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Hike on the Heads, Port Orford Heads State Park

Looking south at the northern Heads trail.jpg (46798 bytes)Pic of the Day  Click on images to enlarge
Sunday, 06-18-2000. Sunny with high cloud cover. Our Pics of the Day are from my continuing story about my hike on the Port Orford Heads State Park. We left-off with me back on the trail and heading for the north end of the Heads with it's magnificent view of Agate Beach, Paradise Point, Lake Garrison, and the Cape Blanco Headland. I snapped our first picture looking back and south at the trail.

Looking back the western penisula where the seagull pics were shot.jpg (39671 bytes)I followed the path to the end where I then ventured off-trail to explore different locations for better camera angles. Our next picture shows the western end of the Seals on the west end rocks at the Heads.jpg (55521 bytes)Heads where the pics of Seagull Point were shot (see yesterday's story below). 

This next picture was shot from the same location as the previous one, but this time looking directly below whereWide angle view of seal cove.jpg (42710 bytes) I was standing. I saw several brown lumps on the rocks that after closer examination turned out to be a group of seals numbering 100 or more (photo above/right). The seal's fur blends with the weathered rocks, so they're a little hard to see. I then snapped the picture on the left showing the cove in a wide angle view. 

View to Cape Blanco from the northern Heads.jpg (34501 bytes)I walked to the far tip of the peninsula and took this next set of images. The first one shows the Cape Blanco Headland (upper left), Paradise Point (middle portion of the beach), Garrison Lake (the body of water on the right), Agate beach and Garrison Lake.jpg (28345 bytes)and Agate Beach (left of Garrison Lake). Often Grey Whales will cruise this cove.  

 This next picture features Garrison Lake and Agate Beach in close-up. The kids and I caught Rock Cod and watched whales on this large rock at the end of Agate Beach. 

Little America.jpg (35383 bytes)I then turned to the east and shot this picture of the cove with the homes of Little America on the cliff above. Little America used to be a housing complex for the Coast Guardsmen and their families.

Heading east into the forested section of the north trail.jpg (54880 bytes)I worked my way up the cliff and back to the trail. The path back to the parking area and barracks gradually flows uphill thru ferns, salal, huckleberry, and wild flowers. I stopped and snapped this last picture of some Foxgloves lining the path leading into the forested section of the north end trail.

This concludes our Hike at the Heads. Tomorrow we'll have pics of several Port Orford attractions taken with Dan and Mary Lou Hill's Sony Mavica!

Cove with Humbug in the background.jpg (42081 bytes)Saturday's Pic of the Day
Saturday, 06-17-2000. Sunny with high scattered clouds this morning. Today we continue with our story and pics from my visit to the Port Orford Heads State Park. I veered off the trail and worked my way towards the western tip of the Heads. I snapped today's Pic of the Day right before moving to a location lower on the cliff (pictured on the bottom/right). This photo was shot looking to the south with Humbug Mountain in the background.

Seagulls on the Point.jpg (37799 bytes)I carefully zigzagged down the loose shale cliff and found a level spot to take-in the scenery and snap some pictures. There have been reports of Orcas off the point and I was hoping that maybe I could catch a glimpse of one. I sat there for several minutes taking pictures and watching a small group of seagulls congregating about a third of the way up the point (the small white specks above the darker area of the picture on the left).

Seagulls by the thousands at the Heads.jpg (37746 bytes)I was just getting ready to get up and work my way back when this huge wave of seagulls arose from the western side of the point just like fans doing a stadium cheer wave. I sat there mesmerized while thousands of birds swirled above the point filling the sky. That's when the question I've wondered about but never received a definite answer was finally solved; Where do all the Seagulls live? Now I know, they live right on the southern side of this point. That little grouping of Seagulls that I've been watching was actually just the northern end of this huge flock that was now circling in front of me.

Looking back at the picture point from the trail.jpg (50594 bytes)The show went on for several minutes while I snapped pictures. In the photo above you can see the birds in flight if you look closely. Their white, gray, and black bodies blend-in with the light sky and Ocean whitecaps so they're a little difficult to see.

I then worked my way east up the hill and thru the knee-high brush. I paused to catch my breath, looked back at the point and shot this next picture. Seagull Point is on the left (I'm not sure what the real name is but that's what I will always call it) and my picture point is on the right.

Port Orford Cove with Dock on the left.jpg (30000 bytes)Friday's Pic of the Day
Friday, 06-16-2000. Clear, sunny, and windy again this morning. We start our Pics of the Day where we left-off yesterday, but first a picture of the Port Orford Cove with the Dock, Battle Rock Beach, and Hubbard's Creek beach in the background. I shot this photo from the viewpoint above Nellie's Cove.

Seastacks on the south side of the Heads.jpg (27109 bytes)And now we'll continue with my hike at the Port Orford Heads State Park. We left-off with me at the viewpoint with the panoramic views of the South Coast. I turned towards the West and captured this photo of a couple of water-worn seastacks near the south side of the Headland point. The seastacks form a sheltered cove perfect for diving and fishing during a windy summer day.

Different view of the Seastacks from the trail.jpg (27873 bytes)I followed the trail towards the west where the Nellie's Cove trail hooks-up with the old Watchtower trail. The picture on the right shows the same seastacks in the photo above but at a different angle.

