Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Oregon Coast- Seaside to Tillamook, and "The Capes"

I made my way out to the Oregon coast for a southwards journey, the last week of August. With summer vacations coming to an end, it proved to be a bit crowded, at least through labor day. I made the best of it, but the beaches of Seaside to Tillimook were pretty much overrun. The cheese factory was definitely worth a stop, and I was intrigued by the packaging techniques. I ended up with an audience of employees on the floor, wondering why this fool in the window was staring at their work so much... :)

As hwy 1 moves inland a bit, you can sidetrip along the coast on the "Three Capes Scenic Route" (Kiwanda, Meares and Lookout), which definitely should not dissapoint...At the point of Cape Lookout, which extends some two miles out into the pacific, I was surprised to spot a Sunfish down below. I would have never believed I would see one of these from a land vantage.

On the hike out to the point, I was scouting the waters with binocs for sealife, and guess I came close to doing a header off the cape at 500'! At least that was the perspective of the hiker that grabbed my arm. He was shaken enough that I had to take his word for it. I had been standing at the edge looking down through the binocs, and heard him come up. As I dropped the binocs and went to move out of his way, I suffered a bit of vertigo from having been behind the binocs for so long, and tripped on a root as I moved. He was white as a ghost afterwards, so it must have appeared closer than it seemed to me. Ah, just another adventure ;

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Having given up on Mount Hood, and with iffy weather for touring the Oregon side of the Columbia, I made my way to Portland. Once the weather cleared, I made a side trip to Silver Falls, which is about a 70 mile drive out of Portland.

I had hoped that the rain would have replentished the falls, but it proved not be by a significant amount. Still, I had a great hike around on "Trail of 10 falls", followed by a bike ride of the inner trail system. The falls are of varying size and height, and must really be spectacular in the springtime. Several allow the trail to pass behind them, which can be quite dramatic. I highly recommend this park, but plan your visit for spring time.