My very first time in Gold Beach was quite a unique experience. I woke up to find a baby deer on the deck staring at me as if to say "what are you doing here — this is my lookout point"! About an hour later,
I was visited by a one legged black crow which I later named Peg Leg, because he hopped along the ledge of the deck on one leg very confidently, reminding me of a pirate coming to collect his bounty. Peg Leg revealed a very discerning palette for crow delicacies like popcorn and Salmon skin and didn't take kindly to anyone not giving him his perceived due. If the violator was unfortunate enough to be on the deck, he would mock a lunge at the varmint flapping his wings violently and letting out a high pitched, shrill screech.
He showed up every morning and demanded his breakfast by squawking loudly at around 6:00 am. He would return at night (it is still light at 8:00 pm) when our guests would gather in the kitchen for appetizers and wine. He would hop up and down along the ledge of the deck in full view of the guests. He knew that the wine would make them pliable for a poor unfortunate, hungry crow with only one leg! After he exhausted his haul at Hilltop House, he would quickly fly away to his next meal ticket, I am sure.
My name is Lindsey Baker-Upshur, an art director and "city girl" from NYC who relocated to San Diego to be closer to my family. When I married my husband John, he introduced me to his vacation home in Gold Beach, Oregon called Hilltop House. It is so named because it sits on the highest hill in Gold Beach with wonderful views of the Rogue River with the Pacific Ocean. I love animal and have great respect for them, so I should have expected that the wildlife that lives there would know how to handle tourists (like me) who intruded on their turf.
The most amazing sight which I must admit made me a little uneasy, was watching the eagles swoop down and snatch a salmon out of the river and carry it away in its talons. It made me uneasy because from the huge glass windows of Hilltop House, you are so close that you can see the scales of the fish and the feathers of the eagle (like on TV – but it's real!) Poor fish! But that's Gold Beach, truly a wilderness paradise, where people are tolerated, but the wildlife still rules — and thank goodness for that.