Hosting at Humbug Mountain State Park- Enjoying the Camp Host Experience

It’s one thing to go camping for a week, another thing when a camping trip stretches into a month-long adventure.

That’s what Kenn and Betty Kennedy experienced earlier this year when they agreed to become “park hosts” at Humbug Mountain State Park, located just south of Port Orford off U.S. 101 on the southern Oregon coast.

At 1,756 feet tall, the forested peak of Humbug Mountain dominates the park and campground and deflects chilly ocean breezes. For that reason, the region also enjoys some of the warmest weather on the Oregon Coast – even in February.

Hiking fern-lined nature trails, windsurfing and scuba diving routinely draw visitors throughout the year. The area also attracted the Kennedys for their first camp hosting experience, and it proved to be a great one.

Humbug Mountain State Park campgrounds feature 33 electrical sites, 63 tent sites and hiker/biker camping. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

KENN: My wife Betty and I spent the month of February on the southern Oregon coast as “park hosts” at Humbug Mountain State Park.

What a wonderful experience! We had a great time greeting and talking to people from all over the country. And our new fifth-wheel made it all the better. After camping in a 21-foot Class B, the new 28-foot fifth-wheel was like living in a fancy hotel.

For years, we had camped by tent and van. Then we graduated to a 21-foot motorhome that we used for probably 20 years. That was a lot of fun too. But it had 85,000 miles on it and wasn’t big enough if we wanted to be camp hosts for a month. We bought a new truck last year and in November we bought a fifth wheel, we love it. Betty says it’s so much easier to clean than the house – everything’s compact.

As for being park hosts, we had always thought, “Hey, that would be fun!”

I’ve been all over the United States and have always thought that Oregon has some of the finest state parks. So we filled out paperwork and put our name on a waiting list.

Humbug Mountain State Park is only about 58 miles from our home. It’s a great place. We would often run down there for picnics. When they had some hosts cancel, we were definitely interested.

For us, one of the big attractions is the beach. Our camp was about a 10-minute walk to the ocean. We’ve lived on the coast for 10 years and still can’t get enough of the beach. The beach at Humbug is cliffed on both ends, very protected. We like to build a beach fire, roast hot dogs – whatever. The month we were at Humbug there were probably 8 or 10 days that we basically had a private beach. We were the only ones in the park.

And the weather was great. This year we had four rainy days in February. The big secret is that it doesn’t rain all the time!

BETTY: How do I describe the setting? It’s just peaceful. You’re in a beautiful park and the fifth-wheel was so easy to care for. Plus the park host work was easy. Kenn did a lot of mowing, we kept twigs and trash picked up off the paths, did some weeding, sold firewood in evening, and talked to people coming and going. My husband’s a big talker, loves to visit with people. I really wasn’t ready for it to end.

It was wonderful to walk down to the ocean every morning. The park was very quiet, very serene. One morning, we saw cougar tracks – a mama and a baby. I was so disappointed I didn’t get to see them, but seeing the tracks was exciting.

And the people were great, except for one guy who got a little rowdy because he wanted a phone to order pizza delivery! Otherwise, it was a very, very positive experience – especially for our first time. In fact, we’re ready to do it again later this summer at Alpine State Park in eastern Oregon.

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