Ocean Cliff Paradise

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Sunday, May 13, 2012 – The Biological Oceanography students of Florida Tech visit “Shore Acres Gardens,” an Oregon State Park originally the property of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, who built his house on these cliffs and kept an immaculate rose garden.

Oriental style pond garden at Shore Acres Gardens State Park

The gardens have developed into sections with an oriental style pond garden, the All American Rose Garden,

The general area of the flower garden at Shore Acres Gardens State Park, with the caretaker’s house.

and a general area of trees, shrubs and flowers.  The gardens and cliffside views later became property of the state, and eventually a park. These cliffs may be 40 feet or more above the ocean and, at times, enormous crashing waves explode upon them, with the splash and spray leaping 70 feet or more into the air. During a very large storm, one should perhaps not stand too close to the cliff’s edge.

A fog and mist settled into the park as we visited in the pre-dusk light – the only non-sunny weather we encountered during our entire visit!

These cliffs are also the subject of what may be photographer Ansel Adams’ most famous landscape pictures outside of Yosemite National Park.

Shore Acres dramatic cliffsides can also be a great place to watch migrating Gray Whales feeding.

The Biological Oceanography students sit at the edge of the cliffs, where, at times, one can view Gray Whales which migrate along this coast on their way back from calving in the Sea of Cortez.  The Gray Whales feed on bottom invertebrates, and, in so doing, can be viewed from these cliffs diving again and again in particular spots.

The Biological Oceanography students from Florida Tech, having hiked down to Simpson’s Cove at Shore Acres Gardens State Park, perch on geological inclusions lined up in the sandstone formation

While at Shore Acres, the Biological Oceanography students took a short hike down to “Simpson’s Cove,” a beautiful protected cove formed by a sunken area of the cliffside and forest. While we were there, we also saw deer, salamanders, and other unique local wildlife.

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