Hiking: Yellow-Throated Gilia, Sequoia National Park, CA

One of the reasons I enjoy hiking is that it offers opportunities for interesting discoveries; some anticipated and others serendipitous. We were hiking along the Crescent Meadow Loop Trail in Sequoia National Park nearly a year ago when we came across a patch of wildflowers tucked away in a wooded area…


Yellow-Throated Gilia wildflower

It was hard to believe that these were real. The colors were so vibrant and unusual in combination. It was an amazing sight. The next day we were on the Sunset Point Trail and there was a large swath of these wildflowers covering the entire hillside.


Yellow-Throated Gilia wildflower
Love those standouts adding their all white accents in the middle of the patch!

 
Nature is the art of God.” – Dante Alighieri

Read more about Yellow-Throated Gilia HERE

 

Read more JBRish.com posts:

Hiking/Exploring HERE, Nature HERE, Photography HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove in Lincoln City

We were anxious to travel to Lincoln City, OR as we had read so many intriguing reviews of the areas we chose for hiking. The Cascade Head Preserve seemed especially promising. It is a coastal headland with two trails one of which is much longer; 4.2 miles. The upper trail leads to the most scenic views and brings hikers to the top of the hills overlooking the ocean and nearby shore. This was really a no-brainer for us.

We opted for the shorter upper trail which was a relatively flat mile-long hike. We had been hiking for several days already and planned to continue hiking once we arrived at Crater Lake National Park so this seemed prudent.

It was difficult to find the correct forest road (Cascade Head Road 1861) which is more of a cut out along the highway than anything else. We persevered and finally wound up at the trailhead ready to go.

The first part of the hike looked like a pathway in Jurassic Park with the fungi and mosses covering the tree branches.


Jungle-like growth at the start of the trail
Jungle-like growth at the start of the trail

After hiking for a a bit more than twenty minutes, we reached the meadow viewpoints. The vista was stunning.


The meadow and ocean revealed themselves
The meadow and ocean revealed themselves

As we moved closer to the descending side of the hill, we could watch hikers arriving from the lower trail.


Hikers were arriving from the lower trail
Hikers were arriving from the lower trail

The contrast of the golden meadow, the green trees and shrubs against the blue ocean was a superb display of nature’s palette.


nature's colorful palette
A contrast of colors

The craggy rock outcroppings were also very dramatic.


Dramatic craggy outcroppings


Dramatic craggy outcroppings

I couldn’t resist taking a panorama from this expansive vantage point with such a remarkable view.


A panorama taken form the top of the meadow

Feeling self-satisfied, we decided to attempt the trek to Hart’s Cove and drove to that trailhead. We were somewhat daunted by the steepness of the trail heading down as we knew it would be uphill coming back. One rule of hiking when there is no loop is that for every down, there is an up!

We asked some ascending hikers what their thoughts were and after some encouragement, we began the descent. It was indeed downhill!

The first part of the hike takes trekkers through forests of hemlock and Sitka spruce. We then arrived at the open trail to the grassy meadow with anticipation of seeing the cove.


Finally, the path to the cove
Finally, the path to the cove

We were careful with our footing and made our way to an area where we could have lunch and enjoy the view of the cove.


A scenic backdrop
A scenic backdrop

Although we couldn’t see the sea lions, we could hear them barking in the distance.


A wonderful spot to enjoy lunch
A wonderful spot to enjoy lunch

We lingered for a time taking in the view and enjoying the best this area had to offer. Although we faced a strenuous (for us) return trip, the memories will remain long after our muscles have recovered.


A final view of the cove before we headed back
A final view of the cove before we headed back

For more information, you can refer to this web page: Cascade Head and Hart’s Cove


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

After leaving Cape Lookout State Park, we were eager to see more of the beautiful and very different (for us) Oregon coast. Our next stop was Pacific City and environs. We realized very soon into our adventures that every city, town, hamlet, etc. is very proud of their section of the Oregon coast with their variety of natural rock formations and distinct features.

This is why we encountered two very different Haystack Rocks. They both resemble haystacks, but are very different in appearance. Here is the second Haystack that we encountered in Pacific City.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - from a distance
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – from a distance

It is hard to appreciate at a distance so here is a closer view.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - a closer view
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – a closer view

The relatively nice day brought many people to the shore for a variety of activities including surf casting.


A surf caster adjusting his rig<
A surf caster adjusting his rig

After a stroll along the beach, we decided to take advantage of whatever sunshine we had so we headed for the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. We are fond of preserves and refuges and the descriptions we read were enticing.

We realized that this area was being revitalized and was very nicely presented. Unfortunately, this was probably not the best time of the year to appreciate the refuge as most wildflowers were dead or waning.

I guess the wooly bear caterpillar should have given us a clue.


A wooly bear caterpillar
A wooly bear caterpillar hinting at the cooler weather coming

Nevertheless, we embarked on the walk up the main path. Here is a view of Haystack Rock from one of the highest points in the park.


Haystack Rock from a high point at the refuge
Haystack Rock seen from a high point at the refuge

We also appreciated the “fun” side shown by the custodians of the refuge.


Bee crossing sign - fun!
Bee crossing sign – fun!

With no animals, not very many flowers to see, the sky becoming overcast and cooler temperatures developing, we left the refuge. Once again we decided to head on down the road to see another one of the touted sites nearby; Proposal Rock. There was a large parking area near the beach access with a unique and colorful wooden sign.


A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign
A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign

A short walk toward the back of a nearby hotel, led us to the beach where Proposal Rock is located. There was an active volleyball game being played as you can see in the area between the gap toward the right of the photograph.


Proposal Rock in Neskowin
Proposal Rock in Neskowin

We had one more stop earmarked for this day so we headed back to our car and reviewed the map for the best route toward Lincoln City. Once in town, and after securing our room for the evening, we headed for Roads End State Park. One of the area “residents” seemed to be standing watch over the parking lot inspecting new arrivals while making sure to heed the sign.


A segull sitting atop a sign to 'stand back'
A segull sitting atop a sign to ‘stand back’

Although the day was not very sunny, this beach was abuzz. There were college groups playing a variety of sports which we stopped to watch at various points. Many of the activities were new to us.

We proceeded with our customary routine of exploring by walking up and down the beach looking with interest at the various items we found in the sand and admiring energetic pups running through the surf.

This long rope-like piece of vegetation (below) is Bull Whip Kelp. These plants were very long perhaps twenty feet or more. It was amazing to see how thick and firm they were and how many pieces were strewn across the sand.


Bull Whip Kelp
A large piece of Bull Whip Kelp

Nature has an interesting way of offering gifts to those who are observant. Whle walking along the beach, we discovered the pieces of a Dungeness crab. Although the crab was very dead and well-eaten, all the major parts where present. I only had to move them slightly to arrange them in their relative natural order.


Remains of a complete Dungeness crab
Remains of a complete Dungeness crab

We had seen enough beaches this day and it was time to remove the sand from our shoes so we headed “home.”


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Adventures in Oregon: Cape Lookout, South Trail

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Hiking the Lime Kiln Trail – Cottonwood, AZ

One way we celebrate the winter season in the North Phoenix, AZ area is to take advantage of the wonderful weather that normally hovers in the 65-75 degree range. We also consult our list of potential hikes in other areas for those days that may also be unseasonably warm.

This situation arose recently when we learned that the afternoon temperatures in Cottonwood, AZ were going to be in the seventies. We had earmarked Dead Horse Ranch State Park, which is part of the Verde River Greenway, as a hiking destination.


Map trails: Dead Horse Ranch State Park

The sign to the park is a bit ambiguous so if you are entering Cottonwood from the South, take the first right-hand turn right after the sign. It is a bit clearer coming from the other direction.

The one trail we had highlighted for our journey this day was the Lime Kiln Trail which seemed to be the most popular. The trail is used by horses and dirt bikers, but on this day it was lightly traveled and was not bothersome.

After a short walk up the trail, looking in a westerly direction, the surrounding mountains came into view.


Surrounding Mountains Come into View

While the trail is an easy one, there were some mild ups and downs. The adjacent areas had some pretty hills with colorful reds and whites.


Lime Kiln Trail had mild ups and downs, but relatively easy


Lime Kiln Trail had mild ups and downs, but relatively easy

As you can see from the picture below, the trail is very clear and relatively clean. There was little, if any, boulder scrambling required.


A representative trail section - level, clean and clear

As we gained some altitude, we could look back at the hills and see Jerome (yellow arrow), just to the right of center in this picture. Jerome would be a worthy stop after a hike with its unique stores and restaurants although there are certainly a number of interesting eateries in the “old town” section of Cottonwood which has undergone a Renaissance in recent years.


The City of Jerome nestled in the distant mountains

Some of the sections reminded us a bit of Sedona, with the red rock outcroppings.


Some areas reminded us of Sedona's red rocks

As we hiked further upward, I stopped to look at the town of Cottonwood sprawled out below the park.


Cottonwood sprawled out below the mountains

This was one of the steepest inclines we encountered, but it was very short.


One of the steeper parts of the trail, but still not too difficult

A side section of the hill pictured above was used by more adventurous bikers who wanted some challenging terrain; notice rocks and rough spots.


Alternate bike section that was more rough than the hiking trail

There are beautiful colors in the hills of Arizona even in the more northern areas during winter. The yellow creosote bush stands out in juxtaposition to the dormant plants, reddish earth and blue sky.


Beautiful colors even in winter

This is the desert version of driftwood. I appreciate the haphazard art created by nature’s random placement.


Nature's desert driftwood and abstract art

The park has a number of camping areas and with that comes the apparatus of civilization cutting through the wilderness.


Power pole brings electricity to the park

While the trail map we had lacked some specifics, there were signs along the trail to serve as guides and help hikers find their way. We weren’t going to complete the entire trail on this day, but we did take a side jaunt to see the less than remarkable rattlesnake wash overlook. Perhaps in the spring, the foliage would provide a more scenic view.


Trail signs: Rattlesnake Wash Overlook and Lime Kiln Trail


Park Trail sign with good markings

This was a rather straight stretch of the trail alongside a meadow; love the colors!


Another straight part of the trail along a meadow

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntias) are prevalent in the southwest and often grow in a tall candelabra type shape. This particular species was quite red and low growing. Perhaps the elevated and open location, with potentially more winds, kept it from growing upward. Spreading in a horizontal habit gives it an appearance of a caterpillar crawling across the ground.


Red prickly pear cactus spreading across the terrain

Here’s another picture of the surrounding terrain and flora.


Another photo of the terrain and flora of the area

We didn’t notice it on the way up, but on the return trip there was a sign calling attention to the actual lime kiln.


The actual lime kiln

Currently this is what the inside of the kiln contains…


a close up of the current contents of the lime kiln

Here is what the kiln looks like from the trail.


A view of the lime kiln from the trail

As we left the trail and headed for the parking lot, I stopped to take a picture of this stately tree which I am guessing is a cottonwood. The pipe to the right is a water flume draining water into a more natural catchment area.


A stately cottonwood at the end/beginning of the trailhead

Although the car was only a few steps away, I noticed several groups of ducks in the lagoons which seemed to be popular fishing spots. I couldn’t resist trying to capture a few pictures for my American Birding Association checklist and picture archive. I had a decent picture of a coot, but not a good one so off I went.


Jeff taking pictures of the ducks

Not a coot, but a Ring-necked duck.


A handsome Ring-necked duck

Notice the bright orange eye!


A portrait of a Ring-necked duck with outstanding orange eye

Oh yes, there were some American Coots as well…


An American Coot

 

** NOTES ** The location of the Lime Kiln trailhead is not very well marked. If you park near the lagoon closest to the horse stables, the trailhead is to the left as you head in the direction of the stables. There is a trail stake to mark the beginning. After a short walk, you will need to cross a bridge which is where the water flume picture above will be located.

ARIZONA STATE PARKS & Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Facility Information – Dead Horse Ranch State Park

  • 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
  • Hours: 7AM – 6PM Daily
  • Amenities: Passenger vehicle parking. Restrooms
  • Length: 2.1+ miles
  • Elevation change: Mild (based on the first 2+ miles)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Use: hiking, biking, picnic area, playground, fishing and horseback riding

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse


Cape Meares Sign

I knew little about Tillamook, OR except that it was a dairy town and I only knew that because our grocery stores have Tillamook cheeses and ice cream. The town of Tillamook itself wasn’t a major stop on our itinerary, but served more as a jump off point for the hiking areas relatively nearby.

Our first adventure outside of Tillamook was to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

As you can see in the picture below, there is a clear path from the parking lot to the lighthouse area. It was a dreary day, but the seaside’s dramatic ambience was enticing. Ocean storms can be dramatic!


The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse
The top of the Tillamook Lighthouse seen from the walking path

I hadn’t appreciated the fact that lighthouses have lights with different color patterns. The red and clear glass created a “signal” to let captains know that this is Cape Meares. Not only are there different color patterns, but the duration that each color is visible is very precise.


Color glass pattern of the lighthouse lens
Clear and Red glass create the signal that this is Cape Meares

Before taking the lighthouse tour, we walked to the edge of the visiting area to capture a few stormy photographs of the picturesque rock formations and the choppy waters of the Pacific.


The rocky coastline was stormy this day
The rocky coastline was stormy this day

Here’s a closer view…


A closer view of the rock formations offshore

The lighouse was near the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean and therefore did not have to be too tall for the sake of visibility.


Tillamook Lighthouse is located on the edge of a cliff
The roofline to the right helps point to the short stature of the lighthouse

From the inside, visitors can appreciate the lens arrangement and all of the mechanisms required to operate and maintain a lighthouse


Colorful glass seen inside the lighthouse
The colorful glass seen against the dark metal provide visual appeal

The polished gears gave evidence to the excellent condition of this lighthouse and the machinery needed to operate the turret.


Gears used to rotate the light
Gears used to rotate the turret

This picture gives a good representation of the size of the main tower of the lighthouse.


A picture of the vertical portion of the lighthouse
The vertical portion of the lighthouse

The tour was very interesting and the docent was very knowledgeable about lighthouses in general and of the Cape Meares structure specifically.

There were a few more stops we could have made in the park, but the weather was not conducive so we decided to head back to town. On the return path, we came across a very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus). I placed a quarter next to it to help viewers understand the size of this animal; impressive for a slug.


A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)
A very large Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)

One last look back at the coastline before the trip back to Tillamook.


The coastline near the lighthouse


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Cape Meares, lighthouse, ocean, pacific, beach, scenery, history, landscape, pacific ocean

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Wheeler was a fun stop. We enjoy small towns with their the local, small-shop milieu which generally offers homey, welcoming touches.

Another stop we targeted was an unusual rock formation in Garibaldi, OR known as The Three Graces which are millions of years old.


The Three Graces with blue skies!
The Three Graces with blue skies!

Here is a description:

The Three Graces

Nestled near the shore in the channel leading from Garibaldi to the North Jetty and the Pacific Ocean is a picturesque rock formation known as the Three Graces. The rocks are a favorite of birds and photographers and, at their base, they feature tide pools and excellent beach combing. http://visitgaribaldi.com/three-graces/

As you can see, the weather was very variable, but this helped create some dramatic views of The Graces


A wider view of the graces and vicinity
A wider view of the graces and vicinity

It was a short, but sometimes challenging walk down to the shore where the tide pools collect during low tide. The rocky coastline makes the footing a bit tricky and when wet, perhaps not good for those without the appropriate footwear and good balance.


The shoreline was quite rocky and footing difficult
The shoreline was quite rocky and footing difficult.

Interestingly enough there was another fascinating rock near the Three Graces that was itself quite interesting. I tried to find a name for it, but was unable to determine any label, but if you visit you are sure to see it.


Another just interesting rock formation nearby
A neighbor to the three graces was just as interesting!

I particularly enjoyed the window at the base which enabled a peek into the distance.


See the distant shore via nature's window
See the distant shore via nature’s window.

Perhaps the best place to park if visiting the formation is about a half mile or so north along the railroad tracks which were also quite scenic.


A bend in the railroad tracks
What’s behind the bend?


Stonework for the elevated roadway
Nice stonework in the roadway wall.

Once we saw the Three Graces from as many angles as the weather and footing would encourage, we headed to the village of Garibaldi. We weren’t too sure what we would discover, but it proved to be a good find.

Most of our time was spent on and around the Garibaldi pier which was charming and had a number of attendees “fishing” for Dungeness crabs.


