August 18, 1997
Cape Lookout, Oregon, USA

The next morning, I went back to the house to use their phone line and send a bunch of email messages. When I was finished, Sandra’s brother, Kreg, took the kids and I across the street and treated us to go-carts and bumper-boats. The go-carts were fun, but after getting pounded by fifteen foot waves, in a quarter mile of surf -- the bumper boats just didn’t seem all that exiting. After going back to the house for lunch, we all headed down to the beach for my departure. I had great conditions; it was warm and sunny, with a light breeze from the south.

Half way through the afternoon, I came upon one of the most awesome natural wonders I have ever seen. The place is called Three Arch Rocks, and as the name suggests, there are three massive rocks with large holes through them at the base. As I paddled through one of the arches, I could see a very symmetrical and continuous pattern inside. It looked like it had been intricately carved with a sculptor’s chisel. From the knowledge I had gained at Cannon Beach, I could tell that these arches had not been formed by erosion, as the common person would assume. I knew this because of the lava "pillows" that protruded from the walls, which were created when the lava hit water, and cooled quickly, creating bulges that resemble pillows. I was also amazed by the hundreds of purple and orange star-fish that covered the walls up to the water line.

Upon exiting the arch, I snuck up on a group of about thirty sea lions laying on top of a large rock. They had big sharp teeth and looked like brown bears without legs. Each of them must have weighed over five hundred pounds. Most of them seemed to be sleeping, and so I went unnoticed until I was only ten feet away. When a few of them saw me, they alerted the others by barking loudly. They didn’t look very happy to see me, and all at once, they hurled their massive bodies into the water around me. It was scary. I got out of there in a hurry. A few of them followed me, but never got close enough to make me feel uncomfortable.

When I got to Cape Lookout, the sun was barely off the horizon. I still had two miles to go before I would have a place to land for the night. On my left was a two mile long cliff that rose five hundred feet straight up from the ocean. The water was glassy smooth and reflected the bright orange and pink sky above. The only sounds I could hear were the dip, dip, dip of my paddle blades and the faint rhythmic rush of spilling surf in the distance. Straight ahead of me, above the beach, I could see a large building with a pop machine out front. To the left, there was an area with a bunch of tents set up in the trees. I figured it was a some kind of youth camp.

After landing, I walked up to the building looking for someone to help me carry my kayak up past the high-tide line. The building was a Boy Scout camp mess hall, and inside was a gentleman setting up a slide show presentation. The man sent me to the kitchen to find the adult supervisor. I briefly introduced myself and then asked if one of the boys could help me. The supervisor told me that they wouldn’t be able to help, because if one of the boys got hurt, the camp could get sued. I politely let him know I felt that was a ridiculous excuse. "Aren’t boy scouts taught to help others in time of need?" I asked. "Is it possible to do it by yourself?" the man replied. "I can..." I said, "but it’s just a lot more work."

Upon leaving the kitchen, I started thinking to myself, "Man... These guys sit around the camp-fire and tell stories about people like me. Then one lands on their door-step asking for help... and they tell him to get lost! How ironic?" I chatted for a few minutes with the guy setting up the slide projector. Shortly after leaving the building, I found the supervisor and two boys waiting for me on the path leading down to the beach. "Where’s your boat?" asked the supervisor. The two boys followed me down to the beach and, in no time, we had my boat in a safe spot, high on the beach.

After getting my tent set up, I went back and watched the slide presentation.  Before the presentation began, Derrik, the director of the camp, introduced me to the group. I spent the rest of the evening writing emails.