Well, after four weeks of travel I've finally reached the Pacific Coast. It is unbelievably beautiful here.
As I was leaving Portland I decided to head in the direction of Cape Meares for no other reason than it looked like I might get a view of the ocean and have a nice drive up to Astoria which is my ultimate destination (the final stop of Lewis & Clark).
I had a good feeling about this and I was right. I had a great view of the ocean at first but as you can see from the photos there was a rather intense fog bank looming offshore. As I would drive around, the weather would alternate from clear blue skies to rather dense fog.
There is a lighthouse at Cape Meares that seems to attract a number of visitors but when I got in the area I saw that there was another trail that went in a different direction. I, of course, chose that one. The result was that I was completely alone in a dense rain forest. I would love to have taken more pictures to show you guys want I encountered along the trail but too many of them light up the area much more than the gloom that I experienced. The picture of the trees that I included is indicative of what I experienced on the entire hike.
I could hear the ocean crashing at the bottom but had to hike quite a way over a rather treacherous path to get there. The reason the path was so tough was that all the exposed roots and stones were extremely slick. In the end I made it and I was stunned to see the beach below. I was expecting a flat, long beach. Instead I found the crashing waves and steep cliffs that you see.
I've been pretty happy with my pictures so far but the beach picture here doesn't begin to do justice to what I actually saw. It was stunning and because I wasn't expecting it I'm sure that my jaw literally dropped. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
Later I continued up the coast to Astoria. The post chronicling that drive will follow on Saturday or Sunday.