Chapter #145: Port Orford, OR - A Forest Home - May 11, 2010

Winter storm approaches the port at Port Orford from the south - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)

Port Orford, Oregon - "The town that chooses you."

A Southern Oregon Forest Home.

Over the past three years, I have traveled often to Port Orford. First, it was to help my mother after the death of her husband of thirty-five years. Later, I helped maintain her property on Cedar Hollow Drive, including 1.72 acres of mixed fir, pine, cedar and other hardwoods. A three-bedroom home stands in a clearing at the far end of a long gravel driveway. Last fall, I helped my mother move from there to Heritage Place, an assisted living facility in Bandon (By the Sea), Oregon. Next, I began preparing her property for sale, expecting to use the proceeds to pay for her new retirement lifestyle. After she passed away in February 2010, I opted not to sell, but rather to prepare the house for rental. In late May 2010, I shall make another visit to Port Orford, completing that process.
A forest Home - Port Orford, OR - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
In Port Orford, U.S. Highway 101 changes names to Oregon Street. There, the highway is four lanes wide, with parallel parking along both sides of the street. Nowhere in Southern Oregon does the speed limit exceed fifty-five miles per hour. Despite signs and flashing lights warning of the thirty miles per hour speed limit through the city, many travelers barely slow down. As often as not, the local police cruiser quietly waits for the next speeder to blow through town. Rarely does he have long to wait. Announcing his presence with a quick “whoop” from his siren, there is no place for a scofflaw to run or to hide. Some call it a speed trap. Others will say, “We warned you, fair and square”.
To an outside observer, Port Orford appears to exist in a time warp. With no traffic signals to slow you down, you might drive through town in less than five minutes. If you are looking for national-franchise businesses of any kind, you will find only filling stations, hardware and auto parts stores there. Almost every other business in Port Orford is local, both in ownership and concept. For many businesses in and around Port Orford, a website is a curiosity, but not a reality.
Heritage Place Assisted Living Facility, Bandon By The Sea - Click for alternative image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
When I began working on the Port Orford house, everything outdoors was reverting to nature, including fir trees that overhung the eaves and green moss growing on the roof and in the garden. Moss is appropriate in the forest, but when growing on a roof, it indicates that too little sunlight is reaching the surface. Twice in the past two years, I contracted with Blue Sky Tree Service, in Bandon to cut dangerous, dead or overgrown trees from the property. My goal was to lift the lower reaches of the canopy and to push back thirty-five years of forest encroachment around the house.
Inside the house, there were spider webs behind each piece of furniture that abutted a wall. By the time of my departure, it felt like I had vacuumed out enough spider webs to knit a sweater. As both the outside and the inside became cleaner and neater, I realized that the property is beautiful, beyond compare.
A Blacktail deer grazing in the driveway - Port Orford, Oregon - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)  
For five years, Mom’s 2005 Chrysler 300 was almost the only vehicle to use the driveway. Lately, heavy service trucks have used the driveway more frequently. By late April 2010, Port Orford had already seen over fifty-five inches of rain. The matt of decomposed forest material that lay upon the driveway quickly turned to mush. It was time to apply a new coat of gravel at each end of the driveway.
Looking at the driveway from the street, it soon becomes a double-track, with moss, grass and other small plants growing between the tracks. Farther on, the ground is higher and retains more of the original gravel. In honor of the natural surroundings, I wanted that section to have the undisturbed look of an old country road. Our goal was to rehabilitate the driveway, but leave a swath of green between the two sets of tire tracks.
Blue Sky Tree Service crew arrives for work on a misty morning in the forest at Port Orford - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
After several recommendations, I contracted with Janet Dougherty, of Bandon, Oregon to provide the gravel that we needed for the job. Janet is the owner and driver of Big Bertha, a fourteen-yard Mack EZ-460 dump truck. Janet and Big Bertha quickly spread twelve tons of freshly crushed gravel for me. They laid most of the material at either end of the driveway, leaving the middle section relatively untouched. Each end received at least two inches of gravel, plus an extra pile, which I later hand-raked into place.
Upon delivery, the gravel was wet and covered with a thin coating of gray mud. The mud was a byproduct of wet crushing the rock. Most city dwellers are used to seeing washed gravel, which looks clean by comparison. In order to see what the gravel really looked like, I sprayed water on a few spots, Blue Sky Tree Service specialist uses a chainsaw to cut down a dead 100-year-old Port Orford Cedar - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)flooding it until the gray mud ran off or soaked in between the stones. After washing, the material showed itself to be solid granite, three quarters of an inch in diameter and varying in color from dark gray to white.
After hand grading the driveway with shovel and rake, I then drove back and forth in my 2006 Nissan Titan truck. The wide tires acted like steamrollers, packing the gravel down to its base level. After grading and rolling, our transition from gravel to concrete is as smooth as a Los Angeles freeway. In the transition area between full-gravel and our country road, I raked fresh gravel off the median, and then built it up where the wheels of my truck might roll.
Big Bertha, the Mack Truck arrives with a load of gravel for the driveway - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
The next day, my driveway greenbelt looked sad. We had gouged it, dumped on it, scraped and trampled it. It rains so much in Port Orford that unless grass or moss are well established, soil can run off quickly. I decided to rehabilitate it from the ground-up. To do so, I first applied bags of bark mulch and potting soil, spreading those materials wherever growth was thin or damaged.
In town, I found a grass seed product that included a moisture-retaining growth medium, encapsulating each seed. After sewing the super-grass seed along the center strip, I raked up some extra pine needle-mulch and used it to cover much of my new ecological experiment. Next, I sprinkled granular plant food along my new garden path. Finally, I watered the median, from the pump house to as far as my hose would reach. Overnight, the Port Orford area received gentle, soaking rain.
Janet Dougherty, owner and driver of Big Bertha, lands lightly on her feet near Coney the Traffic Cone at a job site in Port Orford, Oregon - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
On April 26, 2010 we completed the driveway, and then departed the next day. With frequent rain reported since then, we hope to see substantial growth upon our return in late May. With a bit of luck, we will have a clean, level driveway and thriving new growth down the center of our country road. Whatever the results may be, we shall report them here in Early June. At that time, please return for photographic evidence of nature’s bounty in Port Orford, Oregon.
Email James McGillisEmail James McGillis

By James McGillis at 03:44 PM | Travel | Link

Blog Search

 →  Recent Posts

Snow in Death Valley National Park
The Colorado River's Demise - 2023
The Four Corners Region - Part 5
The Four Corners Region - Part 4
The Four Corners Region - Part 3
The Four Corners Region - Part 2
The Four Corners Region - Part 1
Mammoth Lakes, Summer 2020
Morro Bay, CA - Fire Season 2020
Camping at Panamint Springs, Part 2
Camping at Panamint Springs, Part 1
Camping at Mojave Preserve in 2020
Death Valley Winter Camping 2019
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 5
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 4
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 3
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 2
Edward Abbey & Friends at UNM Ch. 1
Planned Desecration of The Book Cliffs
Thompson Springs, Utah - History
Visit Historic Thompson Springs, Utah
Santa Susana Field Lab Contamination
Classmate Bob Lovejoy (1948 - 2018)
Titus Canyon and Titanothere Canyon
2018 - Is The Future a Mirage?
Return of the Moab Burro Crane
Moab - Desert Rocks Festival 2011
Moab, UT - Negro Bill Canyon Remains
Yosemite High Country Devastation
Furnace Creek - Death Valley, Calif.
Zabriskie Point - Death Valley, Calif.
Crescent Junction, Utah - New History
NTSB Final Report Omits Critical Data
Winter Camping in the Mojave Desert
2017 - Burbank Rose Parade Float
Sarah Thomas - World Record Swim
A Family Visit to Kaua'i, Hawaii in 1988
2016 - Cow Springs, AZ Trading Post
Metrolink - Meager Track Maintenance
'16 Beverly Hills Concours d'Elegance
It's Time to Audit Metrolink Operations
Ventura County - Deadly Rail Collision
Ventura County, CA - Rail Safety 2016
Metrolink Ignores Mismatched Brakes
Agencies Ignore Rail Safety Issues
Nevada - Vote Now to Bring Back Solar
Ventura County Rail Deaths Scandal
Google Pop Car- Rail Safety Plan
BNSF Locomotives on Metrolink Trains
2015 - Time to Phase Out Lake Powell
Navajo Power Plant Heat Island Effect
Of Mudflats and Methane Volcanoes
Metrolink Anti-Derailment Blade Failure
Metrolink to Spend $338 Million
The Glenn Steele Memorial Overpass
5th & Rice - A Deadly Railroad Crossing
The One, the Only - Plush Kokopelli
Metrolink Train Crash, A Personal Story
Moab, Utah - Lions Club Park - Part 2
Moab, Utah - Lions Club Park - Part 1
Deadly Crude Oil Trains Coming Soon
Metrolink Oxnard Train Collision Report
2015 Rare California Rain Barrels Help
So. California Lakes Soon to Disappear
C.Proietto - Cattolica, Cafe Eden Roco
Hollywood: "Violence is the New Sex"
2014 Spanish Valley Vineyards
Durango & Silverton Railroad Story
Is it Too Late to Save Moab, Utah?
BLM & SITLA - URLEA Subterfuge
Moab Pile to be "Moab Pit" - 2029
Moab in Springtime - May 2014
Old Mesquite, NV - Gone For Good
I-15 North - Mojave Desert Tour
Grand Co. Plans to Desecrate Site
Moab - County Plans Fail the Test
2014 - Quantum Leap in ATM Theft
Moab Kiley - Peaceful BLM Protest
Stop The BLM-SITLA Land Swap
Utah Recreational Land Exchange
Burro Cranes - A Complete History
Moab Burro at Seven Mile Canyon
Brightsource Solar's Flawed Design
Trend - Horsepower Mitigation Fees
Moab Rim Campark Sold in 2014
Durango, CO - Engine #478 - 1965
Durango, CO - Engine #476 - 1965
