Arriving at Humbug Mountain State Park on July 4th was great. I went to Port Orford (nearest town) before I checked into my campground to preview the holiday festivities. Scouting for the fireworks launch was easy, so I ate fish and chips at a local restaurant. It was ok, but not Taco Temple from Morro Bay (see Morro Bay blog post). Once settled at camp, I walked to the beach, a short .25 mile walk and mostly empty. Although it was cloudy, the patterns in the clouds were stunning. I ran back to camp for my wide-angle lens (7-14mm). The spot I chose to photograph was the intersection of Brush Creek flowing into the ocean. The lines from the creek and the clouds intrigued me and I visualized this image in black and white.
As evening drew near, I faced the decision to drive the 7 miles to town for fireworks, or to catch sunset at the beach. In the previous two hours, the clouds were breaking and I suspected a decent sunset was in the making, so I stayed. The sunset did not disappoint. What stunning colors, reflecting off the sand and lighting up the clouds. This beat fireworks any day!
It is not uncommon for campers to inquire about my teardrop trailer. Several are intrigued with the size and ease of use. So, I wasn’t surprised when a woman approached me at Humbug. What did surprise me was the look she got on her face after I talked to her for a while. The look was, “please stop talking and let me go!” I realized after she left I have not talked to anyone for some time and I was talking her ear off. I probably gave her my life story…yes, I did. Maybe if I found a “Wilson” like Tom Hanks had in that movie – something to converse with so I don’t bore future campers.
My last full day, I hiked Humbug Mountain! This trail was 6 miles round trip, summit with an elevation of 1748 feet (I was at sea level) and views were spectacular. The morning was cloudy which meant fog at the top and the overgrown trail with moist ferns soaked my pant legs. The view at the top was uneventful and I was drenched. The trail was a loop and I went up the moister western side with one small ocean view. The drier east side on my descent included many flowers and even a snail. Both trails included a lot of
over/under fallen trees. A highlight of my trip so far.
Heading north from Humbug, I spent the day in Bandon (always a favorite town) and then arrived at Sunset Bay Campground outside of Coos Bay. Although I am staying 3-4 days in each location, I wish I was staying a week in every spot. There is so much to see, photograph and enjoy. The best part of Sunset Bay Campground – it is only a 5-mile drive to get to two more state parks, all part of Cape Arago. From crashing waves, whale & seal watching to rose gardens and sunsets, this 5-mile stretch has it all.
The highlight for me at this location was Shore Acres State Park Gardens. It was cloudy and the rose garden was unbelievable. Every time I see beautiful rose gardens, I think of my mom; she loved her roses. Luckily for me the sprinklers just sprayed the garden so I followed the sprinklers to capture water drops on the plants. At least I can say I did not place the water. I shot at the gardens until my batteries ran out!
Back at camp, another camper stopped by to say I had the “other” teardrop trailer in the campground. We chatted for a while and he invited me to their camp. I did stop in and met his wife, parents and their teardrop. Their trailer is a bit fancier than ours with many built in shelves and many amenities. It was a great happy hour visit and I discovered he knows a rock climber we know! Isn’t it funny, traveling so far and someone else knows Frank Sanders! Another evening, I ventured into the closest town of Charleston to check out the harbor and watched several sea lions fishing.
For the Photogs!
Since sunset is averaging at 9pm, I eat dinner around 4:30pm and then head out. I haven’t shot a lot of sunrises mostly because it takes time for the sun to hit the coast. There will be a sunrise or two in the future though (or more). My “go to” lens is still the 12-100mm (24-200 full frame equivalent) unless I am capturing macro objects. Like the Shore Acres State Park Gardens, I use the 60 mm (120 mm) or my 40-150mm lens for close-up images.
The Sunset Bay photo was captured at ISO 200, f/20, 1/80 sec, and if you look closely, you will see a silhouette of a person next to the trees! Of course, I did not see the person until I downloaded my photos.
I am currently at 2049 miles driven with an average 21.2 mpg for the first 2.5 weeks. My internet service is minimal as I move up the coast and my next location is only 40 miles north! I scouted that area last summer and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.