Today we spent hours exploring a large part of the Samuel Boardman State park, a 12 mile forested linear park with a rugged, steep coastline interrupted by small sand beaches. The park was named in honor of Samuel H. Boardman, the first Oregon Parks superintendent. He and others of his generation felt this shining green emerald coastline should be saved for the public. What gems they gave us!
The protected viewpoints, natural trails and natural wonders such as Arch Rock and Natural Bridge are just fantastic. Some are a short, easy walk away. Others require a more strenuous hike. And many of the views can be seen without leaving your vehicle.
We started our day at Harris Beach. If you've been a reader for long, you know that this is one of the places we enjoy most. Onyx throws her head back and screams like a girl when she catches her first glimpse each and every time! She is too funny. When her little paws hit the sand she is off and running. Well, not running until we are completely alone on the beach. Then Larry lets her have at it! We had a great time here today. The temperature was in the low 50's but we were blessed with sunny skies so it felt warmer. I wore a jacket, but only because I needed the pockets for two cameras and a telephoto lens. Larry donned a sweatshirt for the entire day and was quite comfortable. The tide was out so we were able to walk around the rocks in places we've never walked before. It was wonderful.
Moving on we stopped at House Rock. I've never figured out which rock they are talking about, but the view off to the right is nice, so we like to stop anyway. Arriving back at the truck it began to rain. A good time to enjoy our lunch. It was a light shower so we decided to continue north for a bit.
We turned left down a bumpy, rough road to Whaleshead Beach, one of the prettiest locations along the Oregon Coast. Offshore there is a sea stack that looks like the head of a Whale. The sea stack is cut with a rock channel and when a wave hits it, it spurts a spray that actually looks like a whale spouting, hence the name Whaleshead Beach. The beach is cut by several small 'wet sneakers' creeks. Normally we like to walk this beach for an hour or two, but the rain drops were spitting at us once again, so we didn't stay.
Next stop, the Natural Bridges Cove. Fortunately, the sun was back out again. We took a couple of pictures before deciding to hike down to the bridge. Larry wanted me to go down first so he could get a pic of me with the telephoto lens. But I was uncomfortable going alone, so we decided to hike it together. Good thing, it was skinny, steep and heavily forested. We finally arrived to within about 20 feet from the natural bridge and decided it was just too dangerous to proceed any further. It sprinkled again on the way, and was very wet from the earlier rains as well. Several spots were especially slippery, and near the end of the path it was barren, so there were no good plants or roots to hold on to. One misstep would have been disastrous. Three or four feet of bouncing off some rocks, then over the side directly into the ocean! Better to be safe than sorry. We took a short hike in the opposite direction and enjoyed some pretty views many will never see. That is unless you take the hike! We were glad we hadn't brought Onyx along. And very glad when we finally returned to the truck, huffing and puffing, LOL!
Two miles on we stopped for an easy walk to the Arch Rock Viewpoint, an area with a beautiful view of an offshore monolith that has been carved into an arch by the action of the waves. There were benches here for our viewing pleasure and we enjoyed sitting quietly, listening to the pounding surf and the call of the seagulls. Onyx was glad to be along this time. Her nose was bent out of shape after being left behind at the bridge.
Our last stop was at Meyers Creek Beach, where we watched the surf roll lazily in and out. The sun was casting some nice shadows on one of Larry's favorite rocks. We didn't walk the beach as my right knee was bothering me a bit. I think I strained a tendon or muscle on our climb down to the bridge. It was aching pretty good, so time to head for home. No more walking for today.
On our way back to town Don called to let us know he had spent most of the day in the woods picking mushrooms. We stopped by the house to chat for a few minutes and watch him chop and dice all the goodies for homemade mushroom soup. Looked like celery, onion, potatoes, bacon and of course, mushrooms! I believe we are getting a jar or two when he is done. Yummy....
Kelly iced my knee and loaned me a muscle, joint roll-on medication that seemed to help. A little ibuprofen and it's feeling much better this evening. Good thing, because we've got places to go and things to see again tomorrow! The redwoods, I believe...