Garibaldi's pier beckons fishermen.
Garibaldi’s pier beckons fishermen.

“At over 700 feet in length, Garibaldi’s Pier’s End pier is the longest in Oregon. It is located across U.S. Highway 101 from the historical Coast Guard Headquarters building. Near its end is a building that served as a boathouse for the Coast Guard from 1934 until the early 1960s. The Port of Garibaldi took ownership of the pier as part of a land swap with the federal government in the late 1970s. Although the building is under private lease, the pier itself is open free to the public for a wide range of recreational fishing opportunities, including crabbing, bottom fishing for sturgeon and other species, and salmon fishing. A stairway provides public access to the clam beds below. There are several turnout locations for setting up chairs while tending your crab pots or fishing lines. The pier is open from dawn to dusk. To access Pier’s End, take 12th Street from U.S. Highway 101 and turn right on Bay Lane. There is parking near the entrance to the pier.” – http://visitgaribaldi.com/piers-end/

The shoreline was dotted with some boating-related industries and every now and again, a few small fishing boats would pass by.


A boat with anglers heading home.
A boat with anglers heading home.

The cormorants seemed to be taking the day in stride as they took time to dry their feathers on adjacent pylons.


Cormorants are also hoping for some fish.
Cormorants are also hoping for some fish.

As we were leaving, I couldn’t resist just one more photograph. Here it is rendered in a near black and white version which captures the mood of that day.


Beautiful picture of the Garibaldi Pier
A favorite photograph of the Garibaldi pier taken as we were ready to leave.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

 

After taking in many of the sites at Ecoloa Point we headed a bit further down the road to catch Haystack Rock from the other side. Cannon Beach was our next stop. Once we arrived at the beach, the sun began to break through and we could see the iconic landmark in a distance.


Distant view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach
Distant view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach

I needed to capture more of a portrait worthy of such a noted “celebrity” although the photographer part of my personality insisted on including some of the environment to complete the composition.


A closer view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach
A closer view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach

Even the seagulls seemed to appreciate the temporary change in the weather.


Local birds were enjoying the cooler, more damp weather
Local birds were enjoying the cooler, more damp weather

We weren’t in the mood for stopping in all the shops and/or dealing with the crowds on this variable weather day so we were quickly on the move again and soon arrived at Nehalem Bay State Park. We had the parking pass so we decided to take a walk around.

There were quite a few people launching their water crafts mostly in the hunt for crabs.


Foggy weather does not deter the fish or crabs
Fishing is good in bad weather too and so is crabbing!

Beach combing is always interesting and I was amazed at what we found. This fish was obviously enjoyed by something and yet, the remains were anatomically beautiful in their own right.


Even in death, the remains of this fish were colorful and interesting
An interesting, colorful picture of fish bones on the beach

Another photo reveals the loss of a pair of feathers by a visiting bird or perhaps the remnants of something more sinister. Neverthelss, I thought their arrangement in the sand was curious.


Its amazing what we found on the beach  - bird feathers
Bird feathers lay in symmetry as we wandered along the beach

As the weather began to become stormy once again, we decided to pack up and continue to travel on. While my wife visited a nearby quilt shop, I walked down to the pier in Wheeler, OR. This fellow looked on as though he wanted to be on that boat with the other fishermen.


A wistful onlooker at the Wheeler, OR pier
A wistful onlooker at the Wheeler, OR pier

We were intrigued by the varied terrain and adventures we were having along the Oregon coast and appreciated its oceanside charm when compared to our desert neighborhood. We were anxiously anticipating our next stop…


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, fish skeleton, seagul, weather, Wheeler, Oregon, fishermen,

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

 


Map of Indian Beach and Ecoloa Point
Map of Indian Beach and Ecoloa Point

While we were exploring Indian Beach at Ecola State Park, we noticed a sign pointing to additional viewpoints. The weather continued to be dreary. A few years ago, we hiked a week in the rain in the Grand Tetons so we weren’t going to shy away from exploring on this day either.

I can’t tell you the exact road, but it led us to a point further south of Indian Beach and there were quite a few other cars in the parking area. The overlook brought us to a place where we could see Cannon Beach and the famed Haystack Rock with the summer’s growth fading in the foreground.

