and drink plenty of it

Traveling Them Thar Hills


Farewell to Port Orford/Cape Blanco

Our days here at Port Orford/Cape Blanco are sadly over, for this summer anyway! It was the most fun we have had in a very long time.

We met so many wonderful people from all over our beautiful state of Oregon, and also from all over the world. One thing that stands out most about this whole fabulous area, that we had the privilege of spending two months in, is the constant changing of just about everything: The weather changes frequently: the sun peeks out, the fog rolls in, the sky is the most vivid blue you will ever see, then a blanket of fog rolls in. In Oregon we like to say “if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”. Our front yard, that fabulous stretch of beach, changed from tide to tide, it was never the same beach two days in a row. Every day we had a new group of visitors to the museum and the lighthouse, there was hardly ever a dull moment! The people we have enjoyed the most are the ones who attentively listen to the history stories that we relate, and it was always a joy to see happy, modern families bringing their children to see how people lived in the past. Many people left their tour very pleased, and appreciative of what they had learned, and the great thing is that we learned from people as well! Also many people thanked us for providing the opportunity to see fabulous things like our Cape Blanco light house. Michelle and I thank our great Oregon Park system for giving us this opportunity to be of service!

When we arrived, the first person we met was Norm, in the position
of greeter at the lighthouse. He filled us in on what it was like to be a host and what the duties entailed, and let us know just how much he and his wife enjoyed being there.
We had our orientation with Greg Ryder and really appreciated Greg’s enthusiasm for his position of Park Ranger in charge of the interpretive programs.
We then left the classroom part of the orientation and headed to the Lifeboat Museum, we met Pete Rasmussen, a Cape Blanco Heritage Society member. Pete filled us in on our duties
to run the museum, we started a day or two later on the very busy 4th of July.
Returning to our host site, where we parked Huey for the month of July, we met park hosts Jerry and Shirley. This is when I came to the conclusion that the longer you are retired, the more you want to prove you can do good hard work, and Jerry showed just how hard one can work and enjoy every minute of it!
Every Monday morning, hosts volunteering in the area, as far south as Humbug Mountain, got together at the Paradise Cafe in Port Orford, that can be an experience depending on who
all is there. I guess I need to try some southern grits next time, because Norm lit up Jerry’s lights with a bowl of that southern treat at breakfast last Monday.

Visits from John and Jen, Laura and Michael, and a nice trip last
week from Chenin made our time here even better!

We have had the pleasure of meeting some very fun host couples working with us at the lighthouse and we all received complements on being a well organized and smooth operating group of tour guides!

In no particular order we will start with Ralph and Debbie. From what we where told,
they are part of the witness protection program, ha ha. Ralph retired
early as a correction officer, when asked by a camper what he did there, he said without
hesitation “he corrected things!” Ralph had a real knack for cruising the camp ground on his bicycle and getting the scoop on all the happenings in the park, AND the whole area it seems. Now Debbie has the ability to talk and knit beautiful things at the host social hours and if that isn’t enough, she can bake very yummy cookies! Fires were provided by Ralph’s excellent
firewood hunting skills. Hopefully we get the timing right in our travels to meet up with them at PIR in Phoenix in November.
Jackie and Diane are new at this roaming lifestyle like we are. They are two very cool gals who were a pleasure to hang with! I have thanked Jackie for informing me of the dangers of cooking up kale parsnips found around the lighthouse, just because the Indians did it doesn’t mean I could survive these things.
Jim and Randa have proved to be the longest story teller/ interruptive hosts; some stories I suspect are a bit of a stretch as is the story on how myrtle wood got its name!
We enjoyed dinner at Ed and Pegs house, these are people we met many moons ago in Vacaville CA, through Michelle’s sister, Pat. These two are characters, especially
Ed who collects and paints rocks. He also has a strange way of eating huckleberries, but he does know the golden rule of not picking or eating berries lower than 4 feet!

Today we are looking at the worst day of weather since being here, but the storm is nice
to watch from inside Huey; its our day off, and we do feel badly for Ralph and Debbie being the outside story teller/greeter team today. We hope this doesn’t sway them from coming back next year, we already look forward to 8 months from now for another dose of the coast.