Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Grand Gallivant: Cape Lookout

After our hike up King’s Mountain and lunch at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, it was time to find our campsite at Cape Lookout State Park. It turned out to be a small site, but it made up for it with the massive trees on its edges that stood on tiptoe with gnarly roots, the fern-washed forests around, and the one-minute walk to a gorgeous beach. All this for just $21 a night!

The weather was cold and damp, and dark clouds hung low, but we grabbed our coats and headed to the beach. We walked up and down the gray sand, watching the silver waves crash in with the tide, a crab ward off some seagulls then bury itself in the sand, and cormorants dive through the silver foam.

Cute grumpy crab!

Ivy and Heather met up with us, and we spent the night grilling food, toasting marshmallows, and chatting around the fire. (Car camping is the best.)

The next morning, Zach, Gary and I took a walk on the beach when the tide was lower, and discovered streams running into the sea, sand fiddlers by the hundreds (including a pool that was full of baby sand fiddlers), and rock faces covered in acorn barnacles, limpets, clams, and even the occasional anemone.

Gary and Zach

Tiny sand fiddlers (I think)

Later that morning, after we’d packed up, we drove to the actual cape (side note: for my entire life I thought “cape” referred to a body of water similar to a bay, rather than a small peninsula into the sea. Mind blown). We took a five-mile out-and-back trail, but this one had very little elevation gain, so it was a leisurely stroll through the thickets of berries and ferns, with glimpses of the ocean down the steep 800-foot tree-clad cliff to our left. The view of the ocean, seen from this far up, was staggering.

In short, if you’re ever in the Portland area, I highly recommend that you check out Cape Lookout State Park. The campground is excellent and the views can’t be beat!



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  2. Mole crabs! I guess sand fiddlers is another nickname too.


    1. Nice! I knew they had a few nicknames, but "sand fiddlers" was the first one that came to mind readily. My dad included it in a song he wrote about my mom at the beach: "She softly hums and lullaby/While watching fiddlers in the sand."