Sunday, April 15, 2007

44 Miles on a Burger and Snickers Bar

    After the helicopter training yesterday I decided to go exploring MacDonald Dunn on my bike again.  This time I rode over Chip Ross Park up Dan's Trail over to the Oak Creek trailhead from my apartment.  The Loop was about 10 miles and was awesome.  I got home and  ate a burger... not really a burger  because I couldn't find a bun to go with it.  I spent yesterday evening trying to plan out about 5 hikes/bikes/runs in Cape Perpetua State Park to cover all the trails in that section of a guidebook I have of the Pacific Northwest.   
    Today I woke up around 9am and drove to coast without grabbing breakfast,462663281_1772a81ca1_b although I did grab a Snickers Bar from the drawer and the other half of the huge
burger I couldn't finish last night.  I started off my day hiking chowing down the rest of the burger and hiking along a short trail on some cliffs above the ocean in Cape Perpetua.  It was amazing to be so high up above the ocean and the very old stone structure at the end viewpoint was cool to stand in as it seemed to teeter out over the cliff face.
    I then went down to the ranger station and picked up an annual parking pass so 462662883_0d5301401c_b
that I would have one for the rest of my hikes this summer.  I then proceeded on my marathon of a day first running 2.5 miles down a trail along a river to a giant spruce tree that was about 8.5 feet in diameter at it's base.  It even had a whole straight through that I was able to walk through!
    After running down Giant Spruce Tree trail I stopped briefly at the truck to grab my backpack and video camera before heading down to the ocean to check out the Restless Waters Trial, Cape Cove, and the Captain Cook Trails.  I462656390_6da875ae9f_b
walked 462657432_7a5aa703f6_baround the rocky beach at Cape Cove then re-joined the Cape Cove trail to the Restless Waters Trail where I came upon a chute of churning waves that exploded when they hit the volcanic rocks of the shore into huge sprays of water.  I climbed down with my camera and shot some video of the waves coming in.  I got a little too close because one of them caught me off guard and soaked me pretty well.  Luckily I was able to cover up the camera lens before it got me!  I then walked around the shore to the south and462661709_855c390fce_b
checked out some tide pools with critters in them.  There was a rotting carcass of seal bones as well which was
interesting/gross to see.  I then came upon "spouting horn" which was neat to watch.  As the waves came in they were funneled into a narrow chute that focused the waters energy into a tall spout of water that blasted out of the rocks if the waves hit it just right.  I'd say that those trails along the shore were some of the coolest ones I've been on yet in Oregon and I was lucky enough to hit them at high tide to really see the power of the ocean waves against the rocks of the shore!

    After getting back from the shore I grabbed my bag to go on an 8 mile hike into the interior of Cape Perpetua by first following the Oregon Coast Trail to the Gwynn Creek Trail to the Cook's Ridge Trail back over through Discovery Loop for an 8 mile loop hike.  The hike was actually pretty uneventful but I'll always think that the Oregon woods are a beautiful area to walk through.  The trees are enormous and with wild flowers now out and small cascading waterfalls even a mediocre hike like this blows most of the East Coast hikes I've done away.  I actually think my years of hiking in the Adirondacks and Northeast below treeline has really made me appreciate the landscape and forests out here so much more!  My return through Discovery Loop was neat as there were signs posted all over telling about the flora/fauna around me.  It was more of a self-guided nature walk at the end.   

    When I got back to my truck I grabbed my Kona and headed to Cummings Creek to bike up to 1700 feet on a 12 mile trip, which turned out to be an awesome loop.  As I was nearing about halfway up the trail according to my GPS I saw a small herdpath leading to the left into the trees so I wandered in to check it out and mark the location with my GPS.  As I was there a really awesome downhill mountain biker almost ran into me and told me all about some hidden single track trails that weren't listed on the map.  Awesome!  I actually was going up the hard way to get to the ridge where the trails began as biking up the forest road to the north was easier but I didn't know.  So, I trudged on up the trail, walking my bike over the very rugged, very unused top portion of the trail to the ridge where I saw the single track discreetly duck into the trees from the marked trail.  The ride down was absolutely amazing and I could tell that it was cut by locals and not the forest service as I had many small trees to hop, or rocker over on the way down.  It was great to be able to hit up a "locals only" trail like that and when I back to my truck I can honestly say I was very exhausted... but not done yet...

    My next and last stop of the day was a hike along the coast to the Haceta Head Lighthouse.  462661666_5034bddcd4_bIt was a 6 mile hike and it was 6:45pm already... this was gonna be tight.  I parked my truck in the day-use area at the beach then462665973_67a20222ca_b
headed inland south for a while past some small ponds where I came across some cool looking newts in what appeared to me to be a tiny newt orgy... ha.  After about 30-45 minutes I crossed back over the road and headed up the trail towards the lighthouse which was
a modest ~500 foot climb, but at 462666183_5f7632fa68_b
this point I was exhausted.  I had eaten my snickers bar before I started the hike but I could tell my body had pretty much used all its available energy.  The lighthouse was really cool to see and in462666281_c9c6a7b131_b
the distance I could even see the Seal Caverns that Emily and I had explored just last week.  By the time I hit up the lighthouse and made it down from the head of land it was sunset which worked out perfectly for me.  Instead of heading back into the woods I ventured down to the beach and hiked the last 2 miles from the lighthouse down the beach watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.  It was the kind of moment that I really wish I could have shared with someone but I doubt anyone I know would have been crazy enough to follow me on my marathon adventure on the coast. 

    On the way home I was dead tired and hungry so I stopped for a burger at the462663076_f55d07feaf_b 462662906_ea66a5112d_b
Micky-D's Lounge in Newport before heading back to Corvallis. All told, according to my GPS since last night after my SAR training I
had hiked, biked and ran a total of 44 miles, running only on the energy of a one pound slab of 80% beef and a candy bar... not bad... Let's see vegetarians do that!  haha.   Anyway, it's 10pm now and I'm beat... Laters


No comments: