Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Grand Gallivant: Cape Kiwanda and Beverly Beach

Tidepools at Cape Kiwanda

After our hike at Cape Lookout, we headed down the coast toward our next campsite, Beverly Beach State Park. On the way, we stopped at Cape Kiwanda, and I realized that I had been here before with Zach, six years ago when we were dating:

Us then (early 2012)
Us now

We spent a couple hours exploring the tidepools (anemones and starfish!), walking down the sandy beach, and climbing the enormous sand dune (a hundred feet at least). This task is laborious as you wade through sand so soft that you’re basically swimming in it. The view at the top is pretty cool, though— we were able to look back at Cape Lookout in the distance. And running down is pure magic: the sand breaks your fall, so you can bound down like a jackalope, and it feels like you’re flying!

Me at the top of the dune (Cape Lookout in the distance)
Heather and Ivy exploring the rocks

That evening, we arrived at Beverly Beach State Park and found a spacious campsite waiting for us. Ivy and Heather hadn’t arrived yet, so Zach, Gary and I took a walk on the beach to check it out. This beach was much longer and more open than Cape Lookout, and after a mile or two we came to a rock formation unlike any I’d seen before. The soft bank of rocks near the ocean had been carved into surreal shapes, but what was most amazing was a sheet of rocks that appeared to have melted together. I have no idea what might have caused this formation, so if you have any guesses, let me know!

It was another night of marshmallow-toasting and chatting, and Ivy convinced me to play Star Fluxx with them (even though I’d played Fluxx before and hated it, I discovered that if I just didn’t try to win I enjoyed it a lot more). We stayed up late in the glow of our headlamps playing cards and laughing.

Our destination for the next day was Humbug Mountain State Park, but on our way there, Gary, Zach and I decided to stop at the Oregon Coast Aquarium (formerly known as the Newport Aquarium). The entry fee is steep (especially for a St. Louisan like me who’s used to everything being free), but it is an excellent aquarium with several unique exhibits, like the walk-through shark tank and the seabird aviary. We even got to see the sea otters getting fed, which was adorable beyond all reason.

Although it’s not quite as showy as Cape Lookout, Beverly Beach State Park is beautiful, and it’s close enough to Newport to be a great home base for visiting that tourist town. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it!


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