Hike on the Heads, Port Orford Heads State Park
Pic of the Day
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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 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 where 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.
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), 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.
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.
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!
Pic of the Day
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).
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.
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.
Pic of the Day
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pic of the Day
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).
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.
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.
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!
Pic of the Day
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.
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!
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 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.
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.