Rain rain rain!
We headed south for Cape Meares Lookout State Park this morning. When we got out of the vans it was raining and blowing. I was considering staying in the van but decided to go ahead. After all, what’s a little rain?
We headed out. The path was muddy, muddy, muddy. Did I say it was muddy? A few folks turned around even though they were near the end, but I persevered! I made it all the way to the end of Cape Mears. I have to admit though; there was so much mud and wind I thought a lot about turning back. And when we were in the forest and out of the wind? The rain might stop, but it kept continually dripping off the trees. It was quite a sodden day. Of course, once I’d stepped and slipped into a puddle (mud up over the top of my boot) it was all over. After that it was just a matter of slogging through the mud and not worried about trying to keep anything dry. My pants were filthy again and I had soaking wet feet all day.
I tried to find a report on how strong the winds were, but after an experience in in Ireland, I’d have to guess 50 mph.
One lady had a banana peel boomerang back at her when she tried to throw it away. She threw it into the trash can again and it blew up into a tree! Honestly, there was a waterfall with water blowing back up and over the cliff!
At times I had to walk along the muddy edge of a high cliff. The only good thing was that strong wind? If I fell off the cliff, the wind would push me back onto the path.
Before I even got to the end of Cape Meares, Jim and Crystal passed me, heading back in the other direction. In fact, they got back to the van an entire hour before I did. Egad. I have learned that my month of practice walking in no way prepared me for our hikes. I’d been walking two miles a day on level, paved paths. That’s nothing like hiking winding paths through the forest in mud, walking over branches, and going up and down hills. Walking on the beach was a little better, but no matter where I walked the sand was never as hard packed as my old paved paths. Lesson learned – getting ready for a hike? GO HIKING!
After hiking to the end of Cape Meares (5 miles round trip) we headed for the Cape Meares Lighthouse. I’d always pictures lighthouses as very tall, majestic structures – but not this one. However, it was so short you could stand on the path that wound down and get a terrific look at the lens in the lighthouse; loved the bright red color.
We also got a chance to see the Octopus Tree. It’s not known if the Sitka spruce grew the way it did naturally, or with a little help from humans. It’s 46 feet in circumference, 105 feet tall and estimated to be 250-300 years old.
These two short trips added another .7 miles to the day – and I swear it was all up hill; both ways!
Next as we headed “back to the barn” we stopped at the Blue Heron cheese/wine shop and then another brief stop at the Tillamook Cheese factory. Since I’d previously done both it was a comfortable experience for me. I got a quick decaf mocha at the Blue Heron and I was good to go after that.
We got back to our lodging and I got to work on our slide show. I’d volunteered to gather pictures from others and assembling them into a slide show. It’s hard to organize something like this and thankfully our leader (Ken) said that out-of-order was just fine. He asked for about 100 slides but I ended up with 150. It was a fun project and I got to see a lot more images that I normally would.
Dinner was pulled beef BBQ sandwiches, but I got my fourth meal of veggie patties. I’m just glad the retreat center was able to accommodate my vegetarian wishes.
It’s good to have had a long hot shower and get those soaked boots off my feet. I’m sure I’ll crash tonight and sleep like the dead.