• Anusha Parthasarathy

A Pedacito of A Workation in Port Orford, Oregon

Updated: Jun 19

Let’s face it. We are all done with 2020. I spent the entirety of the summer last year at home, staying as far away from people as possible. I ordered groceries home, took my dog out for quick runs, and baked a whole lot (no, I didn’t get on the sourdough bandwagon).


By the time October rolled in, I was dying to get out and see something different. So, to keep our sanity in check but also be safe, my husband and I packed up our monitors, laptops, and keyboards and drove to a small town in Oregon to live and work out of a cabin for a week.

A picturesque setting in the forest of Port Orford, Oregon
A picturesque setting in the forest of Port Orford, Oregon
The home where we stayed a few days in Port Orford, Oregon
The home where we stayed a few days in Port Orford, Oregon

Before we began our tryst with rural Oregon, we stopped for a couple of days (it was a long weekend) at a home facing the long and windy Rogue River that runs through the state. The property is close to the bustling town of Grant’s Pass but you would never know it.


Tucked in a residential neighborhood along the river, it felt like we were far away from civilization. Birds chirped loudly in the morning, and we woke up to the soft gurgling of the river nearby. It was beautifully lush and the mist cloaked the mountains nearby. We spent our days running by the river and just relaxing in the afternoon sun with card games and pints of beer.

While in Port Orford, Oregon, we felt as though we had completely stepped away from civilization
While in Port Orford, Oregon, we felt as though we had completely stepped away from civilization
Our drive to Port Orford, Oregon was a bit drizzly, but still beautiful
Our drive to Port Orford, Oregon was a bit drizzly, but still beautiful

Our drive from Grant’s Pass to Port Orford was almost four hours but the drive was through vast green farms with dawdling cows and towards the end, the famous rocky Oregon beaches. We arrived at our cabin late in the evening and even though Grant’s Pass was warm and sunny, Port Orford’s evenings were chilly and dark.


The cabin itself stood almost in the middle of nowhere, with barely four or five neighbors nearby. As we opened the gate to go inside, there was a loud rustling in the bushes in the backyard and a bunch of local deer hopped over the fence and galloped into the dark.


Our Port Orford cabin was in the middle of nowhere, with only a few enighbors to keep us company
Our Port Orford cabin was in the middle of nowhere, with only a few enighbors to keep us company
Even the gate to our Port Orford cabin had personality
Even the gate to our Port Orford cabin had personality

The next seven days were uneventful but in the most comforting of ways. My work desk had a direct view of the vast fields outside and the mountains at a distance and the sun often reached out through the windows and lit up the entire room in a beautiful, golden glow.


In the evenings, we would either get comfortable under the sofa throws and watch a show while the wood stove warmed us up inside or travel outside to explore the area nearby. Our dog had a particularly great time bouncing about the large fenced yard on the property, chasing away the mule deer, and lounging around in the sun.

The real treasures of Port Orford are its beaches
The real treasures of Port Orford are its beaches

Port Orford is a town whose downtown is just a few buildings dotting both sides of a small stretch of the highway. It has a lovely bakery, Tasty Kate’s, and a couple of restaurants, and residents generally head over to Bandon, about a 30-minute drive away, for more choices.


The real treasures of this small town are its beaches. Vast stretches of cliff-skirting coves and hazy, misty beaches, where colossal rocks jut out against the dramatic overcast landscape. The coast runs parallel to some of the state’s dewy-green cedar and fir forests, creating a natural landscape that would rival any heavily filtered desktop wallpaper.


Port Orford's Elk River is full of opportunities to be one with nature
Port Orford's Elk River is full of opportunities to be one with nature

Especially in the mornings and just around dusk, the mist around Port Orford rises softly over the cabin and then the forests nearby and although the result is spectacularly beautiful to watch, it’s rather hard to drive in, since visibility is low. On one evening, we had a hard time driving back from a long trip down Elk River Road where we followed the mighty Elk River in all its forms; a small, steady stream and loud gushing rapids.

A giant redwood at the California-Oregon border on our drive back from Port Orford, Oregon
A giant redwood at the California-Oregon border on our drive back from Port Orford, Oregon

On our way back to Northern California from Oregon, we drove through the magical Avenue of the Giants, and past the white, sandy beaches of the Pacific North-West. This was my favorite leg of the journey since the redwood area around the California-Oregon border is not just a great space to experience the outdoors and nature, but also just a constant reminder of the quiet grandeur of nature.

 

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