Port Orford Heads State Park, Lifeboat Station Museum and Port Orford Dolly Dock

5/6/16 (Friday) in Port Orford, OR (Camp Blanco-GS)

Once again we wanted to explore, despite that despicable wind! More storms apparently come this way because Port Orford is the western-most city in the continental US. Thus the Coast Guard built a Lifeboat Station here. It’s now a well laid out museum. These wooden lifeboats were mid-engined, self-righting and self-bailing. The large green jugs were “jerry cans” that held fuel (5 gallons each and weighed 42 pounds) that the seamen had to carry from the top of the cliff (where there was room to build the station) down many steps (the last were wooded and icy in winter) to the lifeboat. These were called “Jerry cans” because “during World War II British troops…..noted that the German military fuel cans did not split open when they fell from vehicles, while the British cans did. The British adopted the German design and called them “Jerry cans.” “Jerry” was the nickname used by British troops to refer to German soldiers.” – from a museum sign.


Views from the trail we took to see the foundation for the watch tower as well as some views of the ocean. The first shows remaining footings for the dock below. Imagine carrying those “jerry cans” all the way down to there (532 stair steps). The photo is blurry because I was fighting with the wind!


A couple flower shots from that walk that I couldn’t resist sharing.


Our very helpful campground host had suggested that we could get fresh crab from the fishermen down on their little dock. He also had explained that it was special, only 2 exist in the US. Because the town’s open-water harbor isn’t protected from sea swells, boats in the commercial fishing fleet are hoisted in and out of the harbor by a huge crane each day. None of that happened today. We found out that on really windy days (many occur during May-August), the sailors can’t safely go out. Thus, no hoisting nor fresh crabs. C’est La Vie.



About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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