Sunset Bay to Cape Arago

December 12, 1981

We left Eugene in a healthy rain, and found a band of bright sky on the other side of the coast range beckoning us southward, and alternating with fine showers throughout the day.

The highest tide in ten years, according to the Coast Guard station at Newport, greeted us at Sunset Bay, where the hike began, preventing a pre-hike hunt for pectin fossils at the north side of Sunset Bay. At hike’s end the fossils still eluded us; darkness had fallen (throughout the day we lingered at many viewpoints to photograph and absorb the many beauties the trail affords). We spotted sea lions near the Bay and again at Simpsons Reef, and numerous warblers and small birds in the underbrush close at hand.

The outstanding feature of the terrace hike, of course, is the shoreline below where breathtaking exposed rock formations present an outstanding geological display. High waves shot spray skyward at many points and were particularly appreciated at Shore Acres, where we lunched in the shelter of the observation house.

The level hiking along the marine terrace had added texture due to recent storms which had downed a number of trees, making small detours necessary. Three days after our hike (no connection, I hope) park officials advised hikers to avoid this very trail until repairs are made and better conditions prevail. We were careful to stay away from soggy edges. On our return from Cape Arago light was beginning to fade, so we followed the paved road. Near the service entrance to Shore Acres about 50 feet of pavement had collapsed into a rain-soaked gully and was barricaded off. Happy to find our car sitting upright between puddles in Sunset Bay’s parking lot, these six hikers headed home: Ron Golan, Gladys Grancorvitz, Wilbur Groner, Marshall Pallette, Michelle Tambellini and leader Dallas Cole.

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