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

It had been raining the day before and we had previously had our share of grey, misty days so we were excited to find the clouds lifting and the sun breaking through.

The majesty represented by a beautiful tree and a well-populated forest always resonated with my spirit and the South Trail on Cape Lookout did not disappoint in this respect.

The trail begins very modestly.

A trail through the woods
The South Trail of Cape Lookout Begins

Soon the coast appears to add interest to the hike. The fog was still rather low, but was beginning to lift.

Fog was lifting as we began our hike.
The fog was lifting to reveal more of the ocean

As we moved further inland, the forest began to reveal some of its interesting sights. The ferns growing in the nooks and crannies of the tree limbs are known as basket ferns. This area is close enough to the shore to provide ample moisture for these plants to thrive.

Ferns growing in the crooks of tree limbs
Ferns growing in the crooks of tree limbs known as basket ferns

As the trail meandered through forest and intermittently along the coastline, we were treated to vistas of the ocean and shore.

Coastline vista
The trail reveals vistas of the coast

This was a picturesque cove that we stopped to admire both coming and going!

A picturesque cove
A picturesque cove shows can be seen through a break in the tree line

The path was very muddy in places because of the recent rains.

A muddy path
The path was muddy from overnight rains

On the return trip, we began to encounter more hikers. Luckily we started early enough to have the trail to ourselves during most of the hike to the cape. In season, I would anticipate larger crowds.

This (below) was one of my favorite stops along the trail. The colorful browns and greens and the mist-laden atmosphere was very captivating.

A serene landscape along the trail
A serene landscape along the trail

Here is another shot of the coast showing one of the panoramic views from the trail.

A panoramic view of the coast
A panoramic view of the coast

Not actually a flower, this Chicken of the Woods wild mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus), was as nice as many wildflowers.

beautiful wild mushroom
Nature’s art seen in a beautiful wild mushroom

As we neared the parking area, we came across yet another Banana slug. They grow them big in this wooded area as the quarter coin next to it demonstrates!

Large Banana slug
Large Banana slug

While some may feel that the South Trail of Cape Lookout does not have a remarkable payoff at the end, it is a nice vantage point for whale watching and looking at the ocean. Keep in mind that getting there is more than half the fun!


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


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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

Tokyo (2015) Day 2 – Off To Mount Fuji And…

One of our most anticipated forays while we were visiting Tokyo was a one day journey to Mount Fuji. It was no problem rising early in the morning to catch the sunrise in expectation of the adventure ahead.

 Tokyo Sunrise

We took a short bus trip to the larger transportation terminal where we picked up our guide for the day and boarded a pleasant motor coach. As we left Tokyo proper, we passed the Tokyo Tower (not to be confused with the Tokyo Skytree)

 Tokyo Tower

On the bus ride to Mt. Fuji we were educated and entertained by our energetic docent. One of the facts she told us was that Japan is quite mountainous – “More than 50% of the country is mountainous and covered by forests.[emphasis mine]”*

 Mountains of Japan

Here is a picture of our guide, Marie, explaining family customs and routines in Japan. She had a flip pad with drawings to highlight key points.

 Docent Marie with her Flip Chart

As we approached Mt. Fuji we could tell that clouds and fog were setting in and that visibility would probably be poor. This is what it looked like at one of main staging points for those who want to hike the volcano.

 Clouds and fog at Mt. Fuji

Some of the hikers were warming up or getting ready by doing some exercises.

Hikers Warming Up

 Hikers Warming Up

While others reserved their strength for the climb ahead or perhaps resting while recovering from the climb they just finished!

 Hikers Resting

After a brief stop at the visitor center and souvenir shop, the bus headed down the mountain. Luckily, as we reached one point, the sky cleared and Mt. Fuji became visible.

 Mt. Fuji with Clouds Lifting

 Mt. Fuji with Clouds Lifting

We were glad to catch this glimpse of the volcano as many of this day’s visitors were not so lucky. We headed to a town (which may have been Kawaguchikocho, but I am not sure) on the coast of Lake Kawaguchi where we had a traditional Japanese lunch.

During our Japan tour, we generally did not eat the raw fish, but the pot-like structure in the upper-left was actually set atop a heat source and was boiling. This was a tasty enough broth with noodles and vegetables. There were also other vegetables and cracker-like offerings on the prepared tray.

 Tray of Food with raw fish

This was one of the first places we stopped that did not have a western-style bathroom. This is a more traditional Japanese unisex toilet. All personal business is done here mostly by squatting! Many attractions and more popular locations have both types of toilets from which to choose.

 Traditional Japanese Toilets

NOTE: At our hotel, we had what could only be referred to as the Cadillac of toilets. This appliance had more buttons and gizmos than some entertainment systems. It had a heated toilet seat; amazing!

After lunch we took a walk along the street where one of our group purchased a lavender-flavored, soft-serve ice cream cone.

 Street in Town

This town had a funicular which we were going to try to ride because it promised a distant view of Mt. Fuji. Lightning, however thwarted that plan.

 View of Funicular

Before boarding the bus for our next stop, we took a quick jaunt down to the lake area.

 A View of Lake Kawaguchi up Close

As you can see, there were swan boats (perhaps paddle boats) for hire during the more pleasant weather.

 Swan Boats

Little did we know as we boarded the bus that further views of Mt. Fuji were not going to elude us for the remainder of the day…


Read more about our trip to Japan in 2015:

Tokyo (2015) Day 1 – Meiji Shrine

Tokyo (2015) Day 1 – Imperial Palace East Gardens

Tokyo (2015) Day 1 – Sensoji (Asakusa Kannon) Buddhist Temple

Tokyo (2015) Day 1 – Wrapping Up originally published this post