Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Hobbits, No Sea Lions, No Sasquatch, No Jumping

Hobbit Trail.  

For a few weeks, that name has been taunting us from the trail sign near our campground.  This short trail winds down a hill and eventually spills out onto Hobbit Beach.

There is a grouping of barnacle-covered rocks exposed by low tide that is teeming with brightly colored anemone.  

 We are the only ones on this rocky island and claim it as our own country until the tide creeps higher and waves chase us off our new kingdom.  

It seems pretty content with its former rulers so we abdicate and exile ourselves to Sea Lion Cave.  

A quarter mile down the road from our lighthouse, Sea Lion Cave claims to be the largest sea cave in the world.

It is big, I guess, but I am not overly impressed.  What does impress me is the elevator, which drops two hundred feet through solid rock.  The first thing Hubs does when the door closes is jump, just to scare me.  After giving him a good pinching, I point out the big sign behind him on the elevator wall that says:

NO JUMPING!  Jumping causes the elevator to plummet you to a rocky death. Take elevator at your own risk. We are also not responsible if an earthquake happens while you are riding in our elevator and you are trapped forever under a pile of boulders. Or if a tsunami fills the sea cave while you are in it and you drown.  

p.s. There is no other way down and  tickets are non-refundable. Guess we should have mentioned that earlier.

Maybe I paraphrased, but not much.

There are currently no sea lions in the cave since it is still October and they don't show up until December.  It is just a big sloshy cavern with pictures of what sea lions would be doing if they were in the cave. 

However, the views from outside on the viewing platform are great.

We stop and talk to the man making fudge in the gift shop, and he recommends a place called Devil's Churn, about eight miles up the road towards the town of Yachats (pronounced yah-hots).  

Devil's Churn is on the Trail of Restless Waters that originates from the Cape Perpetua visitor center, but we find a closer parking area and don't do much hiking, mostly because it is starting to drizzle.  Sea water sloshes into a narrow canyon, whipping itself into a foaming frenzy and thundering into the rocky walls.  

Around the bend, Spouting Horn can be seen in the distance.  Water forces itself into a hole in the rock at high tide and builds up air pressure until it shoots straight up like a geyser.  

 Just a little farther up the road, we find a grouping of three galleries and stop in at the one vending photography.  The owner is the primary photographer represented, and his work is excellent.  It doesn't hurt that he shares our new-found love of oddball mushrooms. He points out a path behind his building that leads to a trail maintained by the local Rhododendron Club, and it is on this trail that we spot our first Lobster mushroom in the wild and two shy deer.  Unfortunately, not a single Sasquatch makes itself known to us.

By now it is raining more steadily and we go home to play with our pugs.

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