Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cape Perpetua with Emily

Emily and I took the new Prius for it’s first long drive out to the coast to check out Cape Perpetua which Emily hadn’t seen before. Emily drove out to the coast which took us about an hour and half, using only about a gallon and half of gas! We were averaging about 48.5 mpg! We first drove up the steep road to the Whispering Pines trail about 1000 feet above the ocean to see if we could see any whales in the distance. It was a little misty at that altitude but as we go to the lookout structure perched above the
cliffs the clouds dissapeared. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see any whales in the far distance but other onlookers had heard that there were many migrating up and down the coast but were far off the land so unless we had binoculars or a telescope we probably wouldn’t see them.

From there we drove back down the road and headed to check out Spouting Horn and the tide pools just below Route 101. I’m pretty sure it was low tide which was perfect for us to watch the waves crash down into the channel creating the powerful blast of water named “Spouting Horn”. We both tested our luck on the rocks close to the crashing waves and right when Emily was taking a photo of me I got nailed from a big set that was coming in behind me. Not enough to knock me into the crashing
waves and rocks thankfully but enough to spray the back of me pretty good. We milled around the tide pools for a while looking for various sea critters and watching the waves roll in and crash into the rocks and down through channels to explode at the back end. We tried different settings on our camera to capture it all.

We then drove over to Devil’s Churn to watch the waves get funneled down the channel and crash and against the side rocks. The channel itself is hundreds of feet long yet only a couple feet across. As the waves get pushed down into it they build up and crash against the side rocks spraying everyone nearby. For the first time I walked to the very end of the channel and found that a small cave was at it’s furthest reach from the ocean. Over thousands of years this had been carved out by the crashing waves. It’s almost as if the entire channel was created by a large crack in the earth from an earthquake, but that’s just a guess. Once again as I was helping Emily up the slippery rocks I got caught from behind by a big wave! By now my pants were pretty salty and wet and Emily was bone dry. Leaving the area I recalled what Emily’s father had said about the lack of safety rails
in the northwest.... if someone had fallen into that channel of water there is absolutely no chance they would survive in the raging waves and freezing water... just something to remember as we always are curious and want to see nature’s beauty close up.

Emily allowed me to drive the Prius back to Corvalis as it was getting dark. I really do enjoy the car and am so happy that she bought it. It will be so perfect for us for long trips and if the weather is ever bad or we need 4x4 to access a trailhead we will always have my truck as backup but it sure felt nice driving to the coast and back for about 6 bucks in gas!

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