The trail, which was 90 miles west from my doorstep, begins in the forest. Forests have always been my church, but there is something extra special--sacred--about the seaside forest. It is a woods with character and an ancientness about it that I cannot put into words. I can’t even capture it with a camera.
As the trail led to the edges of the forest, the ocean with its dramatic cliffsides could be seen through the treeline.
The main event was over two miles in to the trail’s namesake lookout, an outcropping of a cliff that looked west out to the sea and south to the coastline.
The woman was sitting on the edge when we arrived. Another two people stood nearby.
Later, when I turned to go, I looked back at her taking in the view of the ocean. She wiped her eye and sniffed. I wondered if it was the wind, the power of the moment, or if perhaps this venture was the salve for a broken heart.
Back before I ventured far alone, when I was waiting to find that human partner to join me on my travels, I told a friend, “I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. I should get in a relationship, have a devastating break-up, and then go to Ireland.”
She followed my logic on its ridiculous journey, paused, and then simply stated with a shrug, “Or… you could just go to Ireland.”
The woman on the bluff had gone to Oregon. Maybe not after a devastating break-up but simply because she could. I hope she is still exploring and keeps going on solo adventures. Once I stopped waiting to find a human partner and set out on my own, life got a whole lot more interesting and no broken hearts were necessary to get there.
Tucker and I took our last looks from Cape Falcon and then headed back down the mountain, through the woods, and to the sandy beach below.
I looked down at my pants before getting in the truck and saw that I had taken a bit more of the trail home with me than just memories and images.