GOLD BEACH

 

I've been looking over this boat.  I think if I gave it a fresh coat of paint and patched a few of the holes in the bottom, it might make a nice residence.  At least it sank in a nice spot.  This is the mouth of the Rogue River at Gold Beach.  The bridge is the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge, 1898 feet long with 7 spans.  It was named for the governor of Oregon in 1926-30 and was designed by Conde McCullough, who designed most of the bridges in Oregon.  This one, built in 1932,  is listed as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  U.S. 101 runs over it.

 

 

Some very typical Oregon coastal scenery (above and below pictures).  These particular coastal scenes are just north of Gold Beach.

 

 

 


 

PORT ORFORD

 

 

This is where it all began on the South Coast of Oregon.  In 1851, Captain William Tichenor, master of a ship making regular runs between Portland and San Francisco tried to establish a colony at what is now Port Orford.  He brought 9 men and some supplies and landed them on this large rock at the seashore.  The men had one rifle, several muskets, a rusty sword, and an ancient cannon from Tichenor's ship to defend themselves.  The local Tutuni Indians arrived and informed Tichenor's settling party that they were in violation of Tutuni immigration rules and ordered them to leave.  Since Tichenor had already departed for San Francisco with the ship, the landing party declined.  A battle ensued between the 9 settlers and several hundred Indians (it's possible that this number was inflated by the settlers for dramatic purposes).  The settlers placed the cannon at the top of the rock pointed downward along the natural trail leading to the top.  The Tutuni were apparently not familiar with artillery, as evidenced by the number of casualties from the first shot.  Among those casualties was a prominent leader of Tutunis who was conspicuous because he wore a red shirt and had white skin, blonde hair, and freckles.  It has been traditionally reported that he was a Russian seaman who had joined the local tribe.  Several more skirmishes occurred between the warring groups.  The settlers, being limited in weapons and ammunition, saved them for a sniper effort on the chief of the Indians.  He was killed with one shot, as was his successor the following day.  Under cover of darkness, the settlers stealthily left for a walking trip back to Portland.  Jake Summers, leader of the landing party and Captain Tichenor both later returned to the area to live.  Summers involved himself in the short-lived gold rush in southern Oregon.  His remains were removed from the grave on his farm in the 1920s and reburied atop the rock, which has been known ever since the 1851 battle as Battle Rock.  Today the city of Port Orford surrounds the state park centered on Battle Rock.

 

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To view this panorama of Battle Rock, click on the picture above.  Click on the picture which comes up to enlarge it further.  Use your horizontal scroll bar to view the entire scene.  Hit your browser back button to return to this page.

 

 

 


 

CAPE ARAGO

Cape Arago is located just west of Coos Bay.  The explorer Captain James Cook visited the cape in 1778 and named it Cape Gregory.  In 1850, a US Navy cartographer renamed it Cape Arago.  It is located a few miles south of the entrance to Coos Bay.  In 1866, the Federal Government built a lighthouse on the tiny islet adjacent to the cape.  The lighthouse island was called Chief's Island by local Indians who claimed it to be the burial ground of their ancestral elite.  The present lighthouse is the third one at this location, the other two having succumbed to nasty local weather.  Only the shell of the building remains and the fourth order Fresnel lense of the light resides in a museum at the US Coast Guard Station in North Bend.  In 2007, legislation was passed in Congress at the behest of an Oregon senator to give the island and portions of the cape to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.

 

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HECETA HEAD

 

Heceta Head is a 1000-foot high promontory about 15 miles north of Florence.  It was named after the Basque general Bruno de Heceta who led a 2-ship mapping expedition up the western coast of North America for Spain in 1774.

