The landmark we had approached for two days was now underfoot. Rounding the ridge of Tillamook Head we heard a wondrous sound. Here, from within the cathedral of spruce and fir, a chorus of sea lions resonated! Ocean and forest meet!
As we climbed the forest path of Tillamook Head, generously and thoughtfully preserved by Marie Louise Feldenheimer in the 1970’s, I recalled other forests of majestic trees I have walked – Washington on the Pacific Crest Trail, Joyce Kilmer in Tennessee, Mt. Rogers in Virginia, even the tiny 60-acre Wesselman Woods in Evansville, Indiana. In all of them, the ancient trees, wide and tall, filled me with awe at the ability of plants to grow so huge! We rounded the ridge to the surf side and there I experienced something none of these other forests had provided – the barking of sea lions! A little ways out from shore, is a rock capped with a light house. With my binoculars I could just barely make out the movement of the silhouettes of sea lions.
Our walk to the Hiker camp atop Tillamook Head took another 30 minutes, ending our 8 miles from Seaside at about 6 p.m. A couple of other women were already there.
We opted to pitch our tent in the forest instead of sleeping in one of the shelters, which were fine as shelters go, but dark. The tent feels like home!
That gave us time to take the short walk to the overlook to the rock hosting the sea lions. Perfect place for my sketch!