Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Drive to Cape Arago OR and Shore Acres SP

17 August 2017


Today we drove to Cape Arago south of Coos Bay and Charleston on the Arago Highway. On the way we made a brief stop at Fort Umpqua in Elkton. This was our first visit since 2006. At that visit they were just  reconstructing the fort. Much progress has been made thanks and due to the dedicated efforts of volunteers and donations. The site is on Hwy 38 and across the Umpqua River from the original site which burned in 1851 which is now on private land. Fort Umpqua was a Hudson's Bay Company fort and the southernmost outpost of the HBC serving as a trading center for beaver and sea otter furs. As the fur trade declined, the fort became an agricultural center for settlers and tribal members. The original fort was established in 1836 and closed in 1854. In 1862 a flood washed out to sea the remaining evidence of Fort Umpqua. Many of the staff were Hawaiians and Polynesians hired by the HBC.

Fort Umpqua-Elkton OR


Trading Store

Chart of What 1 Beaver Pelt Could be Traded

Staff Quarters

Staff Quarters

Trading Store

Continuing our drive to Cape Arago, Shore Acres SP and WW II Radar Site via Hwy 38 to Reedsport and the Arago Cutoff from 101 in Coos Bay to the Arago Highway, we arrived at the Simpson Reef viewing area and the many sea lions and seals resting on the rocks.

The California Sea Lion breed in California in the summer with the males migrating north as far as British Columbia.

The Steller Sea Lion is the largest of the sea lions and breed in Oregon in summer using Cape Arago as a haul out site during non breeding season.

The Northern Elephant Seal can be seen here most of the year. They haul out here to rest and molt losing not only their fur, but upper layers of skin. During this process,they do not eat or drink. They can dive up to 4,ooo ft for feeding.

The Harbor Seal are here most year round giving birth at Cape Arago. The pups can swim at birth.

The views from Shore Acres SP are magnificent. Also, on the grounds is a gift shop, botanical gardens and cottage that Louis Simpson resided after his first home burned and during the reconstruction of his second home. During Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, the Park features more than 300,ooo holiday lights and exhibits.

Cottage Where Simpson & Family Lived

The park began as a private estate of Louis J Simpson. The original mansion perched 75 ft above the sea was destroyed by fire in 1921 shortly after the death of his first wife. The second and larger mansion fell into disrepair during the depression and in 1942 the property was purchased by the state of Oregon. During WW II the house was used by the military as an officer's residence and finally razed. On the sight today is a small rounded information kiosk.

We then hiked the 1/3 or so mile on the Pack Trail up to the WW II Radar Site that unfortunately has been desecrated with grafitti. Why this is done is beyond my comprehension and such a shame. It was established in 1942 to detect incoming enemy aircraft and closed in 1944. It is technically a Radar Site,but referred to on the map as Bunkers.

This was definitely an interesting day and so glad we did the drive. John found out that tomorrow there will be a guided tour of the Radar Site at 200PM, so we will return.

No comments:

Post a Comment