|Foggy coastal morning|
After trying to catch the sunrise, (which turned out to be a dud) I headed north on Hwy 101 in hopes of capturing early morning light at Cape Perpetua. On my way, I pulled off at a scenic little parking area for a few quick images of the morning fog rolling out.
|High tide + waves = big splashes|
Then it was on to my destination. Arriving at 8 am, an hour before it's "official" opening, I had the place to myself. Although this coastline is rimmed by a lovely old-growth forest with many great trails, that wasn't the reason I was here. It was high tide, and I was looking for wave action.
|Interesting shore rocks|
The jagged volcanic rocks lining Cape Perpetua's shoreline were most scenic. As the sun rose over the adjacent headland, it lit up the water with some gorgeous light. The foamy waves became bright white, the water, a lovely royal blue.
|Waves traveling up a rock crack|
Inside these craggy, basalt rocks were lots of cracks and fissures. When waves traveled far enough up these, wonderful huge splashes were the result. Incoming high tide made for a spectacular water show.
|Cook's Chasm rainbow|
A couple of the larger openings actually had names. One, called Cook's Chasm, was fun to watch. Incoming waves would hit it's steep rocky walls, and splash upwards most dramatically. The retreating mist sometimes created a lovely rainbow. If the wave was strong enough, it got funneled into an adjacent hole, and spouted out like a geyser.
After several tries at photographing the splashing waves and rainbows at Cook's Chasm, I remembered my GoPro. A movie captures the action so much better! (This is best viewed at full screen)
|Nice morning light on the water|
After spending a good two hours wandering around the rocky shoreline, I hiked back to the road, and headed to another nearby attraction - Devil's Churn.
Devil's Churn started out as long crack in the lava, but many years of pounding wave action have eroded it into a wide slot. It fills with each incoming surge, the larger waves crashing into it's rocky terminus. Things got exciting when incoming and outgoing waves collided, exploding into tall, frothy fountains.
A switchbacking trail takes visitors down to the very base of this churning slot. But first, I captured some footage of the action from above. (Please view at full screen - and ignore my dorky comments)
|Lots of good splashes at Devil's Churn|
After several minutes watching the swirling waters from the upper viewpoint, I rambled down to trail's end - on the very banks of this active water feature.
Although I saw a few people venture to the very edge of the churn, I kept a comfortable distance. The action was just as good from there - and much safer! Here's another video I took of some up-close wave power.
|Staircase to the beach|
Watching those waves rip into this narrow canyon and crash together was mesmerizing. I don't know how long I lingered here, entertained by the moving waters. But finally, I tore myself away, and continued along the loop trail to another rocky beach. A steep staircase led visitors to the water's edge.
|More big splashes|
Some outlying rocks were catching the waves, creating more huge splashes. I hung out for awhile, taking yet more pictures, until a grumbling stomach, and the hot midday sun reminded me that it was time for a break.
|Obligatory wildflower photo|
Low tide was scheduled at 3:00 that day, so I decided to come back then and explore the tidepools.
|Cape Perpetua at low tide|
Returning later that afternoon, it was remarkable to see the difference between low and high tide. All the rocks that were underwater that morning, were now very much exposed. A rocky, jagged plain stretched far out from the main bluffs. The retreating water meant no big splashes.
|Slimy green algae|
I'd hoped to explore the tidepools in search of sea creatures. There was supposed to be some good ones to view. But as I wandered amongst the sharp, slippery rocks, I didn't see a single critter.
|Picturesque highway bridge|
There were a few wildflowers blooming in the adjacent grassy slopes. And the view under this highway bridge was sort of scenic.
|Adventurous young people near the waves|
But after the morning's rowdy wave action, low tide was kind of a disappointment. I wandered along the shoreline looking for photo subjects. This group of young men, inching extremely close to the water's edge was about as exciting as it got - especially when one guy turned his back on the ocean, fixated on his phone.
|Low tide exposes the rock|
Although some people got right out on those rocks, I decided I wasn't comfortable being so close to the water. One slip, and I'd get pulled out to sea. Besides, it was hot down by the water's edge, and my early morning was starting to catch up with me.
|View from above|
One final trip before dinner, I drove to the top of the adjacent bluff to take in a view of Cape Perpetua from above. The Civilian Conservation Corp had built an impressive stone shelter at the very top. Looking through it's arched windows framed a nice vista of the mighty Pacific Ocean, stretching out for miles.
|Stone shelter over the sea|
Then it was a short trip to Yachats, for an iced chai frappuccino before returning to my yurt for some rest and dinner. I still had one more item on my coastal wish list to fulfill that day - capturing a sunset.
Check my next post to see what I find!
Sharing with: Wednesday Around the World and Our World Tuesday.