Day 8 we woke up in Humbug Mountain State Park. It was definitely the best site we were in for the whole holiday. Crater Lake and Painter Hills had the scenery for sure, but this little campsite was a jewel in itself. The camp hosts kept the place pristine and when we were there the residents were quiet and friendly.
As well as polishing off a geocache along the way, Mrs E and I began the day with the 5-6mile round trip of Humbug mountain. It’s basically a mile up/down, plus a circular walk of somewhere around 4 miles to the summit. The summit itself is really disappointing with no view of the sea, or indeed anything! The trail was largely well maintained but there were a couple of fallen trees and a little bit of erosion in places.
It was a good hike though and as the morning wore on toward lunch we started to see a fe more people. Weirdly, everyone else except one couple had decided to go anti-clockwise. We, of course, went clockwise against what turned out to be the flow.
After we got back to the site and freshened up a bit, we headed off to explore Port Orford. The brochures (and Doris) promised a large selection of cafés, restaurants etc. We were expecting the full-on seaside tourist experience. Maybe even fish’n’chips!
It was not to be however. There was indeed a nice-looking fish’n’chip shop and one or two other open establishments, but by and large it would seem that Post Orford had simply “gone away”. Shuffled off its mortal coil, snuffed it. Parrot or no – Port Orford was definitely dead. Having walked the full length of the town in search of a coffee shop, we took a side-street that promised a view of the coast-guard station. Half a mile up a winding lane we gave that up as a bad job and retreated towards the town centre again. Here we passed a couple of closed art galleries, bed and breakfasts and cafés. Some had pitifully offered WiFi as a last gasp attraction before finally closing for good. We were amused in a sad, twisted way to see that the town had plaintively painted on a road that yes, really, there was a sea view, if only you’d stay just a little bit longer…
Happy to give Port Orford one last chance, we headed up the street and were greeted with a panoramic view of the harbour. I use the term very loosely, for Port Orford actually has one of only two remaining Dolly Docks in the US. There is no natural harbour hereabouts, so they literally haul the fishing boats in and out of the sea each day via two giant cranes.
After a few minutes of bemused pondering, we were treated to a returning vessel making use of the facility and illustrating the equipment in use.
It seemed that this was the highlight of Port Orford and we’d pretty much exhausted its offerings. We ambled back to the RedFish restaurant/gallery we’d found at the southern end of the town and enjoyed a nice Chai Latte and the view back south towards Humbug Mountain before heading back for some relaxation and a Sudoku or two…