Sept. 27 – October 4, 2005 – When we took off from Roseburg, we got on U.S. 101, the Pacific Coast Highway, with Gold Beach as our next destination.
It was only 139 miles, but it was hard to go too far too fast on that amazing stretch of highway.
It’s just so beautiful, we want to stop at every viewpoint to gawk at the surf crashing around the seastacks.
It doesn’t help that mom keeps screaming at every turn, “Look at that Malia — oh, never mind, watch the road — but you just oughta see this!”
I don’t even try to resist, so I pull over at every stop large enough for us. And even though we’ve only gone a couple of miles, each viewpoint is equally worthy of a peek and taking a picture of each other.
A Gold Beach legendary lady has seen better days – The Mary D. Hume was built from a 141 foot white cedar tree cut just downstream from this spot. She was launched in 1881 from this dock and remained in active service for the next 97 years, a record for any vessel on the Pacific Coast. A long, diverse, and sometimes tragic history led her back here in 1978 within feet of the place of her birth for her final resting place. At least she has a great view of the beautiful Patterson Rogue River Bridge.
Our first home in the area was at Turtle Rock Resort. Click for separate pages about this great place and its owners for more pictures and details.
A short path from the park brought us to this beach and this was one of our favorite seastacks. Even though it was quite chilly and windy, we enjoyed watching the waves crash around it.
This is also where mom found her “treasure” of a feather from a seagull. She said it was actually a sign from one of her friends who had recently passed who told her she would send feathers as a sign she was saying hello from the other side. Both mom and I believe in such “crazy” notions.
One day we took a drive out to see the Myrtlewood trees near Lobster Creek. The trail was too steep for mom, so she wanted to just sit and soak it all in. I went on ahead for a little bit. Coming back down, I caught this picture of her sitting on the bench looking like she was in church, she was in such awe. (She’s the red dot in the middle of the forest.)
Here I am feeling like a dot next to this giant Myrtlewood king — and he wasn’t even the biggest guy in this jungle!
Here’s what I could get of Oregon’s Largest Known Myrtle Tree. According the the sign: “This tree is one of the world’s largest known myrtle trees. It is approximately 88 feet tall, 42 feet in circumference and its canopy is nearly 70 feet wide.” She certainly had a royal presence about her, that’s for sure! I laughed when I was writing this because I usually refer to big trees like this as “he” for some reason. But when thinking to myself about this one and seeing the spread of the hips – and then flashing that the name is Myrtle – it felt more appropriate to say “she” in this case. 😉
Next – Gold Beach to Crescent City