Sunday, July 28, 2013

Port Orford Head State Park

Odometer- still resting
Trip Meter- Local attraction

Joan and I hadn't been up to "Coast Guard Hill" yet this summer.  As a matter of fact we think it may have been closer to two years since out last visit.

The Coast Guard built a Life Boat Station in Port Orford in 1934 and it was active until decommissioned in 1970

Jeff immediately got distracted by a very cool hybrid 3 wheeler parked in front of the barracks.

There is a battery pack and the drive motor and transmission behind the seat.

 All of the original buildings are still here, and in a good state of repair.  The building below is not original and was built in early 2000 when the Motor Lifeboat was returned here for display
 The same 36 foot self bailing, and self righting surf rescue boat that was originally stationed here from 1946 to 1970 was recently restored and place in this new structure.  These boats were built in Curtis Bay Maryland at a cost of $23,133 dollars.  It had a 3-8 man crew and was capable of rescuing up to 20 survivors.

The old barracks building has been kept up very well and now is a very well appointed musuem of local maritime history.

One of the pictures on the wall of the museum, was this picture of an early port structure.

I just happened to have a recent photo of today's port structure.  Sorry to say the new version doesn't work as well as the earlier ones did.
Today's structure is prone to filling with sand, and that's the state it is in currently.  Without a dredging, we are lucky to launch large boats at high tide only.  Port Orford has what is called a "dolly dock"  One of only two in the US and one of six in the world.  All vessels are hauled out of the water by a large crane and set on a rolling trailer or "dolly"

The Museum is quite impressive and we were glad to see many new displays since our last visit.

The grounds are kept just as they were when the Coast Guard occupied this hill top.  One wonders why they chose a very tall hill for the station- the men had to descend 520 wood and concrete steps to the cove below to get to their rescue craft.  (here is a picture of the diorama showing the station and the cove below)
(Sorry about the glare and reflections)

The hill top has a very long poured concrete path that leads out to an observation post on the south end of the high ridge .

As we walked the path to the south point we passed this impressive hemlock.

Nearly to the observation point the trail approaches the ocean on the west side of the hill and the steep terrain gives awesome views of waves crashing on the rocks below.

The Coast Guard Station was built in 1934, and at that time there was very little tall vegetation to contend with.  There used to be a tall metal observation tower at the place where this picture was taken (below).

This town turns out to have a very interesting history.  The CG station was decommissioned in 1970 and the grounds became the Port Orford Heads State Park, which explains the great state of presevation.  

The Cape Blanco Heritage Society works with State Parks to staff and maintain the CG Station, the Cape Blanco Light Station (lighthouse) and the Hughes House and Ranch which I have written about in previous posts.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff 

No comments:

Post a Comment