Sunset Bay-Cape Arago

September 7, 1983

Despite unavailable leaders, inaccessible signup sheet (YMCA closure), gloomy weather forecast, and the kids all locked up in school, the group which headed for Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, Cape Arago, and points geologically past, numbered just 12—just right! Nine left the lot at 8:07 a.m. in two commodious vehicles, picking up Margaret Markley in Florence (Glenada, actually) and Ewart and Margaret Baldwin in North Bend.

The place we hiked is spectacular and geologically interesting and explicit. Ewart knows the hobbit trails, though some are unmarked, out to sandstone points, kitchen middens, coal seams, anticlines and synclines. The Oregon Coast Trail is developed here and newly maintained, though the familiar cedar posts seem even more demure than on the north coast. The weather was perfect for cotton flannel shirts; the sun was bright if a little distant, the wind polite enough never to make conversation difficult. The tide was in and the surf in a state of high dudgeon about something—perhaps the racket the sea lions kept making out by Simpson Reef.

On these trips, with such a crew, the landscapes come alive, including even the names on street signs, names of Parks and hills and reefs. They come alive in anecdotes about the people who named them and those for whom they were named, and in explanations of processes that tilted the rocks and the terrace we walked along. Even in the other conversations, about international travels, carpenter ants, how to learn the flowers, marriages and divorces of kids and grandkids, defrosting refrigerators, all the past summer’s hikes and climbs, the trees felt free to butt in and say, “Look at me; I—m sliding into the sea,” and the beds of stone laugh at our youth.

South coast hikers were Ewart (leader) and Margaret Baldwin, Gladys Grancorvitz, Steve Kraft, Ron Leland, Margaret Markley, Elizabeth McMullin, Bryant Mitchell, John Powell (leader), Alys Riley, Lois Schreiner and Paula Vehrs.

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