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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Oregon Coast Eel Creek Campground, OR to Portland, OR, Thursday, 11 August 2011 5:00am

Oregon Dunes
The Oregon Dunes are gorgeous. It's weird, after visiting the Sahara, to see these enormous dunes abutted by coniferous forests and in plain (if distant, the hike out was supposed to take 6 hours) view of the ocean. I did a morning hike out into the sand and then back along a forested path to my campsite.

I stopped for brunch in Florence, at a seafood restaurant overlooking the Siuslaw River. There was a (harbor?) seal nosing around the dock, looking for a handout, as I ate my marionberry cobbler. I'm still a little confused about the classifications of pies, tarts, and cobblers. Is it that tarts have crust on the bottom, cobblers have crust on the top, and pies have crust on both?

Sea Lion Cave
I saw a lot more pinnipeds at the Sea Lion Caves, the largest sea caves in the Americas (the world? The claims are unclear). The caves are the only known mainland breeding area of the Northern (Steller's) Sea Lion, but I don't think it's breeding season right now, so the sea lion activity was only moderately raucous.

Cape Perpetua Viewpoint
I stopped at the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, run by the US Forest Service, and bought an Access Pass that gives me free entry at all of the National Forests and National Parks. I guess I'm committed to a substantial road trip to make this pass pay off, since I'll have to avoid a lot of access fees to offset the cost. It came with a decal for my motorcycle (cars get a hanger to show the pass from their rear-view mirror, but I don't have one of those). I think this is the first sticker that has ever gone on this bike. I had to think about where to put it, since many of the obvious places don't work because of the placement of my hard luggage. I settled on the front fender.

Cape Perpetua is the highest point on the Pacific Coast Highway (though I'm a little unclear on what their definition of "on" is, since the viewpoint is several miles up a winding road. Anyway, there are great views of the sea, the highway, and the inland forests from up there.

Devil's Punchbowl
I stopped for ice cream at Devil's Punchbowl State Park (an impressive formation where it looks like a sea cave's ceiling collapsed, leaving a huge round hole in the costal cliffs. After that, I decided to head inland to Portland, where I had a hotel reservation. Hot showers and clean sheets were welcome.

202mi in 9:04

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