Watchtower trail endpoint.jpg (38228 bytes)This photo shows the intersection point where the Watchtower trail ends and the Nellie's Cove trail meets. The views from this point are spectacular. On a clear day you can see a good chunk of the Southern Oregon coastline. Humbug Mountain is the large headland pictured in the middle portion of this photo.

Cove on west end of the Heads.jpg (39987 bytes)I then followed the Watchtower trail towards the east where the Agate Beach viewpoint trail meets. This trail follows the northwest portion of the Headland up to a point with views of Agate Beach, Paradise Point, and the Cape Blanco headland. I took a detour off the trail to snap some pics of this cove on the west end of the Heads. I eventually ended up at the most westerly point of the Headland where an answer for a question I've long been wondering about finally was solved. That answer will have to wait until tomorrow when we'll continue with my hike on the Heads.

Concrete parapet walls are finished with floating dock piles on the left.jpg (27431 bytes)Thursday's Pic of the Day
Thursday, 06-15-2000. Clear, sunny, and windy this morning. Our Pics of the Day will begin with a quick Port of Port Orford reconstruction update before we continue with pictures and stories from my visit to the Port Orford Heads State Park.

Floating dock for new Port of Port Orford.jpg (28628 bytes)Our first picture shows the completed hoists, parapet wall, and steel pilings for the floating dock pictured on the right. The dock's pontoon frame will be lifted and dropped over the corresponding tube piles shown on the picture above (left of the concrete parapet wall).

Wide angle view of the Port, 06-13-2000.jpg (32935 bytes)Our last Dock photo shows a wide angle view of the Port and various projects that the contractors are currently working on. This pic shows the concrete storefront building pads, curbing, rock retain wall, and stairway pier (far middle/left). The electrical stations are in with utility stub-outs installed. The overhead lighting poles should be up soon too.

Old Coast Guard support structures in Nellie's Cove.jpg (39789 bytes)Now back to my visit to the Port Orford Heads State Park. I left off with me on the trail near Nellie's Cove, site for the old Coast Guard boat house and pier. The boat house burned down in the 70's but the pilings and support structures can still be seen. The picture on the right shows the old concrete walls (between the 2 sea-stacks) with the pilings hidden in the shade.

Panoramic view of Port Orford Cove with Hubug and Nesika beach in the background.jpg (18484 bytes)The trail next leaves the forested section and leads to an area that provides a panoramic southern view to Nesika Beach and the Rogue River outlet. The coastline on this day was partially obstructed by low fog and mist. Often Grey Whales will cruise the area directly below this viewpoint. During the summer months Divers and Sports Fisherman work this area because the high Headland blocks the prevailing Northwest winds.

More pics and stories from the Port Orford Heads tomorrow! Be sure to check back, the best part is yet to come!

Coast Guard buildings at Port Orford Heads State Park.jpg (39368 bytes)Wednesday's Pic of the Day
Wednesday, 06-14-2000. Clear and sunny again this morning. Our Pics of the Day feature shots from my visit to the Port Orford Heads State Park yesterday. The Heads is a 100+ acre ex-Coast Guard lifesaving station located on the Port Orford headland. The old buildings were recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Park is great for picnics and hiking.jpg (52784 bytes)The Port Orford Historical Society recently completed a major renovation of the old barracks building. The building now is the Lifeboat Station Museum with tours conducted weekends from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. The museum contains several old flags, photos, and artifacts that are currently on display. One room is dedicated to coastal shipwrecks and lifesaving operations.

Nellies Cove and old Coast Guard pier location.jpg (33712 bytes)The park is an excellent location for afternoon picnics and hiking excursions. Several recently completed trails provide easy access to most of the Headland with it's fantastic views of the coastline. The picture on the left was shot from the trail that leads to Nellie's Cove, old home of the Coast Guard pier and boathouse.

Don't drive your motor-home or truck and trailer combination to the park, there is no turn-around. You can learn more about the Lifeboat Station by visiting their website at PortOrfordLifeboatStation.org. More pics and information tomorrow!

Norma and Jerry examining the goodies.jpg (39731 bytes)Tuesday's Pic of the Day
Tuesday, 06-13-2000. Clear and sunny this morning. Today's Pics of the Day feature beachcombing images from our May 25 walk on Battle Rock Beach.

Norma showing off her treasures.jpg (34379 bytes)Our first picture shows Jerry and Norma examining the goodies she found. Our beaches are usually covered with driftwood sticks of various sizes. Norma uses the driftwood pieces for constructing art projects. The small, flat sticks make excellent rustic picture frames. She finds sticks of the proper Norma hunting for rocks with Port Orford Cove in the background.jpg (37060 bytes)size and glues them to an existing cheap wood frame. She usually incorporates shells and rocks on the frames too.

Our picture above shows a happy Norma showing off some treasures from a nice pile of sticks that had congregated into one large clump. Monkey Rock and Humbug Mountain are pictured in the background.

Happy Jerry at Battle Rock Beach, 05-25-2000.jpg (27165 bytes)This next photo shows Norma looking for special beach rocks. We ran across a large pile of jasper and agates that had just been uncovered by the receding tide. The Port Orford Cove is pictured in the background.

Our last photo has a smiling Jerry with Norma way in the background (next to the large seastack). I know some of our visitors are tired of seeing him, but this picture was just too good not to post.

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