  Visitors arrive in the winter to watch the huge waves crash over the ports concrete docks.  It’s also home to Cape Blanco, the westerly most piece of land in the continental U.S.  Rugged gorgeous coastline and lighthouse of course.

A Tsunami?  Can you believe.  Here I am traveling along the coast and I’ve mentioned that there are signs all along the coast that mention this is a Tsunami area.  Well as you probably heard, an earthquake off the American Samoan Island way out in the Pacific Ocean is creating a tsunami which may reach the Oregon coast where I’m staying.  The park manager just stopped by to say that I shouldn’t worry if I hear the sirens going off, he would gather us all together and all we had to do was walk up the hill to safety.  I’m ready and I’ll bring my camera too.

California.  I crossed over….. To California.  Like I’m in the really really northern end of California and the beginning of the Redwoods.  Much of it was cut down years ago and new growth redwoods are now growing in their place.  Hoping to see some original old growth stands in the next couple of days.

I did go to the Trees of Mystery which is one of those cool funky tourist places.  Huge statue of Paul Bunyan and his Ox Blue out front.  A trail through the red woods, Gondola ride to the top of a mountain and a native American Museum.  You can check it out at http//www. The museum is perhaps the second most extensive museum of Indian artifacts I’ve seen traveling throughout the west.  The Smithsonian Museum sent a group to tour it and they said there are artifacts in the museum that they had never seen before.

A little further on down the road and I went to the Redwood tree that you can drive through.  My truck was just a tad too big and I didn’t want to scrape the sides of it, but I did take a few pictures of me trying to drive through…

And Sunday, I’m driving down the California Coast through the Redwood Forests.  Yesterday I drove to Crescent City where I took a driving tour through the Stout redwood forest.  Along a narrow dirt road that led for miles into one of the remaining old growth redwood forests.  What an awesome sight to be among 300 foot trees that seemed as wide as a house.  The floor covered with huge ferns and redwoods that had been knocked down by storms or lighting.  Many that were still standing were scarred with lighting strikes.  Such massive trees.

Enough for this report as I head inland to Redding Calif.

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