With our cameras full of photos (read part 1, part 2, and part 3 here), our heads full of ideas, and our hearts filled with the joy that nice people and the ocean bring, we were still very much conscious that our bellies were only filled with a few mini muffins.
We didn’t want to waste the opportunity to have a better look around, but we didn’t want to take too long as we were both tired and hungry, so we decided to compromise and drive up to the top of Cape Perpetua and check out the view.
For at least 6,000 years, Native Americans hunted for mussels, crabs, sea urchins, and clams along the coast near Cape Perpetua.
Cape Perpetua was part of the southern territory of the Alsea people. In their language the Cape was named Halqaik, which might mean something like ‘exposed place’. […]
The cape was named by Captain James Cook on March 7, 1778, as he searched for the Pacific entrance to a Northwest Passage. Cook named the cape Perpetua because it was discovered on St. Perpetua’s Day.
The heights of Cape Perpetua
We took a wrong turn up to the visitor centre first, but then we got the right exit on our second try – the turn-off from the road is labelled for the campsite, but you want to take the uphill road on the left, not the flat one on the right, to get up to the lookout.
The change in vegetation as you climb from the beach is evident – by the time you get to the top, you have gone from a marine to a pretty much alpine environment.
My shoes were soaked from plunging around in the tidepools, so I changed into jandals – not hiking footwear, but luckily, the lookout points were only a few metres from the overflowing carpark.
We saw signs for Amanda’s trail, which both Katy and Jamie had recommended, but my mind was too full of other inputs to give the amount of respectful processing I need for that experience. I also wanted some time to prepare and read up on her story. When we come back, that will get a special amount of my time and focus.
At first, I thought the only lookout platform was a small picnic area with a bit of an average view.
Then, George, being slightly taller and having less vertigo, stepped further forward and spotted a second viewing platform a little further down. There was quite a crowd already there, but they were kind enough to let me through so I could hobble down the steps on my stiff old-lady leggies.
On a good day, apparently, you can see whales from above, and even see them using bubble-netting techniques, which is honestly a bucket list thing for me! No one whaley in residence today, and the (small but vocal) crowd was a bit much for me, so we put it on the list for our return visit, when we will have time to just hang out and watch for a bit longer, with no big drive home looming over our heads.
Alpine flora is one of the things I enjoy the most about being up high, and I have always stopped to look at what’s growing, even as a kid in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites, and wherever else I have seen these small powerhouses of survival. I think it’s probably why I love succulents and lichen so much – they are so tenacious! And the wildflowers are wonderful, too. Such an abrupt change from the seaside!
(no, that’s not how you pronounce it, either)
Both Katy and Jamie recommended the Drift Inn for lunch, and told us to ask for the patio, so we did – and what a brilliant recommendation!
The waitress asked what our shirts were about, which was cool, then she thought we were tattoo artists, also cool, and then she was intrigued enough that we were designing a board game that she remembered to mention it at the end, which is always a good sign – when very busy staff make the time to remember personal details, it’s probably a good place.
I always photograph the menu everywhere I go, because menus fascinate me – and I often can’t remember all the exact details of a meal years later. But with my photos, I can!
I had the excellent warm steak salad (minus fungi) and George had fish and chips just for the halibut. Sorry.
If you are ever in Yachats, and no, that’s not how you say it either, you absolutely must try this place. I want to come back for a week and eat my way through the whole menu, and I don’t often say that.
And with that, it was time to head home! I was glad that we packed the two thermoses of coffee – George needed every drop to get us home. And I have now perfected the art of refilling a keep cup from a thermos in a moving vehicle – not a single drop was spilt! the trick: choose a good length of road, then pour like you mean it.
And what a beautiful afternoon it was for a long drive!
Thanks so much for reading about our trip to Cape Perpetua – I am loooking forward to putting all of this new energy into Intertidal Survival. Please join our Facebook group or follow Drayer Ink on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for more updates! I blog sporadically, but I post regularly.
Thanks again to Katy and Jamie – here’s my loot gloat pic!
And here is the first episode of Adventures with the Drayers on our YouTube channel, which covers this outing in a youtubey kind of way.