Saturday, April 22, 2017

Otter Point

My mission, and I did choose to accept, was to write a Word template that would in part, create hyperlinks that consist of your basic standard Internet web address plus a client-specific extension tacked on. Easy, right? All I had to do was nest a MERGEFIELD command inside of a HYPERLINK command and concatenate the two items into a workable hyperlink. Oh, I was so naive, back then.

Azalea bud
You see, the problem was that HYPERLINK could concatenate two strings together but could not concatenate a fixed string (i.e. the Internet address) and a dynamic object into a variable hyperlink. Really? Excel can, and it's made by the same company. And don't get me started about curly brackets. If you use the Insert menu, your command line looks like this: {HYPERLINK "http:\\"}. However, if you type in the command via the keyboard, it looks like this: {HYPERLINK "http:\\"}. See the difference? Nope, me neither, but the difference is the command you type in will never work in this universe, even though it looks exactly the same. For reasons known only to the Word Gods, curly brackets MUST come from the Insert Menu and the 11th Commandment is "Thou shalt not typeth curly brackets". Two days of my life I'll never get back and I came out of retirement for this? Fortunately, hiking is so much simpler, especially since there is no concatenation involved.

The Mighty Rogue River
A friend of mine had passed along a general invite from the Muscle Busters Hiking Group out of Brookings. A new hiking club? I'm in, already! The bad news was that I had to get up in the wee hours of the morning to make the 8:30 start time in Gold Beach. The only thing harder than getting up in the middle of the night is creating a dynamic hyperlink and don't get me going again.

Speaking of dynamic objects...
The long drive gave me ample time to wonder why I was doing this. The wind was cuffing my poor little car around, and the rain was coming in horizontally with all the intensity of a fire hose putting out a five-alarm fire. It was more of the same next to the Rogue River and one other hiker waiting there, hopped in his car and said "Leaving!" So there I am, clad in a bright yellow rainsuit, looking all the world like a human banana when hike leader Al and his group show up just as the rain stops. Glad to do my part for my fellow hikers, as putting on a rainsuit is will invariably guarantee a dry day. The converse is also true: taking off a rainsuit will guarantee rain.

John Geisel's grave
The hike commenced at the Geisel Monument, whose sign I'd passed many a time on Highway 101. While the monument sports a pleasant picnic table and all, the place has a rather somber and tragic history. On February 21, 1856, the male members of the Geisel family were killed by local natives and the women were taken away. There's a lot more to this story and I suggest following the above link for the details, but today, the monument is marked by the graves of John Geisel and his two young sons. 

Fairy lanterns light the way, for fairies
After telling us the dark story of the Geisels, Al led us across Highway 101 and at that point, we simply walked on the old Coast Road. Initially, the road was paved and houses lined the road but in short order, the road went gravel, the houses disappeared, and it was a pleasant walk through a coastal forest. Spring was just starting and it was nice to see such spring wildflower stalwarts such as fairy lanterns, salmonberry, coastal huckleberry, salal, and elderberry. The pace was relaxed which was perfect for a certain hiker from Roseburg who compulsively takes pictures of every flower he sees.

Official welcome to Otter Point
Eventually, the gravel road returned us back to Highway 101; we crossed the busy highway once again and entered the Otter Point State Recreational Site, or "Otter Point" as we like to call it. A short forested trail spit us out onto the bare point and it was time to ooh and aah.

Otter Point had a lot of holes in it
To the north, the Oregon coast arced gracefully to the small point of Hubbard Mound. In between were rocky islands with waves crashing upon them. To the south was a long stretch of sand officially known as Bailey Beach. And Otter Point itself was a delight, its black rock full of tunnels and arches in testiment to land's losing battle with the surging sea. A small creek would have waterfalled gracefully off the point but a brisk wind was literally blowing the waterfall back from whence it came. Never saw a waterfall go up before! Anyway, much photography ensued.

The tidepools beckon
After a brief exploration of the Otter Point headland, we grabbed the Oregon Coast Trail and dropped off the forested bluff down to the beach. Several nameless creeks zigzagged their way across the sand and we hopped across and walked to the base of Otter Point. Much geology ensued, particularly with respect to the black rock cliffs there, but what called me were the tidepools at the point's base. The pools were filled with blue anemones, seaweed, and other assorted marine life. Limpets and periwinkles snoozed on what surely must have been an uncomfortable bed of barnacles.

The last phase of our beach walk was a 3'ish mile amble on flat and expansive Bailey Beach to the Rogue River. As we walked, the clouds lifted and it wound up being a semi-sunny day after all. A chill wind made sure jackets and sweaters stayed on, though. The closer we got to the Rogue River jetty, tons of small polished pebbles appeared on the sand; this beach just has to be a beachcomber's delight.

The Gold Beach cat houses
A short walk on the north jetty of the very wide Rogue River brought us to the Gold Beach cathouses. No, not those kind of cathouses, either, get your minds out of the gutter! Nope, these cathouses are whimsical shelters built for a feral cat population by the local populace. By the way, what do you call a felonius feline who just ate a bunch of mice? A concatenate!

Fern paw
My apologies to all for that one, best to look at the Flickr album than to continue listening to me blather on! And a hearty thanks to Al and the Muscle Busters (a great name for a rock band!), it's always nice to make new hiking friends. Although, they might unfriend me for that atrocious pun.

1 comment :

  1. I really need to "go south" and do more exploration of the Oregon coast. Your latest hike has stirred my interest! And yes, donning a raincoat and gaiters always guarantees a rain-free hike. :)