However on our camping trip to Cape Blanco State Park, wandering and lost seemed to go together almost every time we hiked!
Our first adventure started well as we hiked from our campsite through the horse camp and onto the Coast Trail. This trail took us through thickly wooded areas with a glimpse or two of the beautiful ocean.
|View of North Beach from trail|
|View of North Beach looking back toward Cape Blanco|
Eventually we came to a gate which directed us straight ahead to continue the Coast trail, but alas, there was no trail straight ahead!? There was a trail (sort of) going right (uphill) and left (downhill). We chose uphill first and ran into another fence, this one without a gate. So it was downhill we went. It didn't take long to run into the local residents of this trail, a good sized herd of sheep who were just as surprised to see us as we were to see them. Since we had our dog Katie with us, the sheep were probably having flashbacks to their past "herding" days and began quickly moving down the trail ahead of us.
|Part of the sheep herd making a run for it as we approach!|
|North Beach and Cape Blanco in the distance.|
|Some of the driftwood along the North Beach shoreline|
|Carol and Katie along North Beach|
|Sea Stack along North Beach|
Once we arrived at the viewpoint along the lighthouse road, we connected back with coast trail and hiked the trail through the dense thickets along the South Beach cliffs till we connected with a short trail back to the campground. Whew - for a two and a half hour hike, we were tired and proceeded to take an afternoon nap. Yes, required naps are another benefit to hiking.
On the following day we took another hike that involved wandering and being lost. We decided to hike a "horse" trail to the beach and then loop back around through the horse camp. A 7 mile trek that didn't seem difficult on paper. The fact that it was a horse trail should have raised some red flags.
The first part of the hike to the beach access was easy to follow and allowed for some great views of the South Beach coastline.
|South Beach view from Horse trail|
|Another view of South Beach from Horse trail|
|What remains of the last person to attempt a hike of the Horse trail??|
But once we connected to the trail back to the horse camp, the horse part of the trail took over. You see horses are much taller than people, have 4 legs and their rider really doesn't care what they run into below the saddle. We on the other hand were under six feet tall, had two legs and we do care about plants, bushes, mud and so forth on the ground. After an hour of bushwhacking and hiking this evidently seldom used trail, we turned around and backtracked to our starting point since where we were and what the map showed did not seem to match up. Add to that the 30-40 mph winds whipping through the trees and all the branches along the trail from past winds storms and you get the picture of two hikers and a dog making a beeline back to the safety of the campground. Time for another nap!!
So after those two adventures, our last hike was along the safe and well marked South Beach shoreline. Instead of hiking south along the beach, we hiked north back towards the end of the cape. It was low tide, but not low enough to hike around the entire cape.
|Hiking the road down to the South Beach|
|Sea Stack on South Beach|
This hike was awesome as we got to see a large Sea Stack with nesting cormorants, tide pools with plenty of Sea Stars (starfish), and near the end of the cape we watched and heard a pair of Peregrine falcons, a first for both of us.
|Sea Star in the tide pools|
|View of South Beach from inside one of many caverns|
|Cormorants on Sea Stack - can you see the young cormorants?|
Glenn & Carol