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Cape Sebastian --  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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Cape Sebastian is on the southern Oregon coast, a few miles south of the town of Gold Beach and the mouth of the Rogue River.  The site of a state park with two viewpoints along Highway 101, it's a favorite location of photographers because of its rock formations and easy road access.  In the fall of 2002 I made a trip to the area to see a part of the state I'd never been to before.  That evening there was a chance for a colorful sunset so I set up my camera and waited.  A good tip to remember about coastal sunsets is that the best colors often don't happen until after the sun sets.  If there's a mixture of clouds and sky, be patient and wait.  That was the case for this photo.  Around ten minutes after the sun went down, the colors started to deepen and the sky turned a deep purplish blue.  

Many years ago, I had a memorable backpack along the Rogue River with my good friend Mary Mueller.  We hiked 40 miles along the trail from west to east, starting at the town of Agness and ending at Galice.  One night a bear visited us in camp.  We arrived after dark, and it was foggy.  Our campsite had a garbage can nearby which we didn't notice.  In the wee hours of the morning, we heard a crash and the sound of crunching beer cans.  A bear knocked over the trash can and it was obvious he knew the best place for beer.  I poked my head out of the tent and all I could see in the dim beam of my flashlight was the eerie glow of two eyes staring at me through the fog.  We didn't have any food near our tent, so we decided to wait and eventually the bear left.  Oregon's black bears tend not to attack people and we knew this was the best course of action.  

On another part of the hike, we encountered a plywood sign nailed to a tree with the spray-painted words "It's Miller Time" and an arrow underneath pointing along a side trail.  We followed the arrow, as any backpacker in the woods for three days would do.  The trail ended at the Paradise Bar Lodge.  You can only reach this lodge on foot, by jet boat or river raft, or by airplane as there is a small grass airstrip just outside.  We had a beer and burger for lunch, and chatted with the bartender about our trip.  He generously offered us some free chunks of smoked salmon, making for a delicious dinner that evening.  

Another evening I was fishing by the river and at sunset there were otters playing in the water and a small bat decided to fly just off the end of my fishing pole, playfully dodging it while I made a few casts.  All I got that evening was a pikeminnow, but it was big enough to eat and our food supply was getting thin.  It made a good meal.  The last night we had a bit of pasta and some jerky left over.  It wasn't much but we knew we would be out the next morning.  Just before dinner, a group of rafters stopped by and asked if we knew of a good place to camp.  We mentioned that we saw a nice beach just downriver on the opposite bank from our campsite.  They stopped there, and a while later crossed the river in their raft and thanked us for the advice by giving us some frozen beers from their ice chest!  The little surprises that come from helping each other out while backpacking have added much richness to my memories over the years and affirm that the best times are those we share with friends and strangers alike.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 50 645 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper
 

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