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|The beach at Hug Point|
My original plan was to hike from Short Sand Beach to Neahkahnie Mountain and back. But I got a late start, so the itinerary was downsized to merely trekking up the top of the bluff overlooking the beach. Then I passed by a sign for Hug Point Wayside. With a name like that, it was just too tempting to pass up.
|The high tide line is very apparent|
What a cute little beach! The shoreline was framed by rocky headlands on both sides, with Hug Point to the north. Hug Point got its name from the early days when people used the beach as a road to travel from town to town. At high tide, the waves came right up to the edge of the rocks, thus one had to "hug" the cliffs to get around this point.
|Bear running from the waves|
Bear was so happy to be outside! He ran and ran, up and down the beach, ears flapping and tongue hanging out in a big doggy grin.
|Bear is lovin' the beach|
The beach was another wonderful scenic spot. I, of course, got busy with my camera. Bear usually steers clear when I'm shooting photos, but for some reason today he managed to get himself into almost every frame. And this was one of the times I really didn't want a dog in the middle of my images.
|Creek outlet to the sea|
I got super lucky with the weather. Although the skies were cloudy, the rain stayed away.
|Small colorful beach flowers|
Cloudy skies aren't all bad. They make for some really nice flower shots - saturated colors and no shadows.
|Raindrops bead on the leaves|
And the raindrops beading up on the bright green leaves sparkled like diamonds.
|Hug Point sea cave|
What a picturesque little spot! I'm coming back here again on a nice sunny day. Or maybe at sunset. Or maybe both.
After killing an hour or so at Hug Point, I loaded Bear back in my car and drove to the huge parking area for Oswald West State Park. The beach here, Short Sand Beach, is very popular with surfers. They pretty much dominated most of the vehicles in the parking lot. I joined the parade of surfers, boards and wetsuits in tow, on the path to the water.
|Short Sand Beach|
The cool, cloudy weather didn't look very inviting for surfing. But in Oregon I guess if you wait for a sunny day, you'd never get in the water. Besides, that's what wetsuits are for.
|Wave action art|
This was another lovely, rocky shoreline. The wave action running back and forth over small rocks made very cool patterns in the sand. Kinda artsy isn't it?
|Foxglove blooms near the beach|
To reach this beach, I walked through an amazing old growth coastal forest, full of gigantic trees. Where the forest met the sand, low bushes and flowers grew. There was a huge patch of lovely pink foxglove blossoms that brightend up this woodsy boundary.
|Where the forest and beach meet - a flower garden|
Again, I had a blast capturing all the nice scenery on my memory card. Bear managed to stay out of the way this time.
|Lichen covered rocks|
It's so easy to waste a lot of time walking the beach, snapping occasional images. After an hour of this, I realized if I was going to have time for a hike, I needed to hit the trail. Wandering the confusing maze of paths through the thick vegetation, I found a sign for the Oregon Coast Trail.
I don't know what it is about the trails on the coast, but so far every one of them I've hiked has been super muddy! This path was no exception. It didn't take long before the trail turned to muck and I was again wallowing though a soupy mess.
I walked for a mile or so, hoping to find the two side paths that were supposed to lead to viewpoints on top of the bluff. But I found nothing - only dense forest, and lots of it.
But all was not lost. I saw a bunch of neat old, huge trees. One was so large, they cut a hole through the middle, and the trail went right through it.
|Cool suspension bridge|
And Bear and I got to walk across this really cool suspension bridge that led us back to the parking lot.
Although we didn't travel very far, it was fun to hang out on the beach. There was wide open spaces for Bear to run, and lots of amazing scenes for me to photograph. And, best of all, the rain held off until I was safely back in the car heading home.