Cape Blanco State Park, Oregon

July 30th

Sissy standing on the side of the road in the Avenue of the Giants. This pic was taken for comparison so you could see the size of these granddaddies

Oregon coast near Rainbow Rocks

Driftwood piled up on the beach at Cape Blanco State Park

Sissy on a cliff overlooking the beach at Cape Blanco State Park

Warning sign to beachgoers ... notice the Tsunami Hazard Zone warning in blue

Tuesday morning we were up before sunrise at about 0430. How early was it? It was so early the birds weren´t even awake yet. And, because we were dry camping, John prepared coffee in the metal pot (stove type) instead of the coffee maker which runs off electricity. No worries though because the coffee is just as good ... sometimes even better because you can smell it brewing.

When the sun came up and neighbors began stirring, we started getting ready for our northerly trek toward Oregon. But first, we had to drive through the remainder of the Avenue of the Giants. Yup, you guessed it ... more pics of those beautiful redwood trees were in the making. And, we got plenty of them. Then, it was to the Texaco station in Fortuna for fuel and a dump station. Apparently, all the campgrounds in the state park refer campers to the Texaco station for dumping their tanks because the campgrounds have none.

Next, it was up the coast and out of California passing ´The Last Chance Liquor Store´ on the border of California and Oregon. John of course, had to turn around to find out why the place had that name, and besides, he was running low on his stash and so was Sissy. It turns out, the State of Oregon controls it's liquor sales (like Virginia does) and also controls the price which is considerably more expensive than in California. We stocked up!

The Avenue of the Giants is a 2 lane road with huge redwoods on both sides for about 32 miles

The ride north was relatively slow on Highway 101 not due to traffic, but rather due to the up and down and winding roads along the coast. Of course, we had to pull off numerous times for pics along the way. Then it was time to start thinking about where to park ourselves next. We decided on Crater Lake a little inland from the coast. Wouldn´t you know it, Route 199 (the road to Crater Lake) was closed due to a huge forest fire in the Siskiyou National Forest. Turns out, if we would´ve made it to Crater Lake, the smoke was so thick you couldn´t even breath.

We decided instead to head north along the coast and try our luck. Pulling off into another Texaco station in Port Orford for fuel, we had a pleasant surprise. Did you know it's against Oregon State Law to put fuel into your own vehicle? Whelp, it is! We couldn't figure out why the station attendant was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, but that was the reason. The gas pumps were in front of the station and the diesel pump was out back. John told the attendant to take his time as we weren't in any hurry. Ok, after getting the truck and extra gas can (for the bike) filled up, we were off again. Oops! I almost forgot. Sissy went and gave the attendant a tip for his hard work.

Up the coast again until we pulled off at the sign indicating Cape Blanco State Park on the ocean side of Highway 101. The wind was kicking to about 50 MPH, but that didn´t matter because we were tired and it was getting late (1530). The campground inside the park was wonderful ... electricity, water and a dump station. We opted for site A10 as it was level and had some sun peaking through the trees for Sissy.

John on a cliff overlooking the beach at Cape Blanco State Park

After unhooking the truck, around the park we went to get our bearings and see some sights. We drove to the lighthouse, Historic Hughes House and to the beach for pics. The lighthouse was on a steep cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and when Sissy tried to take a pic, the wind blew her all the way back to the truck. We also took some pics of the smoke and clouds from the forest fires just southeast of us. We were safe however, because the wind was blowing WNW toward the fire. Not so for the folks closer to the fires however; those in Selma, Kirby and Cave Junction. Those people were being put on a 30 minute evacuation notice because two fires were about to merge. Only 3 miles separated the first fire (30,000 acres) and the second fire (100,000) acres. We would not want to be firefighters in Oregon (or anywhere out west for that matter) especially in this wind. We heard on the news that another firefighter died when his helicopter crashed during a mop up operation near the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (we went there while in Denver).

Blown silly by the wind, we headed back to the campsite for some dinner. Upon arrival, John noticed a fire in the campsite across the way. Nobody was around (they left without putting their campfire out completely), so John put it out himself ... sacrificing his half full (or half empty bourbon and coke) and some more water. And, people wonder how forest fires get started!!!

The smoke in the background is the 100,000 +/- acre forest fire in the Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon

After chatting with the neighbor next door (we didn't get his name), it was time for Sissy to prepare dinner (turkey, gravy, rice and green beans) and then get busy on the computer and in Sissy´s journal. A little television (1 channel), and then it was time for some chitter chatter and then bed. We elected to not take the bike out on this stop, so Sissy slept in her usual 2nd floor suite while John slept in the basement.

One lane highway down to the beach at Cape Blanco State Park

Next morning, plans were to head north again along the coast and pick another spot to stay before arriving into Washington.

John & Sissy EXCLUSIVE RATINGS: (1 bad - good 10)

  • Campground - 10
  • People - 9
  • Roads - 10
  • Scenery - 10
  • Traffic - 10
  • Things to Do - 8
  • Weather - 9

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