Oregon Coast Trail: Tunnel

August 30, 2019

“I simply won’t walk through the tunnel,” I said. “I will ask at the parking area until I get a ride.”

That’s what I had said about the tunnel cut through the mountain on US101 just south of Heceta Head. It would be our challenge for the day, and the only place I flatly refused to walk on the Oregon Coast Trail. Oh sure, I didn’t like walking any of the stretches of 101, but this one seemed outright suicidal! Bonnie’s guidebook said, “just make sure there are no motorhomes coming when you walk through.” Say what? There were RVs every twenty seconds! We also heard about a button hikers could push that turned on a flashing light warning drivers that a bike was in the tunnel. But how long did it flash? Long enough for walkers to get through? My decision was to stand firm on my no walking stance. I was confident that I could meet someone who would give us a ride.In fact, I had done just that the evening before at the Carl G. Washburne State Park Campground! At the bath house I had met Rachel, who admired our adventure. She had said, “I would gladly take you tomorrow morning – if we were staying here tonight.” They were headed to the campground from which we had just walked, Rock Creek. Her response certainly encouraged me that others would find our request reasonable.We got an early start, taking the campground road out to 101 and crossing over to the trail to the beach. I was stunned to see the highway completely quiet! It was 7:45 a.m. and there were simply no cars on the road! “Now, this is the Oregon Coast Trail I would like!” We knew the quiet would soon and and we chose the trail to the beach. At the trailhead, we noticed a bus schedule posted that indicated a bus leaving from this entrance to Washburne Park at 9:20 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. “So, this bus can be a backup if we don’t get a ride!” read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Amanda

August 28, 2019

Although I have been disappointed by the roadwalking along 101, my suffering pales to that of Amanda, the Yachats woman, and the thousands of others, who were cheated out of their homeland here, tortured, murdered, and forced to walk along the lava rock coast to an encampment. It would have taken great foresight to preserve a natural coastal corridor for our trail, yes. Even better would have been to ratify the treaty in 1855 giving the original people their twenty-mile wide coastal area. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Seal Rocks

August 27, 2019

This day had similarities to yesterday, with a few variations in the details of food and campsite services. We had beautiful beach walking, some awesome rocks, not so much roadwalking, and early evening arrival at South Beach State Park Hiker-Biker site.

My notes for the day:

7:20 away from camp at South Beach
8:40 stop to cook breakfast on beach; Potatoes onions garlic cheese
10:36 shoes off. In close view of Seal Rocks cliffs. I’ve been trying all variations of beachwalking: sandals, barefoot, shows and socks. All have pros and cons. The sandals work if I wrap my toes in gauze tape. Barefoot feels great – for a while, then my feet are tired. Shoes are most supportive – and get my shoes wet. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Bridge

August 26, 2019

My notes for today tell the story of this pleasantly short day, a good follow-up to yesterday’s long walk!

10:44 After hot breakfast and showers, we’re leaving the Beverly Beach Campground escorted by Jack, a 7-yr old who rode by me on his bike several times while I waited for John to finish his shower. On his second trip past me, Jack proudly announced that he had been given permission to ride around the campground on his own. I celebrate those of us with the courage to meet strangers. I depend on them regularly! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Whale of a Day

August 25, 2019

On which we walked big miles, made a big leap in our thruhiking style, and saw some really big creatures!

Adding a few more words or phrases to the words above, like in one of those grammar games, we walked something like sixteen miles, starting our day at 5 a.m. at Devil’s Lake State Park and ending at 7:30 p.m. at Beverly Beach State Park. We made a big leap in our thruhiking style by catching the Lincoln County bus to skip four miles of walking on US 101 between Taft and Gleneden, making our day’s trip miles jump to 20. And, for our first time on this trip and over several hours of our day, from Boiler Bay south to Cape Foulweather, we saw whales – Gray Whales! Mostly, we saw the spouts of water sprayed from whales, and sometimes the backs of whales, to the tune of about 20 sightings in four to six spots along the coast. We just caught a glimpse of one whale between two houses as we walked down residential Coast Street in the southern streets of Depoe Bay. It was a whale of a day! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Stamina

August 24, 2019

I awoke with gratitude for being in the quiet green spaciousness of the Cascade Head rainforest. Our choice to stop our forced march to the Sea Echo Motel in Lincoln City and sleep in this forest was a good one! This is what we needed! The stop also broke up our road walk on US 101 into two days instead of one very long, arduous one! With my spirit renewed by a night in the woods, I could bolster my courage and tolerance and walk on the road again. We still had 3.7 miles to go to Lincoln City, where we could shop at Safeway and return to the beach for a short walk to Devil’s Lake State Park Campground. We got away from our camp at a leisurely 8:40 a.m. We still had an hour’s walk in the forest. This time, I paid attention to its beauty! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Roadwalking

August 22/23, 2019

“I’m going to call this Horrible Hill!” says John as we pace up the hill on the shoulder of US101. He must not be using Regina’s Meet the Mountains Technique, I thought. It wasn’t the elevation change bothering him, though, it was the threat of zooming trucks veering over the white line on the narrow shoulder. I agree, roadwalking is not fun, and this stretch bothers me too. It’s 2 p.m. on a Friday between the beach towns of Neskowin and Lincoln City. We were on a 4-mile stretch of the trail where there’s no trail. The official route follows the U.S. highway. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Rain Day

August 21, 2019

7:56 Zach drops us off by boat on the Netarts Spit. We walk the beach, wondering when the forecasted rain would start. It’s overcast and raining oh so slightly. As we walk, the only ones on the beach today, my mind wanders to the rhythm of my feet.

This is our eighth day of hiking and I have noticed some inconveniences – I’m tired from our long days of walking, ready for a rest day; my sandals aren’t working so great because they rub a couple of toes raw. I do have gauze tape which helps; Its windy and starting to rain making walking a little uncomfortable. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Water Shuttles

August 21, 2019

“$40 cash would make that happen” I heard the voice on the phone say. John was arranging a shuttle across Netarts Bay with Zach at Big Spruce RV. This would be our third water shuttle in three days on our walk of the Oregon Coast Trail. It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon and Netarts was about 8 miles away. Not bad. We could make it. What John and Zach had arranged was a site for the night at his RV park and a shuttle across the bay in the morning, about a quarter of a mile ride. That was great because having a known place to camp plus the shuttle were two essential services we needed! read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Visitors

August 17, 2019

Fourth day on the trail.

We got out from the Hiker camp on Tillamook Head at the leisurely hour of 9 a.m. It was raining oh so lightly. We took off our rain jackets, even! Our morning walk continued another two miles through the forest, descending to the beach at Ecola State Park. The trail going north from Ecola State Park is gentle and wide, a good one for a day hike to Tillamook Head. By contrast, the connecting trail to Cannon Beach, our next one, is closed! Washed out, I understand. That means a two-mile road walk on the state park road. I think we chose the busiest time to walk there-10 a.m. on Saturday morning! We hugged the left side and tried to be visible to drivers. Success! read more