Oswald West State Park

So this is one of the best places ever.

We never would have gone to this place, either, if it hadn’t have been for Facebook. Both of us “like” National Geographic on FB, and they post a Picture of the Day. One day, the photo captivated both of us, and we were like, we should go here! So I looked it up, and figured out how we could make that happen on this trip.
We tried to guess as to where the exact spot was where they took the photo but I am not sure we figured it out. Maybe this was it:

Or slightly south of this along the trail, I dunno. What I do know is that there ARE in fact bald eagles here, I saw one fly over my head while J was taking a photo of what we think was an immature one being harassed by a seagull. I was also watching for whales here, they say this is a good spot for that, although I think it may have been the wrong season.
We couldn’t decide what to do first. We started on one trail, but it seemed to be harder than we anticipated, so we went back to this spot here and tooled around for a while. Then, we drove up the road, and found a place to start on the same trail we originally started on, but from the other direction. This one went up Neahkahnie Mountain, and I was not in the mood for going all the way to the top. I thought we were going to turn around after the first cache in the series on the way up, but J kept pushing me to continue to the next, and then, turns out, I was the one who wanted to make it all the way to the summit (which was just right up there!) and he thought it was too dangerous, making us turn around right before the very last cache, after all that! And, we didn’t bother trying to look for the lost Spanish treasure up there, being too busy finding pieces of paper in decon containers to sign our names to.
Here is the view of the summit, the last 160 ft of it he didn’t think we should go up:

It’s a good thing, though, because what you can’t see from this image is that it was really rocky and kind of rough along the trail near the top, and that it was starting to get dark. It took us like an hour to get to the top, but it only took us thirty minutes to get down, or something like that. The sun was going down and it was getting dark just as we reached our parking spot. Here is the view going down the trail. This also could have been where the NG photo was taken:

And a view from halfway up the trail:

There are a lot of trails here worth hiking. After this, we tooled around as the sun went down, and then headed over to this Great Northern Garlic Company. It is fantastic. If you are ever in the area, you really should go there. It was after closing time, but the owner didn’t mind us huddling up around one of the table fires and ordering her last Dungeness crab, as well as two Crater Lake root beers and a plate of hummus and pita bread. It was so delicious, especially after that hike.
After this, we went back to our tent at the Nehalem Bay State Park (no camping in Oswald West), and went to to sleep with the faint sound of coyotes yipping and surf breaking along the beach that was further away than it sounded, but not too far for us to stroll down there at dawn and watch the Oregon coast greet the day. This whole area was the highlight of the trip, for sure.
Another view from the top of the trail, on the way down:

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