Sunday, September 16, 2012

SFFD to Cape Perpetua

Our family has been taking lots of road trips around the Pacific Northwest over the last month. On one weekend, we decided to drive out to the coast and spend some time exploring Cape Perpetua. Sandwiches, dog, kid, cameras were loaded into the car and off we went, down highways 22 and 18 to Lincoln City, then south on Hwy 101 until we arrived.
The weather was calm; the trees grow this way.
The kid, being a teenager and all, was a little grumpy about having to tag along with mom and dad. The dog, who usually whines every 15 minutes for a long sniff out an open window, was surprisingly quiet. Things changed once we got there, however.

There are easy hiking trails on the beach side of the highway, and we trotted down the trail to the beach. Until we could see the beach, that is. The end of the trail was blocked by a huge logjam of driftwood. There was no option but to turn back or climb over. So we climbed.
 I lovingly call this "Driftwood Trail." It was a challenge to climb over.  This beach is a driftwood picking beachcomber's dream come true.
The beach was deserted.  Someone with a sense of humor built a teepee out of driftwood.
We heard a Tarzan yell and looked up to see an old lady on the cliff above, waving at us. We waved back and she giggled.
Since surviving cancer and recovering from all his surgeries, Frank has started to Live. With a capital L. He no longer sits around the house on weekends but gets up and out, explores the Northwest, sees new things, and enjoys life. He is a different person today, compared to the old Frank from three years ago. Heck, he is a different Frank from the guy we all knew from two months ago. He looks truly happy now, too.
Did I mention I was wearing a knee brace through all of this hiking and driftwood climbing? I’m nursing a torn ACL (which happened on another exciting adventure here in the Northwest.) I’m sure my right knee would prefer I sit on the couch, but visiting the beach is much more fun. Besides, it’s a great excuse to not let the kid talk me into standing thigh deep in icy cold water on a dare. Ankle deep was cold enough, thank you very much.
Ironically, this brace didn't protect me from another "Adventure Injury." Oh well.  How did I let the kid talk me into getting wet? This is COLD!!
The dog hunted leaves and other unseen things that flowed from the nearby creek into the ocean.
A sign at the top of the cliff suggested tide pools. The huge rocky tide pools here were the biggest ones I had ever climbed on. The tide was out too far for any critters to be swimming in the holes, but they were fun to climb on. Rachel was the first to climb up on the tide pool. The brave kid stood near the leading edge, trying to get soaked with a particularly large wave crashed up against the rocks. “Is the what they call the “Spouting Horn?’” I asked her. “No, that’s around the other side of the cliff,” she replied. I’m not sure how she knew this, but I took her word for it. The dog was leashed and wearing his harness (our lift-the-dog-out-of-the-water handle) but she still was nervous about him being washed away.
The trick to getting onto the rocks was all in the timing. Wave after wave would surge up onto the sand around the rock and we’d have to wait until the water had receded before running across the wet sand to clamber onto the rock. Getting off the rock involved the same careful timing. Too soon and we would jump into forty degree water. Too late and the oncoming wave would swamp us as we crossed the sand, freezing our shin bones to the marrow.

It was at this point that the kid smiled.
She excitedly stated “This is a great beach!” and we all agreed it is one of our top 10 favorite beaches on the planet.
~ pam    

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