Sunset Bay to Cape Arago

June 11, 1983

10:30 a.m. Eleven hikers were just part of the scenery to two white-tailed deer as they fed 50 yards away in the meadow above Sunset Bay. They stood their ground as we moved quietly across the meadow to reach the ocean terrace path and begin our hike south along the coast. Blue, sunny skies, sea-sculptured terrace, exposed rock formation jutting up from the swirling water below—all did their customary magic. On the densely treed path, each viewpoint brings a surprising vista. Then as the path opens onto the Shoreacres portion, one has wall-to-wall rocks and ocean, erosion sculptures and encrustations and sea palms hanging on out in the surf. It’s hard to behold and keep moving at the same time, so it was nearly three PM when we finished lunch at Cape Arago on our viewpoint above a mighty display of foam-on-the-rocks. Heading north again, we heard the sea lions perched on Simpsons Reef barking even louder than before, as the tide and wind had changed since our approach. We sampled the civilized delights of the botanical gardens at Shoreacres, where the roses were at their height of bloom, then made our way back along the oceanside trail. At the foot of the bleached silver roots of our favorite fallen-trees sculpture we found tiny wild strawberries and time for a tiny siesta in the sun before the final leg of trail. The deer had left the upper meadow, but down on the beach there was no shortage of personnel. Sunset Bay is called the most popular beach on the southern coast, and small wonder. Its protective cliff-walls make a perfect cove, which we always wish there were another hour to explore before the two-hour drive back to Eugene. Hikers were Nancie Fadeley, Karen Houglum, Evelyn Hill, Joyce Lowary, Alys Riley, Adele Roberts, Evelyn Schmitt, Paula Vehrs, Ethel Weltman, and leaders Jack and Dallas Cole.

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