The Hidden Hostel of Port Orford

I arrived in Port Orford to find breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

I began walking through the small coastal town in search of a coffee shop to get my bearings and research information about the area.

I met two cyclists who were leaving Port Orford after having spent one week at a local hostel. They intended to stay in Port Orford for one day, but, after meeting the people at this local hostel they decided to stick around.

They informed me that this was a hostel of a different sort; they didn’t advertise and one could only gain entrance by word of mouth and with a business card which they handed me. They provided me with directions to the hostel’s location and said “you have got to go to this place.”

After about 4 miles of walking, following the cyclists directions, I eventually found a set of green cabins tucked behind some trees off of the road. I surveyed the area which appeared to be abandoned, and eventually made my way to the cabin on the far end of the set which had the door open. I found a man working on a computer who, when he noticed me standing in the doorway, instantly exclaimed a hearty “Welcome!”

We talked for about an hour about our lives, travels, and history, and when he said he needed to return to work he asked “well, which cabin would you like?” I replied that any place would suit me well. He insisted that cabin number 5 would be best, and that I could go ahead and enter. He said there may or may not be other guests, but “everybody here is cool.”
I slept and spent the next day at a local cafe, soaking up their wifi connection (and coffee). As I returned to the cabins that evening I met one of the neighbors, a woman of exceptional kindness.

After a few minutes of learning about one another she asked if she could buy me a beer, an invitation which I rarely reject. I had assumed that meant we might go to a local establishment or pub, however, upon my agreement she went into her refrigerator and  returned with a beer for me.

She asked if I’d like to see the furthest point of the entire west coast, a short drive from where we were located.We drove through deeply wooded hills until arriving at a small parking lot near a lighthouse, which she said is positioned at the most western point on the continental United States.

It was intensely foggy on this evening, and I could barely make-out the light of the lighthouse with my poor vision, but the still sound of the waves crashing into the edge of the parking lot, mixed with the Red Stripe Lager, created a peaceful serene experience that I shall not soon forget.

 

I spent one more day and night in Port Orford before continuing my on-foot journey northward.

The next day and night I still found no other person at the set of cabins, no office or attendant – it was just me. I was told by the cyclists I had met that this was a “donations based” hostel, and yet I found nowhere to leave a donation upon my leaving. So, I packed up my gear, and set off after having a spectacular experience in Port Orford.

I would like to return soon to hopefully meet more of the people who travel through this area.

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