NOTE – Apparently this is near Ecola Point and Crescent Beach (see map above). If all else fails, look for those landmaarks.


Cannon beach through the grassland
Cannon beach seen through the grassland

The sky would lighten and darken at times adding even more dramatic views.


The sky turned stormy at times
The sky turned stormy at times


A closer view of the massive ocean rocks
A closer view of the massive ocean rocks


Haystack Rock is the iconic feature of Cannon Beach
Haystack Rock is the iconic feature of Cannon Beach

This was not the only scene available at this stop. Sea Lion Rock could be seen off the coast and even on a grey day, it loomed large in the distance. Apparently native wildlife can often be seen in and around this protrusion, but not during our visit.


Sea Lion Rock awaits around the bend
Sea Lion Rock awaits around the bend


Craggy beauty surrounds the cove
Craggy beauty surrounds the cove

Surprisingly, we caught a glimpse of the Tillamook Rock Light in the distance.


Tillamook Rock Light way in the distance
Tillamook Rock Light way in the distance

We tried to find this during our hike of the Clatsop Loop Trail with no success, but then the fog had lifted a bit and there it was in the distance.


Tillamook Rock Light - the best shot I could manage
Tillamook Rock Light – the best shot I could manage

Although the rain held off and the sky had periods of brightness, we were ready to leave, but I needed to capture one or two more shots of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.


Parting shots of Cannon Beach and the Haystack
Parting shots of Cannon Beach and the Haystack


Parting shots of Cannon Beach and the Haystack

NOTE – I would like to point out that Oregon has a very enlightened approach to their shoreline. Most areas of the coast are open to the public and with the purchase of a yearly parking pass at $30 +/- visitors and residents alike can enter the state parks and enjoy the beauty of the state. We so enjoyed having this pass which gave us entré to all the areas we had earmarked. I highly recommend it.


Oregon State Parks parking permit
Oregon State Parks parking permit

You can find more information about this resource HERE.

Read More about Ecola State Parkore


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Aggregating anemones, Anthopleura elegantissima, Oregon Coast, Lane County, Strawberry Hill State Park

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

After our exploration of Warrenton and Seaside our next stop was Ecola State Park located between Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR.


Map showing Ecola State Park

As you will note from the following series of photographs our day at Ecola State Park’s Indian Beach started off with clouds and rain.


Surfers along the stormy beach
Surfers welcomed the waves created by the storm

The rain didn’t bother the surfers who were sure to get wet anyway, but hiking in the rain can create some challenges. We were not to be deterred however.

Other adventurers also wanted to experience the more dour mood the ocean would offer this morning.


We were not the only people intrigued by the rumbling waves
A number of beach lovers were attracted to the stormy shore

And there was enough wind and surf to accomodate those seeking the more somber beach experience.


Dark, craggy rock formations just offshore
The grey day gave a more severe appearance to the rock formations

We decided to investigate the beach area while the rain was only a drizzle as we did not know what the rest of the day would portend. We came across this sign which is not one seen on most of our hikes.


Unusual shark sighting sign
A sign not seen on a normal hiking day

In spite of the weather or perhaps because of it, the beach scene was starkly beautiful.


Stark beauty of the shore and cliffs
The cliffs and shore radiated their stark, stormy beauty

Most of the gulls tolerated the humans and did not scurry until a relatively close approach.


Seagulls gathered along the beach
Seagulls seemed to be enjoying the misty morning on the beach

The sand was covered in a palette of light browns which played well against the darker brown and black rocks.


Sand and rock created a brown palette
The storm induced palette of browns and blacks was attractive

Here the barnacles added texture to the rugged rocks.


Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings
Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings

I can’t say whether or not these anemones would be as pretty on a brighter, drier day, but they were jewel-like in their emerald green tones.


Green anemone among the rocks
Emerald colored anemone among the rocks

After wandering along the beach, we decided to take a seaside hike. The description of the Clatsop Loop sounded appealing with a promise of a potential sighting of the Tillamook Rock Light (lighthouse). While we like hiking in general, the trips we enjoy most are those which have us close to the sights and sounds of nature. We did not realize the the Clatsop Loop trail would take visitors along an access road uphill. The footing was good, but we prefer wooded, non-paved terrain.

