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Patterson Bridge on the Rogue River at Gold Beach Oregon

Patterson Bridge

Click here for the slideshow

Our road trip came to a grateful end in Gold Beach, Oregon at around six in the evening. Earlier in the day, while still in Eureka, we had decided to visit Bruce’s sister Janice one more time and while at her house, we had made reservations at the Motel 6 in Gold Beach.  Which was just as well, since by the time we got there, everything else was booked. We checked in, threw our stuff on the beds and ran outside to enjoy a few more hours of daylight.  By some miracle, the motel was within close walking distance of the Rogue River and the charming Patterson Bridge. Spanning the Rogue, this pretty, art deco style bridge is part of US Highway 101 (and is also referred to as the Oregon Coast Highway).

Bruce, Teresa and I each went our separate ways.  Teresa went under the bridge and along the banks to get some remarkable architectural shots.  I stayed on top and photographed the river and the landscapes surrounding it.  To complement our still shots of the bridge, here is a video of what the bridge looks like from a boat, passing underneath.

While Teresa and I were taking pictures, Bruce took off and walked briskly across the bridge to someplace unknown.  On his way back we met on the bridge walkway and stood there looking at the fishermen below.

We suddenly spotted the head of a seal bobbing up and down in the water.  Seagulls were circling immediately above.  Bruce told me that both of those animals are indicators of fish close by.  Sure enough, within moments the seal surfaced with a large pink bellied salmon in its mouth.  The seal and the salmon reappeared two more times, the seagulls darted overhead, and then the show was over. It was a privilege to have witnessed that rare scene and Bruce and I have spoken of it several times since.

Seagull on the Patterson BridgeA few words about the seagulls.  While at the Rogue, I was surprised at how pretty, clean and large the seagulls were, as opposed to the smaller scrappier version that I am used to seeing in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The gull in the photo had an extraordinarily wide wingspan.  I had watched it fly overhead for a few minutes and I wasn’t even sure it was a gull until it settled on the bridge handrail. Later research revealed that there are many varieties of gulls and that that in addition to spotting fish, their behavior can be used an indicator of coastal weather patterns.  Gulls are present in multiple literary traditions, including Native American folklore, where they are sometimes set in the role of clever trickster. In Native American symbolism, their attributes are: a carefree attitude, versatility, freedom .

Motel 6 Gold BeachBy the time we got back to the motel, it was close to dusk.  Motel 6 provided free hot drinks in their tiny lobby and we each took a plastic cup of hot water and a package of hot chocolate upstairs to enjoy.  Teresa had brought along some microwave popcorn. which the clerk downstairs was nice enough to pop it for us. Nothing could have tasted better! We finished up, set our alarm clocks and jumped into bed, looking forward to our boat ride in the morning.
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One Response to “Patterson Bridge on the Rogue River at Gold Beach Oregon”

  1. eastlandgrl says:

    interesting, thanks

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