Week 2. Oregon Coast Trail
Having got off the trail at Coos Bay and caught a bus to lovely June and Wallys, we then hired a car and travelled north.
This allowed us to explore some of the north's state and national parks before resuming our OCT walking south!
We paid homage to The Goonies (Mandy) and Lewis and Clark (Cory). We stayed at Fort Stevens State park and ticked off the South Jetty South while still camped at the Hiker Biker site ($12 a night). Then it was time to start walking south.
Day 3 (on the 2nd start!)
Seaside to Ebola State Park
Our next campsite was in Ebola State Park at Tillamook Head. There is a 'primitive hiker' camp here and it sounded great.
We had walked into the clouds and mist which we had seen hanging over the park from the beach at Seaside (what a great name for a village). As we climbed up we walked into the mist and rain of the Temperate Rainforest and at times it got muddy underfoot and cold.
We were following the route which Lewis and Clark had taken to barter for whale blubber from the Indians at Ecola Beach.
On arrival we found the huts to have bunk beds inside but scraps of food strewn everywhere. This would be like honey to a bear at night so we decided to put up our tent anyway!
We thought we were remote, in the middle of nowhere! Then a pack of perky teenage girls turned up with three slightly older men (their guides?). We were bombarded with a millionquestions as we tried to have our cup of tea and Clif bar.
Wisdom, wit or gobbledegook
Guide " Do you guys life here?"
I fell onto the floor laughing.
I know we looked pretty rough and probably stink again but really!?!
Cory replied " Yes I've been busy building these huts, I just haven't got the doors finished yet"
Eventually things got quiet in the forest and after a half hour of listening to our new book, Band of Brothers, we tried to fall asleep.
Then outcame the creatures of the night. Every time I switched on the head torch, they
vanished. Light out. Then they were back.
Rummaging. Snuffling. Exploring our bags. Rustling.
I felt droplets land on my head. I said nothing. Mist!?
Then later, more droplets. Cory said it will just be raindrops from the trees. Later I felt it again… a third time!
"Cory a critter is squirting on my head. I'm being 'scented'! "
We shut the tents outer door as I wondered how irresistible I was going to be to every critter in the wood until I got to shower. Yuck!!
Tillamook Head to Nehalem Bay Park.
We slept in in the morning. Making up for the squirrel raids and squirting attacks we had survived over night. In Ecola Park a part of the route had been washed out in spring of 2017 but we decided the detour was too much and the road walking would kill our feet. We chanced the former route. It was indeed washed out! Scrambly, scrappy and simply not there but we made it though.
We had breakfast at India Beach and realised our butane gas was nearly empty. No problem we'll get some in Canon Beach… what have we learnt about counting chickens?
We walked all over Canon Beach asking at all the local shops for gas and eventually we started calling RV parks and shops rather than pound our feet on the hard asphalt. No butane in posh Canon Beach! The next village? Manzanita. Did they have a hardware store with Butane? A quick phone call and Eureka, we would eat tonight!
We walked the beach past Haystack Rock again and onto our next water stop. Bonnie (the bible book) said there was water at Arcadia Beach. She was wrong! Now we only had a litre of water left.
We walked onwards to Hug Point and decided it was time to hitch. Manzanita was our mantra. Water and Gas.
It was a hard hitch. We thought people leaving the day area. But nope most were heading north not south. 1/2 am hour later meet Hippy Micro Plastic girl in her Scooby Mobile Mystery Mobile.
She careered around the bend, saw us and screeched in and picked us up! Awesome and she lived in Manzanita.
We saved the world from Plastic on journey. Why isn't there lots of plastic debris on Oregon Beaches?!
Cory was 'recognised' at the lumber yard and then we decided it was time To treat ourselves. Bagels, carrots, humus, apple, cream cheese and a beer for Corydon.
The state park? Clearly it had been moved out of manzanita… trudge trudge trudge!! Another hour later and our cheapest hiker biker so far. $6 for the tent.
Wit, wisdom or gobbledegook.
Small child around 3 years old on tricycle "dad I'm t-I-r-e-d"
"Son your just gonna have to 'cowboy up' and keep peddling " replied the Dad.
Nehalem State Park to Barview County Park.