The one snap I did take along our hike uphill, was of this radiant fern among the other green vegetation and forest floor mulch.


A radiant fern along the Clatsop trail
A radiant fern seen along the Clatsop Loop Trail

The return part of the loop was much more picturesque as parts were near the shoreline or through the woods. We arrived back at the trailhead and were once again drawn to experience the changeable atmosphere of the ocean on this morning.

PS – The fog and cloudy day precluded any view of the lighthouse from the trail.


A large rock formation lined the ocean's shoreline
An abundance of large rocks along the shoreline


The seagulls continued to take advantage of the wet weather
Gulls continued to enjoy the stormy morning

 

Read more about Ecola State Park HERE

Read more about the Clatsop Loop Trail HERE


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Hiking: Bootleggers Trail, Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Address: 31402 N. 136th St., Scottsdale, AZ
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
  • Amenities: Passenger vehicle and horse trailer parking. NO RESTROOMS OR WATER

A couple of days ago I wrote about capturing my first “decent” photograph of a Phainopepla while hiking along the Bootlegger Trail off of the Granite Mountain Trailhead which is part of the McDowell Mountain Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Kudos to the citizens of Scottsdale for fostering efforts to support the acquisition of desert lands to be kept in their natural desert form. As you may imagine the population growth in the southwest is booming and native desert is disappearing fast. Land put aside to remain undeveloped is a treasure that can be enjoyed by everyone.

We have hiked other areas of the McDowell Mountain Presserve, but this was the first time at this particular location and we were not disappointed. Below is the view just a few yards away from the parking area.


View from the parking area

What helps to make this area somewhat unique and interesting are the boulders and boulder formations that populate the trail.


Numerous boulders along the trail

As we began to head west, the distant hills loomed large before us.


Granite hills rise up in the distance as we begin the hike.

The essence of the area really cannot be captured in individual photos so I hope the panorama below provides a sense of the expansive, hilly terrain.


A panorama reveals the full scope of the vista


To see a larger version of the panorama, click HERE

This was just one of the many boulder formations we studied as we hiked along the trail.


Interesting boulder formation

Boulder fields with rocks piled on top of each other often surrounded the trail.


Boulder fields with piles of rocks

As we hiked, I spotted a bird atop the granite hill far in the distance. Unfortunately my telephoto lens was not long enough to acquire a very detailed photo, but my guess is that it was a Harris’s Hawk (see the second image).


A distant bird; I think a Harris's Hawk


Closer view of the hawk

This is a description of the Harris’s Hawk from All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

“A handsome hawk of the arid Southwest, Harris’s Hawk is a standout with bold markings of dark brown, chestnut red, and white, long yellow legs, and yellow markings on its face. The most social of North American raptors, these birds are often found in groups, cooperatively attending nests and hunting together as a team. When hunting, a group of hawks surround their prey, flush it for another to catch, or take turns chasing it. This hawk’s social nature and relative ease with humans has made it popular among falconers and in education programs. “

While this trail is listed as moderate, we are inclined to label it more appropriately as easy. There were some inclines and the path does lead up to the distant hills, but we didn’t find any sections that we felt were strenuous.


Picture of the saguaros in the foreground of the mountains


More pretty boulders with the mountains in the background

The desert is a very harsh environment and death is often in evidence. Once stately saguaros often succumb to damage or drought. Even in death, they grace the area and give evidence to the beauty that is the desert.


Dead saguaro still graces the desert

This was a lovely area with the saguaro straight ahead and the boulder formation off to the right in the shade. There was a small “window” in the bottom, middle portion of the rock formation which enabled us to get a peek of the upcoming distant vista.


A bend in the path with a saguaro and boulder formation

As desert gardeners and proponents of native vegetation we always enjoy seeing clusters of greenery in areas that receive scant rainfall.


Green desert plants contrast with all the brown rocks and land.

At the start of the trail and then again as hikers make their way back toward the parking area, there are distant views of desert mountains and nearby housing developments.


Another set of mountains can be seen off to the south-southeast

We plan to return to the Granite Mountain Trailhead to take other hikes that lead to different areas of this interesting region.

  • Length: 2.9 miles
  • Elevation change: 175 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Use: hiking, biking and horseback riding

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

© Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com