Washburne Loop/Heceta Head Lighthouse

July 1, 2008

What makes our trips so special is not just our love of hiking, but the opportunity to share our appreciation of the natural wonders we have in our own backyard with out-of-town visitors. Today we were joined by Ineke and Cees Laan of the Netherlands, who were in Eugene on a baby sitting mission for their grandchild. Natalie Flindt thought her mother Beverly, visiting from Chico (CA) would enjoy a coastal hike. MaryLee Blodgett, from Wisconsin via Texas, was on her second Obsidian hike in a week. Indeed, the only members on this jaunt were the leader and Susan Sanazaro.

We moved the start time for this hike up a bit to get a slight edge on an incoming tide, but needn’t have worried. The ocean was calm and we had plenty of time to beachcomb from the day area parking lot to the Hobbit Trail. I thought that, perhaps, our Dutch friends might spot a Hobbit; but once again they eluded our sight. A light marine layer hovered overhead, defending itself well against a sun trying to burn through. That gave us comfortably cool weather, ideal for the strenuous climb up to the lighthouse. That's where we had our lunch and several in our group took tours. The hike back down and along the Valley Trail was a pleasant change of pace. Ineke and Cees (pronounced case) took lots of notes on the flora and were constantly impressed by the expansive vistas and open space compared to the tight quarters of the Netherlands.

On the return, we all stopped at outlook to take photos of the lighthouse, now shrouded in a light marine haze. Nevermind, the sea lions roaring on the rocks just below us put on a great show. Then it was a short stop to see the always fascinating cobra lilies before heading home.

By the way, none of the visitors was in Eugene for the Olympic Trials.

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