Cape Blanco (Oregon)

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Cape Blanco State Park
Cape Blanco looking south.JPG
View from Cape Blanco, looking south towards Port Orford Heads State Park. Humbug Mountain in the distance.
USA Oregon location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Type Public, state
Location Curry County, Oregon
Nearest city Port Orford
Area 1,880 acres (760 ha)
Operated by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Visitors Annually, about 350,000 for day-use, 35,000 overnight [1]
Open Year-round
Cape Blanco from space, October 1994 Cape blanco us.png
Cape Blanco from space, October 1994

Cape Blanco is a prominent headland on the Pacific Ocean coast of southwestern Oregon in the United States, forming the westernmost point in the state. [2] Cape Blanco extends further west than any point of land in the contiguous United States (lower 48 states) except Cape Alava, in Washington. [3] The cape is part of Cape Blanco State Park and is the location of the Cape Blanco Light, first lit in 1870. [2]

Both headland and bay are two coastal features that are related and often found on the same coastline. A bay is a body of water—usually seawater and sometimes fresh water— mostly surrounded by land, whereas a headland is surrounded by water on three sides. Headlands are characterized by breaking waves, rocky shores, intense erosion and steep sea cliffs. Bays generally have less wave activity and typically have sandy beaches. Headlands and bays form on discordant coastlines, where the land consists of bands of rock of alternating resistance that run perpendicular to the coast.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

Oregon State of the United States of America

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Contents

The cape may have been named by explorer Martín de Aguilar in 1603 for its appearance, as blanco means "white" in Spanish. [3] [4] In 1775, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra named the point Cabo Diligensias. [3] It was later renamed Cape Orford by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 but this name fell into disuse and Cape Blanco became the common usage. [3]

Martín de Aguilar was a Spanish explorer whose log contains one of the first written descriptions of the coast of the U.S. state of Oregon.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Western Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra Spanish naval officer

Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was a Spanish naval officer born in Lima, Peru. Assigned to the Pacific coast Spanish Naval Department base at San Blas, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, this navigator explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska.

Geology

The cape, a relatively level landform with cliffs facing the sea, is about 200 feet (61 m) higher than the ocean. It consists of layers of uplifted marine sediments, ranging in age from 80 million years at the bottom to less than 500,000 years at the top. [3] The uplift is continuing; Cape Blanco is rising by several millimeters each year. [5] Generally, landforms on the north and south end of the Oregon Coast are rising as the ocean floor slides under the continent, while the central part of the coast "seems to be folding down." [5]

Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is a region of the U.S. state of Oregon. It runs generally north–south along the Pacific Ocean, forming the western border of the state; the region is bounded to the east by the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast stretches approximately 362 miles (583 km) from the Columbia River in the north to the California state border in the south. The Oregon Coast is not a specific geological, environmental, or political entity, but instead includes the entire coastline of Oregon, including the Columbia River Estuary.

Landforms near the cape include beaches, bluffs, and reefs. Visible to the south are Needle Rock, Blanco Reef, and Humbug Mountain. To the north are Gull Rock, Castle Rock, and Blacklock Point. [2] Blanco Reef is a group of irregular rocks and ledges that are from 2 to 5 miles (3 to 8 km) offshore and are up to 149 feet (45 m) high. [6]

Humbug Mountain mountain in Oregon, United States of America

Humbug Mountain lies on the southern coast of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located about 6 miles (10 km) south of Port Orford, and 21 miles (34 km) north of Gold Beach, on the Pacific Ocean. The mountain is completely within Humbug Mountain State Park, and U.S. Route 101 passes by its northern base. It is one of the highest mountains in Oregon to rise directly from the ocean. Its slopes feature an old-growth temperate rainforest. Two trails run from the state park campground to the mountain's summit, one 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long, the other 2 miles (3.2 km) long. Both are part of the much longer Oregon Coast Trail. The area is popular with hikers, campers, cyclists, and whale watchers.

Geography

Cape Blanco is in northern Curry County, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Port Orford, along a mountainous and isolated stretch of the coast bounded to the east by the Coast Range. [7] It lies about 5 miles (8 km) west of U.S. Route 101. [2]

Curry County, Oregon County in the United States

Curry County is a county in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,364. The county seat is Gold Beach. The county is named for George Law Curry, a governor of the Oregon Territory.

Port Orford, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Port Orford is a city in Curry County on the southern coast of Oregon, United States. The population was 1,133 at the 2010 census.

Southern Oregon Coast Range

The Southern Oregon Coast Range is the southernmost section of the Oregon Coast Range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges, located in the southwest portion of the state of Oregon, United States, roughly between the Umpqua River and the middle fork of the Coquille River, beyond which are the Klamath Mountains. To the east is the Umpqua Valley and to the west the Pacific Ocean. This approximately 55-mile (89 km)-long mountain range contains mountains as high as 3,547 feet (1,081 m) for Bone Mountain. The mountains are known locally in the Roseburg area as the Callahan Mountains, or simply as The Callahans.

