Monday, December 12, 2011

Oregon's Coast: Cape Lookout State Park and The Channel House Inn


          This post was originally published in March of 2011.  I've added additional pictures with this re-publication.  As always, click on a picture to enlarge.   


        If you’re planning a trip to the Oregon Coast, then The Channel House Inn in Depoe Bay is the place to stay.  A luxury Inn, the Channel House is perched at water’s edge.  Jacuzzi tubs on the balconies offer bird’s eye views across the Pacific.


With a private balcony like this one,
you could check in and never leave.
          Tim and I are here on December 16th, celebrating our wedding anniversary.  After breakfast this morning we leave The Channel House and drive north on Highway 101 to today's destination—Cape Lookout State Park between the towns of Pacific City and Tillamook.


Table for two in the breakfast room at The Channel House.  
  
We arrive at the State Park, find the trailhead for Cape Lookout Trail and enter the forest.  A stiff breeze blows from the south and the cedar and spruce boughs sway and creak.  The forest here is primeval; at any second one expects an ogre to jump out from behind the moss-covered trees.  When the trail breaks out from the forest we're treated to commanding views of the seacoast.  The 2.4 mile trail switch-backs through the woods, hugs steep cliffs and skirts coves churning with waves.  Trail’s end appears on a point high above the sea; a conveniently located bench beckons and we heed its call, relaxing while we scan the sea with binoculars and snap a few photos.  Blissful solitude accompanied us on the trail today—we encountered only four other people on our three hour walk.


Ocean View from Cape Lookout Trail.


Trail through the forest in Cape Lookout State Park.

         Back at The Channel House we fill the jacuzzi tub and soak our sore muscles. Ahhhh, It's nice to relax in the tub while the last light of day filters through the clouds.  Boats ply the open ocean this afternoon but we don't spot any seals or whales.  We’re told there is a resident population of 50 gray whales in the Depoe Bay area, but they spend their winters far off-shore.
We do see wildlife however, in the form of a California Gull visiting our deck.  He appeared this morning on the rail of the deck outside the kitchen/living area of our suite and now, here he is again on the deck rail by the tub.  We’ve affectionately nicknamed him “Orey”.  “Orey” I say, “someone’s been feeding you from this suite, haven’t they?”  (Hey, wait a minute... why does Tim look so guilty?)

"Orey" Waits for a Handout.
         Our anniversary dinner reservations this evening are for Restaurant Beck in the Whale Cove Inn.  The Whale Cove Inn is located at the south end of Depoe Bay.  It’s a stunning location—waterfront views from a new and nicely appointed dining room.  Our waiter shows us to our table by the window and tells us we have the only reservations for dinner tonight.

         We inquire about the bright lights moving across the ocean’s horizon and the waiter informs us that those are the lights of crabbing boats.  The Dungeness crab season lasts for only two months and in that time these crabbers will harvest 45 million dollars worth of crabs.  The boats are out there 24/7, their gleaming yellow lights announcing each boat’s position in the sea. 
         After hearing that story I had to try the Dungness crab entree.  Exquisite—a  perfect ending to a perfect day along the Oregon Coast.



Interested in visiting the Channel House?  Visit channelhouse.com

For more information on Oregon State Parks go to:  oregonstateparks.org

Reflections on solitude.

The Oregon Coast on a December's Day.

3 comments:

  1. Your report was a great read, as always. And your photos are a wonderful enhancement to the subject matter. Further regarding photos, I particularly like the last two that show a secluded stretch of Oregon Coast.

    John

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  2. Thanks, John. I'm pretty sure that the stretch of beach seen in the last two photographs is teeming with people in July and August. It was wonderful to experience our own private slice of coastline on a cold December day.
    Rita

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  3. How wonderful to have the ocean at your doorstep and a peaceful hiking trail to enjoy. Sounds like you and Tim have another anniversary coming up quickly - are you going to head back to Channel House Inn or plan a new trip?

    Best wishes to you both for many, many more happy trails, grand adventures and gorgeous photographs!

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