Monday, February 05, 2007

Cape Lookout hike

KP and I set out from Portland Saturday morning, headed for the coast and Cape Lookout State Park. After spending a regrettable hour or so in Tillamook (both the creamery tour and breakfast in town were a little disappointing -- not terrible, but don't plan your day around it is all I'm saying), we continued westward to the coast.
From MattStansberry

When we got to the park there were three options at the main trailhead: South along the beach, straight out onto the peninsula and north toward the camp. We took the middle option: Cape Lookout -- 2.4 miles into the Pacific. According to Bill Sullivan, this cape was formed by a river of lava rolling down from the Cascades to the sea. You could tell, sharp volcanic rocks jutted out from the beaten trail and tried to grab your ankles.

The view to the south was great from the very beginning -- Haystack rock was off on the horizon. Not close enough to make a good landscape shot, but still nice to look at. There wasn’t much of a payoff at the end of the Cape. The view didn’t get any better.
From MattStansberry

That is probably a sign that I’m not a real hiker. All of my hiking has to be goal or rewards based. I need a viewpoint, a summit, a lake, something. That’s why I take photos constantly, or geocache -- or walk fast and call it a workout, a way to break in gear.

Too much Type A personality in my DNA. Maybe Oregon will eventually help leech that out of me.
From MattStansberry

Walking the trail we were both quiet, but my brain started channeling the late 1990s. Snippets of songs running through my head. Bad songs: Too legit to quit, from MC Hammer; Knockin’ on heaven’s door, Guns and Roses version. And it wasn’t even the real songs that were playing, more like a karaoke version.

The brain doesn’t like silence.

I wouldn’t have noticed it, except that I’d read about John Daniel doing it in his book Rogue River Journal. It's a book about an experiment in wildernes isolation, among other things. I'm hoping to review it ASAP.

On the way back from the tip of the point we started looking for a geocache. My Garmin eTrex Legend was performing particularly well at the time and pointed us right to it. The owner of the Geocache had written extensive directions about the cache, but I didn’t want it to be too easy so I didn’t read the whole thing. Usually that results in me and KP stumbling around in a 30-foot radius and sifting leaf litter, turning over rocks, bushwhacking through shrubbery and not finding anything. But this time it worked out Ok.
From MattStansberry

We found the black box under a log, just about 10 feet off the trail. The scrub was beaten down leading us right to it. We signed the log and put it back. There were some cool things in there, specifically a mini first aid kit. But we left it and everything else.

We did see some seabirds and a big pod of sea lions stacked up in a group on the south side of the cape. No whales though. Supposedly they migrate through the area in the winter and spring and they have to swim around the point.

There were a ton of trees down on the trail. Whoever maintains the trails had already come through and sawed them up, pushed the trunks to the side. I have to imagine it was from the storm several weeks ago. The ocean was relatively calm and the wind was really ripping up there. I can’t imagine what it’s like in a storm.
From MattStansberry


digiphile said...

Nice work on the find. I need to get out there and start tracking more of these down. Might help if the ground thawed here.

wyldthang said...

There is an awesome pioneer museum in Tillamook. We went there about 7-8 years ago, and it had a little old lady who loved answering questions. My kids LOVED the stump house (actual) that an old skanky trapper geezer used to live in. Tillamook also has an aviation museum, and back up the road towards Portland there's a new interpretive center for the Tillamook St Forest(and the Burn). We've stayed at Cape Lookout a few New Years, and it was great, warm, quiet, no hoohah. You can also watch hang-gliders launch off the cliffs in the summer. And it's a nice bike ride to Pacific City. Anything else? oh yeah, come visit my blog, it's about living in the Oregon woods, deliberately, sucking marrow and all Happy Hiking! Celeste(been enjoying your blog ;0)

matt_stansberry said...

Snap! KP was begging to go to the pioneer museum. I'm going to be in trouble if she reads this.

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