 

 

The lighthouse (on the left) at Heceta Head was built in 1894 and is the most architecturally excellent of all Oregon lighthouses.  The lighthouse has been decommissioned and is operated as a tourist attraction by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

 

 

The lighthouse keeper's house viewed from the beach.  The house is operated as a B&B and the grounds are administered by the U.S. Forest Service

 


 

 

CAPE PERPETUA

 

Cape Perpetua is located about 2 miles south of Yachats, Oregon.  This 800-foot high promontory was the center of a shellfish gathering grounds for Indians for over 6000 years.  Large piles of empty shells can still be found with vegetation growing over them.  A number of explorers passed this point and recorded it's location.  Bartolomé  Ferrelo sailed by in 1543;  then Sir Francis Drake in 1575; then Martin d'Aguilar in 1605.  Captain James Cook, searching for the Northwest Passage named the cape on St. Perpetua's Day, March 7, 1778.  Today, Cape Perpetua and 2700 acres of forest around it are administered by the U. S. Forest Service as a wilderness and historic area.

 

Devil's Churn is one of the attractions of Cape Perpetua. A crevice in the basalt cliff produces spectacular wave effects. This area is one of the best for viewing the spring and fall migrations of whales along the coast.  The picture above shows seawater entering the churn.

 

 

To get a close-up view of the Devil's Churn, one must walk through the forest from the highway parking area down to sea level.  An elevated deck walkway facilitates access.

 

 

A view of the Devil's Churn from the observation area shows the tremendous rush of water.  Note the tourist in the lower left of the picture for size comparison.

 

The end of the Devil's Churn.  The water rushing in disappears downward and periodically reverses the flow and sends the water gushing back into the sea.

 


 

WALDPORT

 

A familiar sight as one travels the coast of Oregon is that of one of the bridges designed by Conde McCullough in the 1930s.  Unfortunately time is ravishing them all and infrastructure repair or replacement is another issue with which the legislature in Salem constantly wrestles.

 

 

 

In 1988, the old McCullough bridge spanning Alsea Bay at Waldport was demolished and replaced with a more modern structure which most people find aesthetically inferior to the old bridge.  The new bridge is 2,910 feet long.

 

 

Seal Rock (below) is located north of Waldport.  A chain of small islets hug the coast for a couple of miles and both the tiny islands and the coast itself are preferred habit for seals part of the year.

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NEWPORT

 

Newport is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Oregon Coast. The city is located on the north side of Yaquina Bay near the mouth. The McCullough bridge which spans the bay with US Highway 101 has required replacement parts in recent years. The salt environment and salt content of the local sand used in the concrete have weakened the rebar columns. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is the oldest in Oregon. Built in 1871, it was taken out of service after only three years when the lighthouse on the headland to the north was built.

 

 

The bridge over Yaquina Bay, a photographic icon of the Oregon Coast.

 

 

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse located on the grounds of a state park.

 

 

 

Agate Beach located a few miles north of Newport ranks as one of the most beautiful beaches on the Oregon Coast.

 

 

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse is located north of Newport on what is today a 100 acre government protected preserve under BLM management. The 93-foot lighthouse, the second oldest in Oregon, was built in 1873. The grounds of the preserve are a favorite area to view seals, whales, seabirds, and storms.

 

 

The beach below and the view south along the coast from the headland.

 

 

View of the coast looking north from the headland.

 


 

CAPE FOULWEATHER

 

 

Captain James Cook, the English mariner, awarded this somewhat dubious name to the first land sighted on the western coast of North America by his crew in 1778. The weather was not the best that day and Cook was just not in a mood for it. The 500 foot high cliff overhanging the Pacific provides a spectacular view to sea.  Historical marker at the viewpoint.

 

 

View from atop the cape looking south to Yaquina Head.

 

 

View down the side of the cliff.

 


 

 

LINCOLN CITY

 

 

Lincoln City exists on the strip of land separating Devil's Lake from the Pacific Ocean. The lake empties into the Pacific though the "D" River, the shortest river in the world (.25 miles long). A popular vacation spot with lots of Indian casinos.  Picture above shows the beach alongside US 101.

 

 

Devil's Lake viewed from the south end.

 

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