Oregon Coast Trail: First Day

August 15, 2019

I walked all day along the beach and didn’t have to turn back.

Last Spring, while walking on the beach in San Diego, I wondered what it would be like to just keep walking along the coast, all the way to Washington. Today, on our first full day on the coast of Oregon, I got a taste of that! I liked it! Of course, this beach, from Fort Stevens State Park to the town of Seaside, may be unique with its pure brown sand and no shells or rocks. I wore my new sandals and enjoyed them as I walked in and out of the surf. I did have a break in issue with abrasions on the second for of each foot. I taped them up with the sports tape in my pack, which isn’t as good as the self-stick gauze. I’ll have to get some. This is exactly the reason I decided to carry two pairs of shoes! I haven’t decided which is best for the mixed terrain of this walk. I switched to my trailrunners and socks for the last couple of miles. They were so much better on the dune leaving the beach and the two miles of road walk through Seaside.

Sketch of Tillamook Head
Sand Dollars!
Tillamook Head, our destination for tomorrow!
Digging Crustaceans from the beach

On the beach, we found whole sand dollars, huge driftwood tree trunks, little crustaceans with rounded shell backs and a single sharp digger, and lots of dead crabs. Ravens and seagulls picked them apart. All day we walked closer toward the silhouette of distant cliffs. Is that Tillamook Head, our destination for tomorrow? If so, it’s about 15 miles away. I’m aiming to do at least one simple drawing each day as a deepening exercise on this walk. Today, I chose the Tillamook Head prominence in the distance for my subject. Most of the beach today, from the Pete Iredale shipwreck where we started, to the south end of Sunset beach past 10th Ave in Gearhart, the beach is open to vehicles. There weren’t a lot of vehicles passing us until afternoon. As long as we stayed next to the surf, we didn’t have any issues with them. I was glad to be walking, though and not concerned about getting stuck!  About 6 p.m. we walked up to the Seaside Hostel, our resting spot for the night. The $99 price for a private room seemed steep until we enjoyed the true value of the place – use of the kitchen, fresh lettuce and onions from the garden, a quiet sitting room, and the company of other guests. Oh, and pancakes for breakfast in the morning!





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