Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cascade Head Hike

Tuesday started off with a lecture on coastal geography. What better way to learn this topic, than to actually go out and see it? We rode off in our 12 passenger vans North, past Depoe Bay, past Lincoln City, to 3 Mile Road. We parked at the trailhead and set off on foot. Little did we know just how far we had to go.

The hike to the first viepoint was ok. Sally set a fast pace, practically running down the trail, making it hard for us students to keep up. Then there were a lot of stairs. I mean a lot. It was definitely at least 11 stories of stair climbing. My legs were on fire.

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The scenery was quite nice though. Rich green foliage and the smell of coastal forest. It was good to be outside, even if we were literally working our butts off. Our counterparts back at Oregon State were sitting in desks, taking notes...while we were out hiking! We get credit for this? Excellent.

We hit the viewpoint and stopped to have lunch. Pictures abound. We took a group photo, or 6, as is the Hatfield tradition Sally claims exists. It was a pretty great view. We were right on the edge of a cliff, surrounded by protected grassland where an endangered butterfly lives.

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Someone almost lost their bag over the cliff. It was all rather exciting.

Then the hard part came. The hike to the next viewpoint was grueling. Kudos to those who powered up the hill, but I felt more like I was plodding...one foot in front of the other. The older couple who jauntily strolled back down from the top made my question just how hard this hike really was...and how out of shape I really am. I checked the trail guide though and it is a pretty grueling second stretch. The first viewpoint was at an elevation of 520 ft. The second was at 1217ft. It was basically a set of switchbacks straight up the hillside. Not exactly a stroll in the park. I hope I can breeze up that bad boy when I'm 65.

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The walk back down was far easier. On the way home we stopped in Otis at the Otis Cafe. We got pie which was for the impending discussion of our 60 pages of reading on coastal formation and plate tectonics. Of course, the pies were in the van with Sally, so we proceeded to taunt the pie-less van with signs saying things like "We have pie" and "You don't". All we needed was a good "Ne-ner Ne-ner" to top it all off.

That night we sat around and ate pie in the Dining Hall as we all got to know each other a little better. I know it was day two, but I swear there were people there eating pie that I had never met before. Maybe there were...we did show our "We have pie" signs to more than just the other van of students.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful hike. You all have great careers ahead. Yes, keep your bodies in shape so you can collect your own data even when you're paid well for your time.