Sunday, August 3, 2014

A lighthouse to tour, blueberries for picking, & a windsurfers' park...

We are excited to be along the southern Oregon coast, its beauty stopping us at many viewpoints such as these, rushing out with camera in hand. The cities of Brookings, Gold Beach, and Port Orford, all offer much to see and do with a variety of RV parking options, but we weren't ready to stop for the day.  We have friends who stayed at Harris Beach State Park and their gorgeous photos of dramatic coastline views had us hoping for a vacancy but that was not to be as all the sites were reserved well in advance, and of course, we hadn't planned ahead...





 My search for county parks once again served us well and we set our GPS for Boice-Cope campground operated by Curry County.  Offered on a first come, first serve basis all the spacious, clean sites circle a large grassy area rimmed by Pine and Spruce trees, and located adjacent to Lake Floras in Langlois, OR.  The lake is separated from the Pacific Ocean by narrow dunes which are a short walk from the lake and attracts a multitude of kayakers, sail and kite-boarders, and fishermen to its breezy shores.  The sites have no hookups, cost $18 per night and include picnic table and fire ring, with dump station and water available.  We were surrounded by young, active families and singles and the atmosphere was lively.  








There is some interesting history surrounding Lake Floras.  In 1908 Pacific City, later named Lakeport, was promoted on the supposition that a canal could be built between the ocean and the lake.  Land was cleared, wharves were built, sidewalks laid, and dwellings and a 3-story hotel were erected.  People flocked from all over the country, bent on making their fortunes, quickly buying up the 6,000 lots that were for sale.  When the excitement died down the town's people began to question just what products the contiguous areas would produce that could fill even one freighter.  The final blow fell when the War Department gave permission for canal construction to begin, and it was discovered that the town was 40 above sea level and that if the canal were built all the water from the lake would drain into the ocean unless elaborate locks were constructed.   By 1909 the city closed its doors!








Our location just north of the Sixes River is conveniently close to Cape Blanco State Park and Lighthouse, so of course we took advantage of this opportunity for a tour.  We were whipped by strong winds as we walked the short distance from the parking lot; heavy fog swirling all around, giving us brief glimpses of the lighthouse up ahead. The very reasonable $2 fee for the tour is waved if you have a NP Golden Age Pass.  We received a great history of the light and its keepers from the volunteer that met us at the base of the narrow, spiraling staircase and were then sent on up.  The final ascent is via ladder into the very small, circular light room where another volunteer gave the particulars about the light's construction and maintenance.  Afterwards, we drove around the heavily treed campground, down to the driftwood-strewn beach, and the farmlands alongside the Sixes River. The lighthouse is located about 6 miles west of the Oregon Coast Highway.









Returning home we noticed a sign by the roadside advising us that Jensen's Blueberry Farm was just ahead.  We couldn't resist an opportunity to pick our own.  Jensen plants 13 varieties of luscious blueberries and they were peak for picking.  A bucket is provided and we paid a whooping $2.50 for a third of a bucket-full which turned out to be a lot.  Tasting along the way was encouraged. This was only our second time picking blueberries since we were in Powell River, BC in 2006. That date sticks in my mind since Howard had just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  A month later we were heading for Vancouver Island exploring and a series of BC ferry trips that took us to Powell River and back to Vancouver.  I am flooded with wonderful memories and much gratitude, for here we are...










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