Cape Arago - March 19, 2011
Coordinator John Malone, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Rick Sohn

On the last day of winter, eight members of the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club met under cloudy skies to hike at Cape Argo. The group divided up into two cars and set off in the rain wondering what the skies were to deliver next. Arriving at Sunset Bay, they started up the forested trail to the sandstone bluffs. Once on top and looking out over the rugged cliffs where the ocean meets the shore , the group
was treated to the sight of the huge waves generated by tremendous tide action arising from the effects of an unusually large full moon which only happens every decade or so. Next, arching over the old abandoned lighthouse, a huge rainbow came out to add sparkle to the rain drops. Awesome rainbow.

The group followed the cliff edge, stopping at the many viewpoints along the cliffs. Bypassing the Shore Acres Gardens, they followed the trail down to Simpson's Cove and stood transfixed at the huge waves crashing onto the triangle beach of the cove. Climbing back up the trail, the group arrived at the parkign pullout with its pay-for-view binoculars trained on the sea lions on Seal Island. At that point the group divided up into two groups of four; the faster-more strenuous hikers, went off across the road to the trail which climbs up and down the adjacent wooded hills. The others kept along the shoreline treasuring the rugged coastline scenery. Everyone met in the picnic area at Cape Arago State Park for lunch. At that point, the skies delivered harder rain which turned into sleet accompanied by really strong winds so the whole party moved their lunches to the covered pavilion, in a vain attempt to keep dry and
warm. Only two (John shepherding an errant hiker) ventured out across the cliffs of the Cape to the very edge of the rocky promontory where the waves were breaking with tremendous force.

After lunch, the two groups of four divided as before, one group climbing back to the hills to explore the old World War II bunker and the other made its way down to Shore Acres to see what what blooming in the cold, we, almost spring season, (daffodils). On the way back one carload found a good ice cream place in Coquille, Figaros. That carload was also the recipient of one final gift from the sky, east of Remote - they saw another awesome rainbow with yet more vibrant colors than the morning's rainbow.

The group commended John for leading a hike with all the elements of a great day; views of tremendous wave action, wonderful rainbows, satisfying exertion and interesting weather.

"Great waves looked over others coming in, and thought of doing something to the shore that water never did to land before." Robert Fronst, Once by the Pacific.


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