I loved this road sign at the Cascade Head trail today, for I did indeed have pedestrain by the time I finished hiking 6.2 miles and going up and down 1200 feet.
The day began with a ho-hum breakfast at the Pig ‘N Pancake at Lincoln City…nice building, but the food was nothing special. But Motel 6 doesn’t offer continental breakfast, so whatcha gonna do? It was chilly and foggy today, which didn’t bode well for the views on my hike.
I drove north a few miles to the Nature Conservancy’s Cascade Head area which they preserve for some butterflies as well as hiking enjoyment. The trail was an interesting mix of forest and grassland with what on a clear day would be a spectacular view of the Salmon River and Lincoln City down below. But today I could only snap a cloudy shot of the river from the trail well below the summit, although the panorama was still impressive.
After that, my ascent was fog-bound and the views were non-existent. But I still enjoyed reaching the summit, snapping some of the plant and animal life, and happily the trail then re-entered the forest and was quite beautiful. I refrained from listening to my iPod on the ascent, enjoying the sounds of the ocean and the grassland. But for the long descent I indulged in some more fun lectures by OU’s Professor Rufus Fears courtesy of the Teaching Company. I met him back in 2004 when he won the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in university teaching while I received the one for secondary teaching and since then have enjoyed many of his wonderful lectures on great books, history, and classical Greece and Rome.
By one o’clock I was back at the car and truly weary. So I drove into town and had a memorably bad French dip sandwich at McMeniman’s Brewpub. Yelp.com did me wrong this time! ‘Twas a dry sandwich, which the incredibly salty au jus could not put right. Their decision to call it an “American” dip should have warned me off, for Americans do love salt. I was on the upper floor of the restaurant where one poor waitress struggled to service too many tables, both indoors and outdoors, dragging food up from the floor below. But the part that bothered me most was how the floor and table shook every time anyone walked by – I prefer my meals without tremors.
I then drove south to Newport and took in the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Nothing new – I’ve been to so many aquariums I can predict all of the exhibits by now. But I did take some cursory shots of a pigeon guillemot and tufted puffin in the aviary and a sea otter.
I checked into the Best Western’s Agate Beach Inn, which I recalled from 2006 had a lovely view of Yaquina Head. Today the view is misty, but as I write my room’s window wall’s sliding glass door is open so I can hear the ocean and see the Yaquina Head lighthouse beacon pulsing through the dusky air.
Dinner was at Izzy’s smorgasbord, so I cobbled together salad, corn, peas, green beans, and other sautéed vegetables with a bit of fried chicken, a tiny slice of mushroom pizza, and dessert. Methinks I was overcompensating for lunch.
It was still light, so I paid the day use fee to revisit Yaquina Head, which I toured extensively in 2006. I had left my usual camera in the hotel room, so I snapped not one, not two, not three, but four different odd shots of the lighthouse using some of the iPhone filters.
Then it was back to the hotel for a dip in the pool to relax and then today’s blog posting and slideshow.
I’ll try to sleep in tomorrow, although I note that 12 people just filed into the room next door and they are suitably noisy. Egad, I hope they will disperse to other rooms or that will be one crowded bed! Sounds like a night for ear plugs and Ambien.
The plan for tomorrow is to take a scenic drive inland two hours to hike at Alsea and Green Leaf Falls (if my poor feet don’t rebel), then drive back out to Yachats on the coast for the night.
[Next post: Waterfalls : Day 6 of the Oregon Trails]