It had been ages since I’ve hiked out on the Oregon Coast… It’s a long drive, is the problem, but still. The coast is gorgeous, and it was high time that I got back out.
So… I drove. Got going fairly early, for a day off, and was starting in to the Cape Falcon trail by 11:15, give-or-take. Not bad, since it was a two hour drive from my place in Wilsonville, so I was feeling pretty energetic as I hiked through the misty trees, hearing the sound of cars receding behind me and the sound of the breakers growing in the distance.
Once I made it out of the forest and onto the beach… I realized that tides are a thing.
Because there was no beach.
Turns out – high tide does happen, and when it happens at Oswald West, the tide comes all the way up to the trail, nearly. Not so much that it covers the whole area, of course… but the distance between surf and ground was quite small… just a tiny little strip of sand, covered by the waves half of the time, maybe a foot or two wide.
Made it a bit difficult to walk along the coast, as you may imagine, so instead Cape Falcon became the goal of the moment – heading back inland to walk out to the overlook, and give the tides a bit of time to recede so I could get some shore-line walking in later on in the day.
I hadn’t hiked all the way out to Falcon before, so this was an interesting experience… During COVID I’ve been able to avoid crowds pretty well, and having been hiking up on Hood I’d gotten used to the snow and slush of the high elevations.
I’d forgotten just how crowded popular trails can get, and how that can lead to some rather interesting trail conditions… specifically, the fact that I was wading through pretty much constant mud the whole way out to the Cape Falcon overlook.
But hey – that’s what boots are for, right? My boots were still pretty new too, and needed a bit of breaking in… and what better way to do that than to slog my way through deep mud, escaping the forest and striking out onto the cliffside?
The trail was churned up, like a herd of elk had cruised through, but truth be told I didn’t see that many people as I was hiking in. A few groups, of course, but nothing too crazy… Nothing nearly as intense as some of the more popular hikes out in the gorge on a sunny summers day, at least. I was able to make pretty good time, though I did get some added altitude training thanks to wearing my mask so consistently…
Anywho, the hike went well, and the overlook was singularly gorgeous.
In keeping with tradition, after hiking was dinner, or at least a late lunch, out at Cannon beach. I’ve been to the Pelican Brewery a few times, and thankfully they’re still open and kicking during the pandemic… if only for takeout. But you know what? Takeout calamari and seafood chowder is still pretty dang good.
Especially when there was a sunset like that…