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Video of our Port's dolly dock in action

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Port Orford bay is one of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean in the US.

The terrain is fairly level, so walking on the beach is easy on the hard-packed sand - the color of a mocha latte. The seastacks are spectacular, whale and bird watching are very satisfying, and it's not unusual to walk along the surf and be the only one enjoying this fantastic beach.

Or climb Battle Rock, the great rock where great battles between soldiers and Native Americans in 1851 signaled the start of the oldest town in Oregon.

Wade the tidepools, where you can gather mussels and clams in season. Spot birds, or sea creatures such as starfish, limpets, dogwinkles, Oregon Tritons, hermit crabs, and sea urchins.

Wind, board, and body surfing are said to be the best on the Oregon coast. The bay offers sets of head-high face waves for surfers with wetsuits about any time of year, and kayaks and canoes are popular in calm weather.

The Orford Reefs host the 2nd largest Stellar sea lion rookery, the kelp beds are among the largest on the Pacific Coast and twice a year, trained volunteers teach whale watching as thousands of gray whales, some as large as 45 feet, feed near shore during summer and fall migration. Orcas, or killer whales, have also been spotted near Port Orford.

But when walking any beach here, watch out for the sneaker waves that can come seemingly from nowhere to pull you into the ocean. Be safe and keep an eye on the waves as you walk.

  A view of Port Orford Bay
from "the most western drug store in the US."
Date unknown
In Oregon the beaches are public, and you can drive on them
By Rufus Quail



I thought it was really misguided of Oregon to allow people to joyride their cars up and down the beach. That was before I found out about the Beach Bill and how it happened that Oregon's beaches became public. Not some, but all.

It's inspiring to think it could happen in the good ol' US of A, so entrenched are the moneyed interests, so willingly do people surrender to the mantra of progress at any price. This is a case where the people won bigtime.

Motoring on the beaches is an Oregon tradition dating back to the late 1800s when the motors were horses drawing wagons. In 1913 Governor Oswald West persuaded the legislature to protect all beaches from developers by declaring them a highway. The Beach Bill finally assured the status of Oregon's beaches as public property.

With that perspective, I don't worry about cars on beaches. They're a symbol of an amazing victory for people power.

 

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