Red Lake Trading Post, Tonalea, AZ
Deconstruction at Cow Springs, AZ
Cow Springs, Navajo Art - 2013
Navajo/Hopi, New Energy Dilemma
Peabody Coal Stripmine Disappears
An Arizona River Dies in the Desert
Black Mesa Coal - Water & Power
2013 - The Great Western Drought
Homolovi State Park, AZ - No Ruins
C.Proietto Paints at Lago Maggiore
American Bison Herd Threatened
I-40, Twin Arrows - Both Old & New
Simi Valley Brush Fire - Air Power
I-40: Highway Tax Dollars At Work
Kristi Frazier - World Citizen Award
Sierra Nevada, CA - 2013 Drought
Desolation Canyon Wilderness Area
The Holbrook Basin Potash Project
Moab - Revisit Seven Mile Canyon
Moab - Greater Canyonlands N.M.
Thomas Kinkade - Yosemite Valley
C.Proietto Paints Lugano, Gandria
Paso Robles, CA - Wine Adventure
Colorado River Dine & Unwind Moab
Kodiak 100 --> Moab Charter Flight
The True Cost of Mineral Extraction
Moab Truck - 1950 Chevy 3100
Disappearance --> Reemergence
Edward Abbey - His Spirit Returns
Edward Abbey - Monkey Wrenching
Edward Abbey - Lake Powell 1965
Edward Abbey - Desert Solitaire 65
A New Message From AAMikael
C.Proietto Paints Bad Kreuznach
New Jersey - The New Atlantis?
Moab - A Rare Beech B-45 (T-34A)
Howell Mountain, CA - Winemaking
Oakville, CA - Robt. Mondavi Wines
Crescent Junction, UT - in 1955
Craig Childs - Apocalyptic Planet
Mammoth Lakes, CA - 1st. Snowfall
Mesquite, NV - A Disappearing Act
The Mystery of Hovenweep Road
Moab Airport - Canyonlands Field
Moab, UT - Save Ken's Lake Puddle
Jeeps & Downtown Abbey in Moab
Moab Valley vs. Spanish Valley, UT
Moab, Utah - Go Behind the Rocks
Moab Adventure Xstream Race '12
Face on Mars - Is it John Lennon?
C.Proietto - Paints The Dolomites
Moab Tower - The Wireless Story
Brendel, Utah - A History Mystery
C.Proietto - New Mystery Painting
Tsunami Risks Up in Crescent Bays
"Moab Native" Potash Comments
C.Proietto - And The Glory of Rome
L.A. to Australia, by 34-ft. Sailboat
Interstate I-70 East through Utah
Mesquite, NV - Opportunity Lost?
Las Vegas, NV "Drive-by" - I-15N
Ivanpah Valley, CA - Mega-Solar
Pearblossom Hwy. - Palmdale Road
C.Proietto - Venice Sunset, Sunrise
24-Hours of Moab 2012 to Happen
C.Proietto - A Portrait of the Artist
AOL & Yahoo Mail Getting Hacked
ATM Retail Technology - New & Old
C.Proietto - Solving An Art Mystery
Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood - To The Sign & Beyond
Hollywood - Legendary Paul Pink's
Kokopelli Credit Union - New ATM
#1 Google Ranking & How to Get It
C.Proietto - Two New Oil Paintings
LACoFD Truck 8 at Hollywood Bowl
I-405 Golden Crane Air Hazard
Beware: Hoax/Scam Phishing Sites
A Quantum Leap in Super PAC $$$
I-405 Mulholland Bridge Update
Moab Skydiving Video - May 2011
Tonopah Desert, AZ Thunderstorm
Anticline Overlook - Ancient Spirit
ATM Bank Robbery Now Easier Still
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Chaco Canyon - Kin Klizhin Sunset
Chaco Canyon - Kin Klizhin Ruin
Chaco Canyon, Spirit of Lizard Man
Chaco Canyon, NM - Campground
White Mesa, Utah - Uranium Mill
Hidden Costs in Biofuels Revealed
Arches National Park Threatened
Moab Rail - The U. P. Potash Local
Toxic Purple Dust Covers Moab, UT
U.S. Highway 191 in Moab, Utah
