Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cape Arago Perimeter Trail - club hike

The weekend prior was a mere scouting expedition and this weekend was the real deal. Armed with knowledge gleaned from my information-gathering foray 8 days earlier, I was confidently ready to lead the Friends of the Umpqua onto Cape Arago Perimeter Trail. Just call me a modern day Jedediah Smith! Except Jedediah didn't drive to the trailhead, there was no established trail to follow, and he didn't feel compelled to take pictures of every wave that crashed upon the rugged Oregon shore. But other than that, yeah, I'm a modern day Jedediah Smith alright.

Perimeter newbies (except for Rachel)
Weatherwise, we were between storms so we hiked in dry but blustery weather with a gray cloud cover overhead. Spirits were high as we set out on the forest trail to Shore Acres State Park where we picked up the hard to find Perimeter Trail. From here on in, it would be all new trail for my fellow hikers who (except for Rachel) had never been here before.

Ariel enjoys a downhill section of trail

Because I had taken lots of photos the week before, had written a blog entry about the hike, not to mention a newspaper story about the same hiking experience, I had pretty much decided to take little or no photos and simply concentrate on making sure I didn't lose any hikers along the way. So blah, blah, blah, and I'll refer you to my previous blog posts for more details about about the joys and travails of hiking on the Perimeter Trail.

Jedediah Smith (not!)
After lunch, we dropped down to Cape Arago where we paid a visit to the cape overlook, a coastal delight I had bypassed last weekend. The wind buffeted and cuffed us as we walked on the exposed cape, and if I had any hair, it would have been messed up.

From there, the short road walk on the Cape Arago Highway delivered us to the Simpson Reef Overlook, where we took in the sights, sounds, and rank odors of the sea lions hanging out on Shell Island. And then it was back to the trail.

Photogenic surf at Shore Acres
I'd say it was the same old stuff but the coast is always different, that's one of the reasons I enjoy hiking at Cape Arago on a regular basis. Before you could say "spectacular Oregon coast", the camera was out and clicking and I soon found myself well behind everybody else, like usual.

Life on the edge
The clouds were breaking up in the late afternoon and the sun valiantly tried to shine its sunny magic on us Vitamin D deficient seasonal affective disorder sufferers (which has the appropriate acronym of SAD). However, a massive bank of clouds several miles offshore quickly rolled in, blotting out the sun and making us very SAD. But the war between sun and clouds resulted in a bad case of great lighting affective disorder (or GLAD) and much photography ensued from a very slow but GLAD hiking leader.

A storm is coming!
So that was our hike, in a nutshell, I've short-cutted a more engaging description as it was the same old spectacular stuff I wrote about just a week earlier. I bet Jedediah Smith would have done the same.

View to Gregory Point
For more pictures of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.


  1. I love the rugged shorline here! If I had the good lighting you did, I'd be snapping away too.

  2. Replies
    1. Almost any day at Cape Arago is a photogenic one, but yes, it was great clouds and light on this day