With the rally now behind me, I found myself facing a three day holiday weekend with no plans. I had originally thought I might hang around Seven Feathers for the holiday, but it just wasn’t for me. A gorgeous, immaculately manicured place, but it was too “homogenized” for an extended stay beyond the rally. Not being a casino person, there didn’t seem to be much to do there, amidst a state with an abundance of hiking, biking, and beaches.
I really wanted to head back to the coast, but I had no reservations. I had blown by several places along Highway 101 in my mad dash to Canyonville, one of them being Cape Blanco. I noted the mileage as I drove past, with the thought in mind that I would return after the rally if it wasn’t too much back tracking. As a long time follower of Nina’s Wheelinit blog, I loved her tales of volunteering in the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, so I just had to see it!
As if a beach and a lighthouse weren’t enough of a draw, I had read on Jim and Gayle’s blog that they, along with Debbie, had been able to secure space for the holiday weekend in the Cape Blanco State Park. So I sent Gayle an email on Thursday night, and she confirmed that there were still quite a few spaces open. So I came back from the wine tasting with an afternoon hangover, and packed up so I could roll out of Seven Feathers at first light on Friday morning in hopes of beating the crowds. The rally was officially over except for goodbyes, so I would flee the “View Village” in an escape to the Cape!
And what a charmer the little Cape Blanco State Park is! Tall, “enchanted forest” mossy trees all around, and a coastal trail leading to the beach in one direction and the lighthouse in the other, all from the campground.
Once I got settled in, I was happy to hear that the Life’s Little Adventures gang was heading to the lighthouse for a tour, and I was invited to tag along. It was a gorgeous day, just perfect for the coastal trail. As a lover of lighthouses, I had set my intentions to explore as many as possible up the Oregon coast, so I was eager to get started.
Although it’s Fresnel lens was originally first-order, it was replaced with a second-order lens in 1936. (If you are not familiar with the Fresnel lens, I wrote more about it here.) I am surprised that we are allowed to get so close to this one, as I was not allowed to get so close as to even breathe on the ones in the Outer Banks lighthouses.
Hiking the coastal trail, there is a nice surprise when you reach the top…another gorgeous crescent beach on the other side! It is possible to stand in the “isthmus” and see a beautiful coastline spanning out in both directions.
I think I can speak for the others when I say we were braced for typical holiday mayhem that never really happened. Yes, the park filled up, but the spaces felt so private with the surrounding vegetation that it never really felt that crowded. And what people were there seemed respectful with no loud boom boxes or swinging from the trees until way into the night. There were some four-wheelers on the beach with very small, helmeted children, but I only saw them once. Otherwise, it was one of the more pleasant holiday weekends I have spent in a campground.
I had so much fun hiking the coastal trails and exploring tide pools with my blogging friends, though it became apparent early on that I need to kick the fitness level up a notch. Keeping up with the three of them made me realize that my “hiking” has been more like “meditative walking.” Well, no excuses here in the beautiful state of Oregon, one can just about take a hike in any direction!