Of All of the Dumb Things I've Done...
This was the phrase that continued to run through my head on my hike back out of the dunes and sea caves of Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon Coast.
As I began my journey to seek out one of the sea caves, I ran into a young Oregon state parks employee. I asked him if he knew where I would find a sea cave like I was looking for and he described one way I could hike the dune to get to it. His directions were immediately followed with a warning of how dangerous that area could be. About a half mile into the 1 mile walk along the beach before getting to the Cape itself, I remembered that young men are often quite risky (and my interaction with this young man didn't give me the impression that he was one who played it safe regularly) - and if this guy was telling me that the venture to this particular sea cave was dangerous, I was in for something interesting (and by interesting, I mean terrifying and potentially deadly).
This assumption was not left wanting. The rain earlier this morning made all of the surfaces apart from the loose sand on the dunes incredibly slick and hard to navigate. While sliding down many feet of slick rocks and mud with all of my photography gear strapped on my back, I wondered how I would hike back up and out. Rather than letting what many would call "wisdom" talk me out of it and let me head back early, I pressed on. And like I said at the beginning of this post - it was rewarding. I almost lost all of my camera equipment on a few occasions - the worst of which were the sudden swarms of waves rushing in through the entrance to the sea cave that took the water from barely touching my toes to mid-thigh level in a matter of seconds, nearly sweeping my camera and tripod away in the process. Thankfully, I was able to hoist my tripod and camera up from the water before disaster struck and in the end I safely made it out of the sea caves and dunes with all of my gear in tact. Granted I was significantly dirtier and more scuffed up than when I set out on the hike...but those are just details.
In the end, it was worth it. And it allows me to share with you the incredible views that Cape Kiwanda offers as an amazing spot along the Oregon coast (without the risk to each of your lives!). I hope you enjoy!