Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hike to Cascade Head, Oregon

View from Cascade Head
July 18, 2014
I am amazed at how quickly vacation days fly by. Truly fast, even when it seems that nothing much is happening. Yesterday we transitioned from Turner, Oregon, to Carlton, Oregon, which on the map does not seem far, but the day was not about the destination. It was about the journey.

What a fabulous journey it was. The travel portion of the day started and ended in wineries (duh, where else would you expect to find me). I will be publishing reviews of the wineries I visited in my wine blog. 
Hiking to Cascade Head

The highlight of the day was a hike to the Cascade Head for a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean where the Salmon River empties into it.  The hike was easy, about a mile each way after parking three miles into the forest along a dirt, yes dirt and gravel road that took us a long time to find.

The forest was about 20 degrees cooler than the open areas protected from the ocean breeze. One of the highlights of the hike was having an elk cross the trail about 100 yards ahead of me. All I was able to capture was a blurry image of the event. He was a magnificent creature. I noted other elk crossings along the trail and I surmise that elk use the same trails over again.
Panorama of Cascade Head

The forest, which was the greater portion of the trip, was full of plants and every so often I could get a glimpse of the ocean. But it was not until breaking out of the forest into the grassland for the final few hundred yards that the magnificent beauty of the area came into full view. I can sum it up in one word: stunning!
At Cascade Head

This hike was fully worth the time and the enjoyment of getting out of the car an being with nature. The walk through the forest reminded me of the great diversity of life that forests support.

Stopped Along the Road for Pictures
I enjoyed the drive to the trailhead. It was along a gravel road that was barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass. I was driving a rental vehicle that had 440 miles on it when we picked it up and looked like it had just come off the showroom floor. By the end of the trip into the forest, it did not have that new car look anymore! I wondered around each twisty turn what would happen should we meet another vehicle, fortunately, although I was planning for the eventuality, no other vehicles were met in either direction. Yes, it was that deserted.

The forest was mature and evidence of its age was everywhere in the trees that had been felled and the subsequent growth and life springing from the once tall and strong but now soft and moist wood. 

A great stop and an easy hike. I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy the hike and the view at the end of the trail.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Carlton, Oregon

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