|Three Arches Wildlife Refuge, Netarts, Oregon|
|Cape Meares Lighthouse|
|The walk to the Secret Beach at Cape Meares|
The next 2 days would be spent reading books by the crackling log-fire, walking along the beaches in the rain, and exploring trails through the forests and capes. The dogs had luck on their side as well, as Artemis tried unsuccessfully to drown herself in the 10 to 15 foot surf and also avoided getting swept out to sea in the riptide. Her instinct to chase seagulls and cormorants is impressive, to say the least. The cormorants (smartly) dove underwater when she got close to them and she was perplexed by their sudden disappearance. After the near-drownings, she spent a good amount of time on the leash and we still had a wonderful time exploring despite being tethered together.
I hiked down a mile and a half trail to a small (100 yard-long) beach at Cape Meares one afternoon to find starfish, anemones, and red crab in the tide pools. Not a soul around on this rainy afternoon, although Franklin did find a porcupine along the trail (no quills!).
Another day, I hiked along Cape Lookout, with 300-400 foot cliffs just off the trail to the side. As songbirds darted amongst the cliffs, I could only imagine a yellow dog chasing the bird and suddenly finding only air beneath her feet instead of the mud and slippery rocks. I kept the dogs close on the leash, to avoid a 300 foot drop which certainly would have ended in a lengthy swim along the coast back to a beach in the best case scenario (I tried not to think of the alternative). I could see the big black rock of Cape Kiwanda from the overlook off the end of Cape Lookout, and resolved to head that way after the hike. Along the Cape Lookout trail, I chatted with a 50-something old couple from Layton, Utah and a guy my age who tried to convince me to drink a "craft" beer at the Pelican Pub in Pacific City (it was only 2pm. If I had drunk the beer that early in the day, I would have been asleep with the dogs in the back of the Subaru before making it back to the cabin). I smiled to myself at his reference to craft beer, which I'm pretty sure most of the rest of the country calls micro-brew. (See reference here.)
Driving the Whiskey Creek Road to the south, we stopped at Cape Kiwanda and went for a nice run along the beach in the rain with the receding tides (I didn't drink the beer at the Pelican Pub). I found a good keeper sand dollar (most of the ones I found were broken due to the rough surfs) and a broken scallop shell. I stopped at the convenience store for a latté, which was likely one of two worst lattés I've ever had in my life (the other being in Three Rivers, California) and scalded my tongue. I did get some really great smoked halibut dip for a snack in the afternoon and decided that the owners of the store should stick to seafood, not coffee. The dip was salty, smoky, and delicious.
Cannon Beach was beautiful in between surges of small storms that were coming off the Pacific. On the way there, I passed through the idyllic fishing town of Garibaldi and put it on my list of places to visit in the near future.
I spent the night again in Pasco, Washington at my friends' house, but not until again passing through the incredible Columbia River Gorge. I took a bit of a scenic route, taking old US Hwy 30 from Moser to the Dalles, and was rewarded with magnificent views of rolling vineyard hillsides and a rainbow out over the Columbia.
|The view of Cape Kiwanda from Cape Lookout|
|Cape Kiwanda Beach|
|Packing up ~|
|Crab Avenue ~ Netarts, Oregon|
|Secret Beach at Cape Meares|