Kindle Fire Tablet vs. Nook Tablet
Ken's Lake 2011 Update, Moab, UT
24-Minutes of Moab Kids Bike Race
24-Hrs. of Moab, The Final Sunset?
24-Hours of Moab 2011 Race Start
24-Hrs. of Moab Race Live Webcam
The Long Run - Eagles Tribute Band
Petrified Forest, Going, Going, Gone
Nuclear Dust Storm Hits Moab, UT
Moab Rainbow - August 1, 2011
C.Proietto - The Man From Amalfi
I-405 UCLA Rampage - 11/22/66
Moab Rim RV Campark - 2011
C.Proietto Paints the Amalfi Coast
C.Proietto - Modern Impressionist
I-405 Mulholland Drive Bridge
Moab Pile - Countdown to Disaster
Wigwam Village - Holbrook, AZ
Kathy Hemenway - World Citizen
Desert View Mobil - Needles, CA
Mojave Desert Transit in May 2011
Colorado River Basin At Risk - Ch.4
Holbrook, AZ Water Crisis - Ch. 3
Holbrook Basin, AZ Potash - Ch. 2
Little Colorado River Basin - Ch. 1
Port Orford, Oregon - Tsunami
Hope for Atlantis - Chapter 4
Future of Atlantis - Chapter 3
The New Atlantis - Chapter 2
Atlantis, Myth or Fact? - Chapter 1
Kevin Rutherford - Freightliner RV
WindSong - Ericson 35 Sailboat
Moab Pile - The Mill Tailings Train
Moab Pile - Here Comes the Flood
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - The Race
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - The Start
24-Hours of Moab 2010 - Pre-Race
Moab, Utah - Winter Snowstorms
Happy New Decade - 2011
Save Ken's Lake, Moab, Utah 2010
UPS Air - Moab, Utah Style
Crescent Junction & Brendel, Utah
Green River to Floy, Utah - Video
Moab Ranch - The Movie & Webcam
An Oregon Cascades Range Sunset
The Port at Port Orford, Oregon
Simi Valley, CA Two Live Webcams
Two New MoabLive.com Webcams
Ave. of the Giants, Humboldt, CA
Port Orford, OR - Of Bears & Deer
Goodbye Arizona - We'll Miss You.
Port Orford, OR - A Forest Home
Sun, Moon and the Chakras of Gaia
2010 Super Bowl Advertising
Navajo National Monument Sunset
California Redwoods Elk Herd
A New Decade - The 2010's Begin
Moab - Could Floods Happen Here?
Spanish Valley, UT - Wine & Water
24 Hours of Moab Race - 2009
CA - Rainforest or Dustbowl?
Edward Abbey House, Moab, UT
Kayenta, AZ to Blanding, Utah
U.S. Highway 89 N. to Navajoland
Quartzsite - Black Canyon City, AZ
Simi Valley, CA to Quartzsite, AZ
Phoenix, Moab, The Grand Canyon
Colorado River - A New Challenge
Moab, Utah - The Shafer Trail
2009 - Moab Live Webcam Update
Moab, Utah - Potash Road, Part 2
Moab, Utah - Potash Road, Part 1
SITLA Deal Threatens Uintah Basin
Moab Wildfire Near Pack Creek, UT
Moab Ranch - Plasma Flow Event
Mill Creek Canyon Hike - Part Two
Mill Creek Canyon Hike - Part One
Memorial Day 2009, Burbank, CA
A Happy Ending for the Moab Pile?
The Old Spanish Trail - New Again
Mesquite, Nevada - Boom or Bust
Larry L. Maxam - An American Hero
Winter Camping in the Desert 2009
Theory of Everything - Part Four
Theory of Everything - Part Three
Theory of Everything - Part Two
Theory of Everything - Part One
Canyonlands Field, Moab, Utah
Access New Energy Now - 2008
The Four Corners States - Part 5
The Four Corners States - Part 4
The Four Corners States - Part 3
The Four Corners States - Part 2
The Four Corners States - Part 1
BC Buckaroos in Panama
Elton John T-shirt, Now Available
Arches National Park Threatened
