Wednesday, September 23, 2020

More from Port Orford

A few days ago we went on a short hike along the Francis Schrader Trail, where there are still old growth Cedars and Douglas Firs. 

Looking up at these natural giants reminded me of how fragile, yet how powerful human beings are. 


Currently, wildfires are ripping through forest land. This old tree was burned in a fire over 100 years ago, and yet it survived and is still growing. We can't say the same for those that were clear-cut harvested in the past. We have seen many old growth stumps on our hikes in preserved areas. 

It will be a couple hundred years before any of the smaller trees around them will tower like they do. But given a chance, they will.

These two giant dead cedars may stand for many years before a storm brings them down if humans don't fell them first. We learned that when the trees die it can take several hundred years for them to fall and fully decay.

These two were killed by a non-native fungal disease that is being spread by bark beetles.







This was another interesting sight. Part way up the trunk of this living Cedar tree was a charred, blown out place. We could not see the back of the tree, but it probably went all the way around. 

The only explanation we could think of was that perhaps the tree was struck by lightning that it traveled down the trunk before exploding out at this point. 

The tree is surrounded by other giants, and perhaps they are holding it up while the living part of the tree continues to grow. If anyone else has any ideas on this, we welcome them to comment.

It was another beautiful walk!

On our way back to Port Orford we stopped at an overlook for "Sisters Rocks".

A few days later we returned to hike down to the rocks below.

The hike was short and not difficult, but I had a headache so only went part way.

You could not see this part of the southern shoreline from above at the overlook, but we could from the path.

As I enjoyed the sea air while sitting on a nice rock part way down the path, Craig went further down and then climbed up to look into the hidden sea cave.  Look for the blue of his jeans.

I was glad Craig had his phone with him, so he was able to share what he saw with me. I had our larger camera up top.

And through the magic of modern photography, I am able to share this gorgeous northerly view taken from my resting spot. 

I feel like we are hiding out, or just passing time, as we sit in this sleepy little Oregon coastal town, Port Orford. This, our sixth summer of full time travel sure didn't turn out as we had planned. But then there is the old expression "RV plans are written in Jello". 

I feel very fortunate to be able to do what we are doing. We feel safe, and I am trying very hard to focus on the smaller good things in my life rather than the big picture. 

It is all I can do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Radish Tacos and a Walk

I'm starting this post a little different. The following Radish Taco recipe is healthy, tasty, economical, and easy. Even most small groceries will have what you need to make it. Although the green onions I was able to buy at the Port Orford grocery store were a bit sad, the big beautiful radishes were great.

 For Tacos: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can black beans
  • 6-10 radishes
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • corn tortillas.

For Crema: 

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

You will also need a food processor and a frying pan.

Put all the ingredients for the Crema into a food processor and pulse to combine. Set aside. 

Rinse and drain the black beans, wash and dice the radishes, and slice the green onions.

Heat olive oil in fry pan over medium heat, and sauté green onions for a short while. Add radishes and continue to cook until they are tender and start to lose color.  Add beans and stir often until they are warmed through. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Clean pan, add a tiny amount of oil and warm tortillas a few at a time as required.


To serve, put some bean/radish mixture onto a warm tortilla, top with avocado crema, fold and eat. We find this recipe yields about 8 tacos. Enough to satisfy us without any additions or leftovers.

I know this recipe was not from my childhood; Craig says it came as a Allrecipes email. Actually we didn't eat Tacos in my parents' house, and tortillas were not available in a regular grocery store. I'm glad times have changed.

The Walk:

On Tuesday, we woke to bright sunshine peeking through the slats of the blinds. Sure enough, the slight breeze overnight had blown away the smoke and fog. I knew just where to go for a nice walk, back to Humbug Mountain State Park to try out another of its trails. This time it was the "Fern Trail".


It was another beautiful walk.  

Uphill to the same place as our last hike,  but easy because most of it was on the pavement of old US 101, and the altitude gain was spread over a mile instead of a quarter mile.

