Escape to the Cape

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.IMG_0454 IMG_0449

Needle Rock

Needle Rock

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! DSC_0558

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.   DSC_0561

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.

The Cape is the westernmost point in Oregon.  The lighthouse, which has been guiding ships and warning mariners since 1870, it is the oldest standing lighthouse along the Oregon coast.   DSC_0569 IMG_0428

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.IMG_0431 IMG_0424

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.DSC_0552 DSC_0557

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.
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Debbie and Gayle searching the tide pools for treasures.

Debbie and Gayle searching the tide pools for treasures.

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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!

Jim in the foreground.  Follow the trail down for the fleeting, tiny blue dot which is Gayle.  ;-)

Jim in the foreground. Follow the trail down for the fleeting, tiny blue dot which is Gayle. ;-)

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6 thoughts on “Escape to the Cape

  1. Our fav spot!! So glad you got to spend the week-end there. One of the things we love about that park is it rarely EVER feels busy. Just such a peaceful, relaxing place. By the way, Cape Blanco is one of the few lighthouses that will hire singles for their lighthouse hosting (hint, hint).

    Funny thing about your last post. We’ve never been to a rally. We’ve been close many times but have “psyched” ourselves out of it last minute. So, I know the feeling.

    Nina

  2. Thanks for the pictures of the Oregon coast. I have only been there a couple of times and the Washington coast too. They are so different from the east coast, but both are just awesome. We are really enjoying your trip.

    Allen and Deede

  3. That lens is amazing. I can’t imagine what it was like in person.

    Your photos of the Oregon coast are exactly what I picture in the slide show of my mind.

  4. First Nina and Paul, then Gayle and Jim and now you are at this gorgeous place I so want to see. Lucky lucky lucky is all I can say. Every single one of these pictures is fantastic and I am green with envy. Wish Oregon weren’t so far away from Florida where we have to be every darn January. Maybe next year!!! But then all of you probably won’t be there then. Or maybe you will since it is so fantastic!

  5. I stumbled across your blog recently and have been enjoying it a lot! Your recent posts have me remembering a trip my husband and I took in 2009 around the circumference of the US. My absolute favorite area was the coastline between WA and San Francisco, especially in Oregon. I can still feel the excitement at my first sighting of the Pacific Ocean and taking a walk on the first beach we came upon. We live on the east coast on Cape Cod so our coastline is very different. If you’re ever out this way I hope you’ll Escape to this Cape!

  6. Nina — That would be a dream come true for me. But I fear they would have to pry the keys from my grip at the end of the month! haha!! I saw three more this weekend…each so gorgeous in its own way. I almost wept when I saw the red lens at Umpqua River!

    Allen and Deede — Yes, I have always been a lover of the east coast, but I have to say, the west is quickly stealing my heart away…

    Kim — I know you are headed up the middle of the state, but I sure hope you get to spend a little time along the coast!

    Sherry — You can easily do it and be back by January! I didn’t leave Texas until March, and Kim has only just left. It’s not too late! I haven’t gotten to meet Nina and Paul yet, but I sure hope to!

    Hi, Debbie — Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving the nice comment! I did get to visit your Cape once when I lived in New York. Beautiful! But yes, you are right, different. The thing I love about the Oregon coast is the abundance of beauty without ever leaving Hwy 101!

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