BC Buckaroos Are Heading South
San Francisco, A New Energy City?
Seven Mile Canyon, Craig Childs
Matheson Wetlands Fire, Moab, UT
24-Hours of Moab Bike Race Finish
24-Hours at Moab Bike Race, Start
New York - The New Atlantis
Translate to Any Language Now
Marina del Rey, Summer Weekend
Seattle Shines in the Summertime
Oregon Battles With Itself - 2008
The Motor Yacht, Princess Mariana
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park
The Mojave National Preserve, CA
Navajo National Monument, AZ
La Sal Mountains Loop Road, UT
The Moab Rim, Above and Below
Colorado Riverway Recreation, UT
Hovenweep - Twin Towers Standing
Aztec, New Mexico - Ancient Ruins
Kin Klizhin Ruin at Chaco Canyon
The Spirit of Pueblo Bonito, NM
Chaco Canyon, NM Sand and Rain
Homolovi Ruins State Park, AZ
ATM Bank Robbery Made Easy
Outstanding World Citizens, Fiji
Planning an Archetype Party
Sir Elton John - The Lost Concert
Start Writing Your Own Blog
My Unification Theory - 2008
Frito-Lay Beach-Trash Explosion
The Great Attractor, Revealed
Vibrational Thought & String Theory
The Long Run - Eagles Tribute Band
2006 Midterm Elections, Revisited
The Lost Murals of Denis O'Connor
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 10
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 9
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 8
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 7
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 6
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 5
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 4
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 3
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 2
Fiji Islands Paradise 2001 - Part 1
Save Natewa Bay, Fiji Islands
The Fiji Islands - Paradise Lost?
Face on Mars
How Water Helped Make The West
Yahoo! - Fighting Its Last Battle?
Helium Gas, Neither Earth nor Mars
Megatrend vs. Meganiche - 2007
German Hydrogen Bomb Ready
Passing The $100,000 Bill
Google Wins - Microsoft Withdraws
A.Word.A.Day, You Ought to Know
San Fernando Valley Winemaking
Divine Inspiration, Or Nearly So
Japanese Win The Space Race
2007 eCommerce - Made Easy
Discovering The Great Reflector
Navajo National Monument, Arizona
Moab, Utah Memories - 2007
Fall Color, Silverton, Colorado
Autumn Equinox in the Rockies
Hasta la Vista, Taos, New Mexico
Megatrends 2010 - The Book
The Quantum Leap, New Mexico
Chaco Canyon Memories 2007
Flame-Out in Phoenix, Arizona
Annals of Homeland Security '07
Quartzsite, AZ - RV Camping
The Quantum Leap Celebration
Welcome to my new weblog 2007!

Colorado River
Current Events
Fine Art
Moab, Utah
Mojave Desert
Personal Articles
Railroad Safety
South Pacific

‹‹ June 2024 ››
Wk M T W T F S S
22 1 2
23 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
24 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
25 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
26 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Please visit our other sites in the MoabLive network.


© 2007 JamesMcGillis.com - All rights reserved. | Contact Me | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | RSS | Atom | Admin | Design: Nicholas Savalas | Author | Publisher | Top