Monday, October 5, 2009

Hiking Cascade Head

Yesterday was Sunday, which at this time of the year simply translates to “Football Day”.  I have the day pretty much to myself, in other words.  I did a few loads of laundry, went to the store for a few groceries, and took my usual walk on the beach.   There are three TV shows I like to watch that come on Sunday evening, so Jim gets to watch the last game of the day from the comfort of the bedroom, and I take over the living room, and so went our day.

Today, I had a couple of errands to run this morning, and Jim took care of the required maintenance on our hot water heater.  He changed the anode rod and flushed the heater out.  That is something that needs to be done about every 6 months.

Once our chores were done, we gathered ourselves together and took off to see if we could find the trailhead for an easy hike on Cascade Head.  I found the information about this trail from poking around on Google Earth and doing a search for hiking trails in this area.  Cascade Head is located just a few miles north of Lincoln City, and is named for the cascades that pour off its cliffs into the ocean.  There are 3 trails that provide different levels of difficulty, we chose the high trail to the upper viewpoint, which is the easiest hike.  This beautiful and wild area was threatened with development in the 1960’s, but a group of conservationists managed to purchase it and donate it to the Nature Conservancy for preservation.  Ironically, the area is now threatened by all the nature-loving visitors who come to enjoy the wild beauty.  As a result, two of the trailheads are closed part of the year.

The directions to the trailhead provided on the internet were exactly right, and we found it with no problem, even though the turn-off from Highway 101 wasn’t marked.

From the highway, we drove just over 3 miles on a dirt road to reach the trailhead:

Jim 004_1 We began our hike through the forest of second-growth Douglas fir, spruce and alder.  The sign at the beginning of the trail described what we could expect:

Jim 008 It was an easy trail:Ellie 029 With some pretty big trees:

Jim 018 Close to a mile into the hike, we came out of the forest to the meadow.  That dot in the center of the picture below is Jim:

Ellie 037 Just over the crest of the hill, we got this view:

Jim 024

The beach above the ridge is “my” beach. It runs nearly the entire length of Lincoln City, and is accessible from 5 or 6 different places in town.

Just slightly east from the coast is the estuary of the Salmon River, shown below from Cascade Head.  Every day that we’ve driven across the bridge crossing this river on Highway 101, there have been lines of cars parked along the sides of the road and people are lined up along the river banks, fishing.

Ellie 035We stayed up  here, taking in the incredible beauty for quite a while before making the 1 mile trek back to the car. 

A late lunch seemed to be a good idea once we got back into Lincoln City, so we stopped by a local place for a quick sandwich.  What an incredible day!


Karon said...

Wow!!!! What a beautiful view. I'm really enjoying your time in Oregon. I look forward to the rest of your visit there.

Hug the puppies for me!
Love you, Karon

Mark and Dortha said...

What a great hike with a great view. Enjoy one of those beach walks for me.