I guess it is called the Fern Trail because there are a lot of ferns growing there. The road cut gives them just enough light to flourish.

Instead of turning around and walking back down the 101 grade, we came down on the Amphitheater Trail, which we were on last week. A bit hard on the old knees, but so pretty it was worth it.

The trailhead parking lot is on the side of the busy highway 101, but the trail goes under through a culvert tunnel. It was so nice to get out again after so many days of hiding from the wildfire smoke.

In memory of our friend Judy Bell:
The End

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Labor Day Weekend in Port Orford

Wednesday, 9:00 AM, Port Orford, Oregon.

The sky is yellow with smoke. Not a good day to go hiking!

We stayed in the Alfa over the Labor Day weekend in order to avoid people from other places who came to the coast for the cool air. In general, the local people seem to be practicing good preventive behaviors by wearing masks and keeping social distancing. You cannot enter a store without a mask.  In many stores, if you do you are given one. There have been no deaths in this county. I wonder why?

On Friday, after a hike in the woods, we drove past Battle Rock Wayside and I notice there were a lot of people there, some without masks. Tourists? Or just people who felt safe outdoors? We always carry masks, but I admit, we only put them on outdoors when other people are near. It is really hard to know what is the best approach.

Our hike was up the Amphitheater trail in Humbug Mountain State Park. It was short, just two miles, but the first 1/2 mile was a pretty steep climb.  We learned that the trees with lots of side branches are Grand Firs.



One of the little things we have seen on our walks.






Tuesday was a bit smoky. The sun was a big red disc when it was just over the trees in the morning, but the air did not seem too bad. 

We went over to the Battle Rock Wayside and went for a walk on the beach.  The weekend crowd was gone. The temperature was warm, and best of all there was no wind.

 Not a pretty blue sky, but pretty good ROCKS! We learned that 20,000 years ago the coastline was ten miles further out. The stacks and rocks are the result of erosion leaving harder rocks exposed. Someday they too will be gone. 

It did seem strange that there were very few seagulls on the beach this day. We did see a mob of crows, and two of these red billed Black Oystercatchers. 




We also went to the "port" of Port Orford. 

Unlike many places it did not have a marina full of leisure boats.

The boat storage area was quite high over the water. Two large cranes are used to lift them into the water. There were about 20 fishing boats on the dock. 

We plan to enjoy local fish and chips from the "Crazy Norwegian's" for dinner tonight. We pick them up and bring them back to the Alfa to eat. Just trying to stay safe, and we hope all of our friends and readers are doing the same.

'Til next time ....

Thursday, September 3, 2020

First Few Days in Port Orford, Oregon

On Tuesday we took the "long" drive down the coast to Port Orford. All of 24 miles! We are staying in a tiny RV park on highway 101called Camp Blanco RV. It has all of 25 sites, and most of them seem to be filled by seasonal or long term residents. But, unlike many similar places the units are not terribly run down, nor are they the big flashy class A's found in what I think of as the "La-De-Da" parks. 

I found it in mid-May when after all of our Canadian plans were cancelled, and I started looking for a cool place to escape from the hot late summer weather. At first, I could not find anything available in August, including here, but after some thought I called back to check on September. Bingo, we got a month reservation at the great price of $395. 

"Cool" is a good description of the weather so far. While our home base (Jojoba Hills) in Southern California is looking at temperatures well over 100° this week, Port Orford has been in the 60s. Yesterday the fog rolled in at about 5 PM, and cleared about 11 AM this morning.

I Found several short but interesting walks near our park. Today we went on the first, on Coast Guard Hill.

It started out with a ferny forest path that was nicely level.






The fog was just starting to clear when we got to the first overlook.

This bench was located where you could sit and watch the fog lifting for the day.

An interesting tree.















We have been very lucky to see so much beautiful scenery in our travels, and are looking forward to much more in our month here in Port Orford. We are always looking for suggestions of places to see or hike, so if you know of any hidden gems in this area, please comment!