Day Eight: Sunday, May 27th, the Coast continues on…

Howling Dog

Aside from that unfortunate incident with the airbed that let us down, I don’t know that I’ve ever slept better, and more consistently, on a vacation. Attribute it to utter exhaustion if you must. I don’t really care. It’s been nice. Even on a non-Coleman bed.

Port Orford Beach

Our bucket list for the day:

  1. Port Orford, the westernmost town in the Continental U.S. We stopped in yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to hike the beach. Trying to get back in time for fish and chips, you know. The best laid plans…
  2. Cape Blanco, the westernmost–and windiest–point in the Continental U.S. When searching for an open campsite on the coast, a ranger from Humbug Mountain steered me away from Cape Blanco. “People lose car doors out there.” OK, then.
  3. The Bandon Beach Area: Face Rock, Coquille Point. The Fish and Wildlife gurus told us we’d have a good shot at both tide pools and sea lions here.

The price you pay for chasing the perfect shell a little too far.

Port Orford: Did not disappoint. I think we could have spent as much time there as we did yesterday at Whaleshead. We did not, but it required restraint. Another gorgeous beach. Many more treasures to be found.

I’ve been feeling almost magical about this trip. Every day holds something more. Every day is another wow moment. You can’t say that often, but so far, we’re on track for a record trip on shock value scale. And the heart-tugging scale. There are places where the ocean just takes your breath and holds it for a moment. I do believe we’ve happened upon another of those places where the veil is just a little thinner. Where transcendence is just a little nearer. Where the energies of God are one layer closer to the surface.

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco: Incredibly windy. It felt like the Badlands, with salt air. Camping here indeed would have been ill-advised. I don’t know that my brother’s tent would’ve stood a chance, even if we did remember to hang onto our car doors. The Cape was a sight to behold, through squinted eyes. But 60 feels like 40 in that sort of derecho. Onward…

Emily departing Cathedral Rock

Face Rock: Looks a lot like a young Donald Trump laying on the beach. Cool, if you can ignore the likeness.

There is a huge formation here (much more substantial then Face Rock, the place’s namesake) called Cathedral Rock. Aptly named, for sure. Hollowed out every which way, super-tall cathedral-like caverns, underwater passages and everything. Gorgeous. And at low tide (more serendipitous timing), totally navigable and holding many grottos of its own.

Cathedral Rock

Coquille Point: We were pretty baked by the time we reached Coquille Point, but we had to face the millions of stairs to see if our retired comrades steered us right. I can’t say as we found any more tidal areas, but we did happen upon a big flat island full of seals and sea loins, all blubbering about.  Kind of snuck up on me, actually. I thought they were rocks. Until one barked at me and slid into the water.

My blubbery buddies

img_20180527_170532.jpgFish and Chips: Finally! Not bad, not bad… Every time we’re on a coast, we get excited for fresh seafood. Every time we leave wondering what it was we were excited about. I dunno. It just doesn’t seem that much better than a Friday fish fry back home. Regardless, it was decent, and the prices were survivable. Seafood – Check. Insider Tip: Non-spectacular seafood (or any kind of food) is always well-followed by delicious ice cream (or raspberry sorbet). Face Rock Creamery did the trick with $2 triple scoop ‘kiddie cones.’ Mmm…

IMG_20180528_160700.jpgWe were back in camp by 6:30, stoking up a nice driftwood fire. At some point one would think that all the sun we’ve been basking in would have triggered sunscreen application. But the sad fact remains that it did not. While most of my body was clothed, my face took a beating today. Thank goodness I’ve still got my signature racoon eyes.

IMG_20180527_202324.jpgOn the way in, we spotted a gypsy wagon checking in at the ranger station. Sarah has been planning the construction of a Tiny House for many years, and her radar locked on. Before we journeyed down to the beach for sunset, we made the rounds, seeking out the owners of the vardo in question. When we knocked on their back door, before the gentleman inside even opened the door, he yelled, “Yes, yes, would you like a tour?” I guess they attract a lot of oglers. We chatted them up for a good half hour. They were eager to talk about all things Tiny, and even more eager to do so with a kid so knowledgeable on the subject. Sarah collect all the secrets of the Tiny Home universe, I paced measurements for her, and we allowed them to return to their wine.

Sunset by blanket

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. I imagine our festive neighbors will all be packing up around us, and we will be left to an empty campground for one more night on the Oregon Coast.


Not a bad way to wind down.

To sand and sun and hippies,


The Whole Enchilada:

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