The Sixes River empties into the Pacific Ocean along the north side of the cape. [7] A 2-mile (3 km) walk along the Oregon Coast Trail leads south from the park to the mouth of the Elk River. [2]

Sixes River river in the United States of America

The Sixes River flows about 31 miles (50 km) through coastal forests in southwestern Oregon in the United States. It drains a rugged region of the Klamath Mountains along the Pacific north of Port Orford.

Oregon Coast Trail

The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) is a long-distance hiking route along the Pacific coast of Oregon in the United States. It follows the coast of Oregon from the mouth of the Columbia River to the California border south of Brookings.

Elk River (Oregon) river in southwestern Oregon in the United States

The Elk River is in southwestern Oregon in the United States. About 29 miles (47 km) long, the river drains a remote 92-square-mile (240 km2) area of the Coast Range into the Pacific Ocean.

Climate

Cape Blanco has very mild temperatures year round, with an all-time record high of only 85 °F (29 °C). Annual precipitation is high, but there is a distinct drying trend in summer, which gives Cape Blanco a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. During winter storms, wind speeds can reach 70 to 100 miles per hour (110 to 160 km/h) at the cape. [8] Extreme winds at the cape and over the Blanco Reef make this part of the coast especially dangerous for ships. [2]

Climate data for Cape Blanco
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)75
(24)
72
(22)
75
(24)
74
(23)
76
(24)
71
(22)
76
(24)
71
(22)
79
(26)
85
(29)
71
(22)
70
(21)
85
(29)
Average high °F (°C)50.8
(10.4)
51.8
(11)
51.2
(10.7)
52.5
(11.4)
54.6
(12.6)
57
(14)
58
(14)
59.2
(15.1)
59.4
(15.2)
57.7
(14.3)
54.7
(12.6)
52
(11)
54.9
(12.7)
Average low °F (°C)41.5
(5.3)
42.6
(5.9)
41.9
(5.5)
43
(6)
45.7
(7.6)
48.4
(9.1)
49.4
(9.7)
50.3
(10.2)
50.1
(10.1)
48.2
(9)
45.1
(7.3)
42.7
(5.9)
45.7
(7.6)
Record low °F (°C)19
(−7)
22
(−6)
25
(−4)
25
(−4)
34
(1)
34
(1)
41
(5)
40
(4)
39
(4)
39
(4)
29
(−2)
17
(−8)
17
(−8)
Average precipitation inches (mm)13.74
(349)
9.4
(239)
9.49
(241)
5.03
(127.8)
3.18
(80.8)
1.41
(35.8)
0.46
(11.7)
1.37
(34.8)
2.09
(53.1)
5.25
(133.4)
11.24
(285.5)
13.21
(335.5)
75.86
(1,926.8)
Average snowfall inches (cm)0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.3
(0.8)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch)19161713107346101719141
Source: [9]

Recreation

Activities at the park include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, picnicking, and beachcombing, among others, and visiting the lighthouse, a pioneer cemetery, or the Hughes House, on the National Register of Historic Places. [2] The property belonged originally to Patrick Hughes, who came to the cape in 1860 in search of gold and who eventually established a 2,000-acre (810 ha) dairy ranch along the lower Sixes River. Restored by the Friends of Cape Blanco, the two-story, eleven-room ranch house was completed in 1898. [2]

Literature

In Jules Verne's early science fiction book The Begum's Millions , a Utopian community named Ville-France is established in 1872 on the South Oregon beach. Verne gives the location of this fictitious community as "eighty kilometres north of Cape Blanco". Cape Blanco is also noted on a map of Brobdingnag in Gulliver's Travels . It is also mentioned in Chapter 3 of Moby-Dick : "And that harpoon-so like a corkscrew now-was flung in Javan seas, and run away with by a whale, years afterwards slain off the Cape of Blanco."

See also

Related Research Articles

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Port Orford Heads State Park

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Floras Lake lake of the United States of America

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References

  1. "Cape Blanco State Park: History". Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Bannan, Jan (2002). Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide (2nd ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 37–38. ISBN   0-89886-794-0.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 LaLande, Jeff. "Cape Blanco". The Oregon Encyclopedia . Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  4. McArthur, Lewis A.; McArthur, Lewis L. (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (7th ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. pp. 159–160. ISBN   978-0875952772.
  5. 1 2 Bishop, Ellen Morris; Eliot, John (1996). Hiking Oregon's Geology. Seattle: The Mountaineers. p. 52. ISBN   0-89886-485-2.
  6. "Booklet Chart: Port Orford to Cape Blanco" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. p. 2. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  7. 1 2 Oregon Road and Recreation Atlas (5th ed.). Santa Barbara, California: Benchmark Maps. 2012. p. 82. ISBN   978-0-929591-62-9.
  8. Palmer, Tim (2014). Field Guide to Oregon Rivers. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press. p. 114. ISBN   978-0-87071-627-0.
  9. "CAPE BLANCO, OREGON (351360)". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 16, 2015.

Coordinates: 42°50′15″N124°33′50″W / 42.8376089°N 124.5639997°W / 42.8376089; -124.5639997