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

Oregon Coast Trail: Tillamook

August 16,

The landmark we had approached for two days was now underfoot. Rounding the ridge of Tillamook Head we heard a wondrous sound. Here, from within the cathedral of spruce and fir, a chorus of sea lions resonated! Ocean and forest meet!

As we climbed the forest path of Tillamook Head, generously and thoughtfully preserved by Marie Louise Feldenheimer in the 1970’s, I recalled other forests of majestic trees I have walked – Washington on the Pacific Crest Trail, Joyce Kilmer in Tennessee, Mt. Rogers in Virginia, even the tiny 60-acre Wesselman Woods in Evansville, Indiana.  In all of them, the ancient trees, wide and tall, filled me with awe at the ability of plants to grow so huge! We rounded the ridge to the surf side and there I experienced something none of these other forests had provided – the barking of sea lions! A little ways out from shore, is a rock capped with a light house. With my binoculars I could just barely make out the movement of the silhouettes of sea lions. read more

Oregon Coast Trail: Underway

Favorite Tide Table book on the northern coast.

We slept in the van, across the parking lot from the trash compactor!

Classic landmark of Fort Stevens State Park is the wreck of the Peter Iredale

One of our first Oregon Coast Trail posts

South Jetty of the Columbia River, northern terminus of the Oregon Coast Trail

Our journey starts by walking north on the beach in Fort Stevens State Park

August 14, 2019

Our first three miles of the Oregon Coast Trail is a shakedown for the rest of the trip.

The Fort Stevens State Park staff who registered us for the Hiker Biker Site said we could park our van there for the extent of our trip! They are really supporting us as hikers, including providing a secure parking space for the whole month we’ll be on the trail! As we wandered around the back lot behind the employee area where we understood we could park, a smiling park staff said, “Can I help you?” She excitedly pointed us to the correct spot, delighted to have Oregon Coast Trail hikers. She also answered our query about where to get a tide table, a necessity for hiking the coast, with directions to Bornstein’s Fish Market, “the place with the best tide table – and good food too!” read more

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. read more