Neighbours with Tourette's and Charlie's (lovely) Angels
We had a great sleep after the last night and then a Biker at the camp offered us real milk for our granola breakfast! Heaven.
We walked along Nehalem Spit and watched 3 Bald Eagles, one of which caught a huge fish and flew right over our heads with it.
Next? time to hail a lift over estuary of Nehalem Bay. Our gesticulating didn't work ( as mentioned in the book) so Cory dug out the book and called the jetty. Our boat arrived and the seals bobbed up and down as we crossed over. ($10 per person).
After a soft drink and coffee we scrambled along the southern section of the jetty and onto. Manhattan beach and Rockaway Beach.
We chatted to three ladies section hiking. How were they getting over the next estuary at Tillamook Bay? ( We'd called and tried to arrange a ferry for tomorrow but they thought they didn't have the staff. ) Their husbands were their support team. They offered us a lift… fantastic. Cory swapped phone numbers.
Then once again we trudged trudged trudged into the county park for a hiker site. $19 and NO shower included. Boo hoo! We have been spoiled.
We had the neighbours from hell turn up. Loud music! Loud voices! The fathers favourite word was 'f**k' used as an adjective, noun or verb!!! He was complaining despite having sneaked two vehicles, 3 tents, the entire extended family and smuggled dog, onto the campsite for $29! Ugh!
And it rained last night. At 3am I felt the water on my face, naturally I thought I was being squirt scented by a squirrel!! This time however it really was the rain.
Cory, the angel, struggled outside and put the tents 'lid on'. It was very soggy in the morning and one of my shoes had its own little pond in it.
Bar View County Park to Cape Look Out State Park
Meet our new angels, not really Charlie's but Jim and Scott's! , Lisa, Susan, Marja and their support team, Scot and Jim. The ladies are walking 100 miles of the northern section of the OCT, 'end to end' (hotel to hotel).
Lisa, the angel, picked us up from the park entrance at 7:45am, to save us the horrid walk into Garibaldi on the 101. We walked into their lovely hotel and Lisa 'suggested' we might like some 'coffee'. Cory had a full American breakfast (including tortilla) and I had fresh fruit with yoghurt and a sprinkling of granola. Coffee (Cory), hot chocolate (Mandy), two wee mini muffins and two bagels with cream cheese 'to go'.
Then our Captain and partner turned up at the hotel and we piled into the two cars for our ferry across Tillamook Bay to Crab Harbour. (This avoids a 18 mile road walk/ hitch for $40 for both of us). They worked hard to ensure we got into Crab Harbour on Bayocean Spit without getting wet feet!
'Move up to the stern.' The Captain and her partner were in the water, gently manoeuvring the boat, one way and another.
Move back to the bow.
More pushing and pulling.
Move up to the stern.
More pushing and pulling.
15 minutes later, on a rising tide, we were ashore, with dry shoes!
To be fair I don't mind getting my feet wet. I do mind the Trench Foot which erupts between my wee toes after 15+ miles of walking with wet feet, socks and shoes.
By now the rain had stopped, the weather remained over cast, thus cooler than the previous few days of walking.
We walked down the spit, on the ashphalt path, then onto the beach, bumping into the ladies again. As they had a snack, we headed to the ' only attempt at low tide' route up Cape Meares. The beach was covered with elk footprints as we walked towards the outcrop.
It wasn't so bad, we climbed the rocky outcrop as the sea had already covered the route around the headland and then scrambled up a slippy slope using the handy rope. Then up up up into the humid and damp Cape Meares and at the summit , a quick bagel, before a trudge of a road walk down to Netarts Beach.
People are so friendly! People are interested to know where you are walking too. "Where have you walked from.? How long are you walking? How long will it take you? And of course the classic question on hearing the accents. Where are you from?"
Of course the new answer for, where are you headed? = California! ( at least to join up our dotted line from south to north).
They wish us luck and are always so friendly!
At Netarts we had another deep Bay crossing where 'Bonnie' (don't get us started) Henderson, suggests you flag down a passing boat or 5 miles of road walking to our Hiker Biker site at Cape Lookout.
We got sidelined by The Scooner, essentially only for a 'cup of coffee', one look at the plates of fish'n'chips and the good intentions flew away in the wind. Cory also got tempted by the evil temptress, 'dirty beer', after a sip even I thought it was tasty.
