Although I awoke to cloudy skies, thankfully the second full day of my Southern Oregon coast trip was dry. I gathered my camera and hiking boots in preparation for a day of exploring the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.
This linear state park parallels an especially scenic portion of Southern Oregon's Hwy 101. It stretches 12.6 miles north of Brookings, offering multiple parking spots to access sweeping headlands, beautiful coves, and secluded beaches. This gorgeous section of coastline was the reason I'd journeyed here in the first place. I couldn't wait to capture it with my camera.
The evening before I'd studied a map of the corridor, and researched possible trails from my hiking book. Most were only short walks to viewpoints, but the Oregon Coast Trail also followed this coastline, making longer hikes possible from many of the parking areas.
|Grassy meadows of Cape Ferrelo|
Getting an early start, I headed north from my yurt at Harris Beach State Park. Wanting to explore nearby Cape Ferrelo, I passed up the first stop at Lone Ranch Beach. Internet and hiking book research highly recommended a stop at this scenic cape.
Mine was the lone car in the parking area, as I set out amidst a small coastal forest. Soon I came to a grassy clearing. Numerous user paths wound through this meadow in many directions. Which way to go?
|Lots of snails!|
Choosing what appeared to be the most well-worn trail, I tromped my way through the tall grass, still wet from the previous day's heavy precip. The vegetation was so thick I almost stepped on a snail creeping his way along the ground. Luckily the little guy (or gal?) didn't mind being my photo model.
|The wild irises were plentiful|
It wasn't long before I started seeing the lovely purple petals of wild iris. First one or two isolated flowers, and then entire fields of them. Lucky for me, I'd apparently hit peak bloom.
|View towards Lone Ranch Beach|
This well-worn track wandered through a few rolling hills before climbing steeply up a nearby bluff. It's top showcased fabulous views of nearby Lone Ranch Beach. Although the sky was still very much cloudy and fog banks drifted in and out, it was still a breathtaking sight.
|Lovely blue wildflowers|
I passed a huge patch of bright blue puffy wildflowers. They were unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Although I looked up the name upon returning home, writing this post two months later, I realized I've forgotten it again.
But, oh the irises were lovely! Some still sported water droplets from yesterday's rain (or possibly that morning's heavy dew?) which made for fantastic photo subjects.
|Another view of the beach|
I spent way too much time wandering around the meadow, snapping copious flower photos. But - it's not everyday one sees such a large concentration of wild iris!
It appeared the trail led steeply downhill to Lone Ranch Beach. Not interested in hiking all the way down there, only to have to climb back up to my car, I retraced my steps back to the first junction.
|The Oregon Coast Trail crossed this cape|
A tall wooden marker pointed the way to the Oregon Coast Trail. It appeared to lead out onto Cape Ferrelo's very tip, so I changed course and headed towards the ocean.
|One trail led to a scenic cliff overlook|
Cape Ferrelo was another wide-open scenic flower filled meadow. Ocean views stretched north and south, and despite the cloudy skies I could see quite far.
|More irises brighten the meadow|
More fantastic views south to Lone Ranch Beach, another patch of irises brightening the meadows, and mysterious foggy forests rising above the cape.
|Foggy forest above|
But views from the cape's very tip were the best of all.
|Cloudy day on the coast|
Scattered rocky headlands jutted above the sea, catching the waves as they crashed across.
Although I'd planned to spend only a hour or so hiking here, I loved the area so much three hours quickly elapsed. And I had the place to myself almost the entire time.
|Loved all the wildflowers!|
Although I visited most of the other beaches and capes along the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor (which you'll get to see in my next post) Cape Ferrelo was by far my favorite place. I felt fortunate to catch it during peak spring wildflower bloom. Even the cloudy, wet weather gave the place a moody, mysterious feel, which was fun to photograph. The images I captured that morning ended up being some of my favorites.
But it was past mid-morning and there was much more to explore. On to the next stop!