After some pleasant hours spent racing sticks down a creek, exploring tidepools, flying kites, and chasing the dogs around, I got to pull on my favorite Five Finger toe shoes and go for a run up this fabulous trail. It starts at the beach, winds up and over this big promontory, climbing high above the lighthouse, and down the other side to a wide stretch of largely inaccessible and empty beach. The forests are lusciously green and primeval, with gigantic wind-twisted trees and beautiful ferny mossy floors. I really can't say much more about it with mere words, other than that it was perfect in every way. And I would've run faster if I could've stopped myself from taking all of these photos with my cell phone.
So here's a visual tour of my beautiful birthday run.
You go up and over this big ridge. The lighthouse makes sure the ships don't hit it in the fog.
The trail is so steep that it's full of switchbacks. At some point, the trail builders just gave up on switchbacks and installed some rough stairs. Great for training those glutes, hamstrings, and quads! My dog Sophie takes it all in stride.
Trees grow out of "nurse logs", old fallen trees that have since disintegrated, providing food for the new young trees to grow up on.
Spectacular views of the rugged Oregon coastline are a trail runner's best reward. In this photo, you can see how much elevation the trail gains, since I started running down on the beach!
The forest is unbelievably green and lovely. Here, the valley falls away beneath me in a sea of ferns, moss, salal, and evergreens.
Eventually, the trail pops you out onto a windswept beach, where you feel like the only human alive on the planet, dwarfed by the massive Pacific Ocean, and soothed by its roar.
Sandstone cliffs to the right of the beach are carved by wind and waves into intricate patterns
In some places, the soft sandstone has been carved out from under the very roots of the trees, leaving them suspended in space.
Seaweed tangles adorn the beach with the woven netting of a former kelp forest
Everywhere along the beach, you must leap across small streams. Each is patterned with beautiful swirls of different colored sand. Every one of these creek bottoms could be considered a work of art.
We drive to Mo's, a staple of our coast trips. The best chowder house on the Oregon coast. Our friendly waitress snaps a pic of the family for us. I am so blessed to have this wonderful family around me on my birthday.
I have this marvelous Paleo feast of blackened salmon and steamed and seasoned green beans. Double yum! Plus some of Mo's awesome clam chowder.
Okay, so it's not Paleo, but I top it off with Mo's homemade marionberry cobbler with some local vanilla ice cream. Heaven on earth. A perfect way to age up and turn 45. My day could not be any better. I am so thankful to have a family who gave me what I really wanted for my birthday, a beautiful home state with gorgeous parks and trails, and a body that can do amazing things like running up and over mountains.
I am truly blessed.