2 hours later and 2 huge meals and 2 beers for Cory. He was ready for an afternoon nap. Under no circumstances was he prepared (or able) to walk. My feet were thumping, brutalised after the tarmac down from Cape Meares, so we walked to the road end, beside the jetty and refined our hitching technique.
Wisdom, wit or gobbledegook
Tipsy Cory. "Well it's dangerous if they offer lunch at Beer time!" Eh! Is that right cory?!
Two gentlemen, after only 10 minutes) came back to get us (after previously driving past and probably determining we looked reasonably innocent) and drove us the 5 miles directly to the park. Angels drive pick-up trucks!! Who knew?!
We've showered again. Free showers in Oregon State Parks. But we honk! No amount of rinsing your shirt in a sink or a shower can remove the smell. My hair is washed in the shower but without soap, nothing really feels clean. My hands and face yes but my hair feels greasy. My clothes haven't been washed for a week now and it's been hot. YUCK!
Cape Lookout State Park to Webb County Park Ground in Pacific City
Late to rise today. I think my thermarest has a slow puncture I slept badly and this slept in. I didn't awaken until Cory was headed to the loo!
June & Wally in Eugene
We had a big fat squirrel prowling around the tent last night and this morning. Cory tried to scare it but throwing things at it. The squirrel thought he was throwing food and came closer 🙂 either that or it is my irresistible 'stinky hair'!!
Then as we were leaving the camp we were certain the pine cones were being hurled at us from above.
The climb out of Cape Lookout was muggy and mucky. The temperate rainforest green and lush with skunk cabbage lining the path. We passed Charlies Angels (the three ladies) about 1/2 an hour into our hike up and we laughed as they knew they had been 'breaking trail' due to all the 'cobweb trip wires' they were breaking.
At the other side of the Cape we were back onto the beach and the weather was still overcast. Dog rose perfumed the path where the forest met the beach and we had a little rest on a huge piece of driftwood in the mist.
The beach walk was again very foot friendly. Long gradual slope into the sea and not too much wave dodging. The going was good despite the ATVs which were racing up and down part of the beach.
Again little sea lice sprung out of our way as we trudged along the beach. A giant eagle and vulture, slowly flapped themselves off the beach, disturbed at our passing their cormorant feast.
At Sands lake we found a picnic table, of course, and the loos and settled in for an Oregon Trail Lunch. The difference between a PCT lunch? Slow and relaxing. Shoes off, kettle on! Yes tea at lunchtime as well as breakfast! It must be the OCT. A 3 course feast. Left over dried cranberries, a granola bar and ramen. We were fit to burst! An hour later we prised ourselves off the bench resigned to the road walk.
Blessed be the gods! Who was passing but Jim, Scot and the girls! Did we want a lift to the next section? Yes but how? It was a wee compact car full already and not forgetting the dog! Lisa jumped out the front passenger seat, lay across Scot, Susan and Marja in the back, Cory (long legs) got the front seat and I somehow curled myself into the boot with 5 bags! Yeah ha!!! What Angels!!!
Another beach walk, Tierra del Mar, another ' are you walking to California?!' Then we noticed a jeep stuck in the stand. We performed some Car Karma and dig them out and pushed them free of the sand. 16 years olds (dads car?) , ten minutes later, in the distance, they were stuck again!!
We scaled the huge Sand Dune at Cape Kiwanda and on the other side, the beach, was full of people and kids with snowboards.
Pacific City, now to the campsite. Another country one I wasn't looking forward to it but then, no spaces at all!! A baseball tournament in Lincoln City. We were offered a site 2 miles out of town. Now when your done your done! Walking another two miles on feet which you have already informed that they are done walking is next to impossible.
On discussing options a camp host took pity on us and offered us a space beside his RV. Awesome. I gave him $10 Camping Karma ( much cheaper than a state site anyway) and we get to charge our phones! Perfect.
Black bunnies are everywhere on the site and very interested in our (second bag) of tortillas! The walking poles are handy for keeping them at bay!! And double luck someone had left a mini bar of soap in the showers (50 cents for a few minutes) so I feel really clean (except the hair) The simplest things in life;-)