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sleeping over the ocean

I was planning to ride to a state park in Brookings just north of the California state line for the ease and convenience of the hiker/biker camp but I have mixed feelings about it. The last two nights I have camped in hiker/biker camps, first at Cape Argo and then at Humbug Mountain, with the same crowd of cyclists – all travelling south – and although they are nice people, I find that the atmosphere creates something of the feeling of being at a backpacker’s hostel. Call me fussy but I don’t particularly care for being in audible range of people snoring through the night or hawking, coughing and spitting at dawn.

So when I am riding along a cliffy section of the coast an hour or so before sunset and I see a narrow path leading over a grassy hill and across a meadow towards the cliff half a mile away I am easily lured onto it. I push the bike through clinging grass still wet from a recent squall. Clouds are looming again out to sea and the weather looks uncertain but I am drawn to the cliff’s edge where a sheltering cave is formed by the curving arms of a windswept tree. Waves crash far below, rocks rise out of the sea. A large sandstone stack towering above the water just to the left of my eyrie could almost be considered an island with its spiky top knot of trees.

Ocean stack with a top knot of trees.

Ocean stack with a top knot of trees.

Clouds out to sea in the evening.

Clouds out to sea in the evening.

I love the feeling of camping by myself in a wild place – of being alone hidden from the eyes of the world. The sun sets over the sea into the bank of clouds still hanging there and I watch the stars come out, one by one, overhead. Later in the night it rains and I wake, listening to raindrops falling on the thin membrane which protects me from the elements.

The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is heart-achingly beautiful.

The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is heart-achingly beautiful.

My little tree cave hanging above the ocean.

My little tree cave hanging above the ocean...

And you would never know that I was there.

... and you would never even know that I was there.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Chris Kerby | October 21, 2009 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    So very beautiful

  2. Amalie Whorton | August 8, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I am looking forward to getting out of Portland for a few days and camping here soon. Thanks for sharing your photos and words. We’ve reserved the camp site closest to the beach. I hope we don’t accidentally get blown into the ocean. I agree with you when you say, “The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is heart-achingly beautiful.”

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