September 1, 2019
Our hotel rest stop was a welcome break and a sort of new beginning for the rest of the trip. We took an entire day off at the Villa West Hotel, at the crossroads of US101 and 126 in Florence, Oregon. We stayed until checkout time at 11.
John’s willingness to take a taxi out of Florence, skipping a few miles of roadwalking, and even a little forest walking, made today a delightfully easy day! Well, mostly, anyway. The cab driver dropped us off at the Wax Myrtle Trailhead, 3/4 mile from the beach. Yes, there were wax myrtle trees on the route!
We got there right at noon. A half hour later, the trail ended at the beach, beginning our 4-hour beach walk as the tide came in. Incoming tide means that the surf encroaches further up the shore, covering the firmer sand that’s easier to walk on. I decided to walk barefoot, which is fine for an hour or so, then is tiring.We had a little excitement for choosing a driftwood log just surfside to a tidepool that was filling. We had to grab our packs and dodge the water when a high wave crept up to our log!A few miles down the beach we had to cross a river that flowed into the ocean. As an inlander, I rarely have thought about what it really looks like when a river flows into the sea! I’ve gotten familiar with it on this trail, as we’ve seen many – from trickles to wide bays. This one is about twenty feet wide and shallow. We could simply wade across, although I got a little nervous when it crept close to the bottom of my pack.
Twenty minutes later, we reached Access Point 115A and turned off to Three-Mile Lake, our day’s destination! This is when the “mostly” easy qualification came in! To get to the lake, we had to traverse the half mile of dunes between the beach and the lake. That was slow going in the deep, loose sand! I used my Meet the Mountains Technique to make it easy, even though these were not actually mountains! The constantly shifting sand gave shifty resistance to each step, though, so I was glad for my stepping and breathing practice. (You’ve got this, right? If not, I’ll give you the link, so your mountain – and dune – climbing can be easy! https://forgivenesswalks.com/ReginaMeetsMountains)We did not like the looks of the camping around the lake, so turned north on another trail and found a sweet wooded campsite with a perfect distant view of the ocean and sunset! At only 5 p.m. we’re all set up and relaxing. No waiting for six days to summarize the day!