On the second day of a quick beach trip, my wife and I had a quick breakfast with her sister and brother and law. After breakfast, the four of us and our faithful canine companion, Jackie Chan, piled into our van and headed south towards Hug Point. I’ve explored the coast just enough to know a lot of the names, but not match them with the actual landscape. In other words, I couldn’t recall if I’d been there. Bob and Deanna remembered it as a great spot, so we decided to check it out.
The area is likely named Hug Point because there are spots where you almost have to hug the point to slip into the next section of open sand. If the tide is high, you won’t get too far. It’s also a great spot to hug a loved one. We did that. Then we walked north around the first narrow point to a gorgeous chunk of beach featuring a pretty waterfall beside a cave. A good start.
Beyond that, a shelf of rock generously spackled with mussels, barnacles, and various other marine critters lured us further north. That final section of sand was lined with some great steep rock features, including one with a fairly circular indentation where there is an obvious seep. In tens of thousands of years it might develop into an arch. At the bottom, the rock is green with mossy slime.
I kept checking out the waves, trying to figure out if the tide was going in or out. We decided not to risk it and headed back. It was necessary to time the escape from the rocky ramp, as waves rose past it, cutting off the exit—but only momentarily. We passed the first beach and continued south. This was slightly less dramatic, but after five minutes of walking and rounding the next point, we noticed a few houses high above us with spectacular decks. We had to clamber through a gap between a cliff and some other rocks, and timing it with the waves was again an issue.
On the far side, the sand opened up for a long stretch at Arch Cape. There were a couple cool rocks adorned with sea anemones and sea stars, among other marine life. I tried to get close but the waves chased me away. Here we turned back towards the car, very pleased with our efforts.
Later, we met at the quasi-legendary Camp 18 restaurant on the way home for a comfort food lunch. It is right along a creek, and they have created a brief hiking loop in the pretty woods. It also has lots of logging memorabilia. The photos alone are priceless. It was a nice way for Denise and I to finish off our beach trip, and it reminded me that there is plenty to do west of the Willamette Valley.