With a cool morning it was an easy hike into Yachats for my resupply. I ate a pastry and drank a half gallon of milk on a bench overlooking the ocean. I considered Yachats to be my halfway point.
I followed the Amanda Trail, part of the Oregon Coast Trail, out to the statue in memory of Amanda, a blind Coos lady whose feet were torn up in a forced march in the 1860’s. Then it was time for my own, much easier, road walk down the coast following 101. The scenery was still great though, and while looking out over the ocean I accidentally stepped off the side of the pavement into a hole created by rain runoff twisting my right ankle.
I got off the road and sat under a tree for a while hoping that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. After a while I got up and continued south, limping all the way to Carl G. Washburne State Park. The hiker biker camp was a little buggy and completely shaded in so I moved to the grassy area by the bathrooms just below and stretched out reading a book until the sun went down. Seeing me limp down to buy a bundle of firewood the campground host offered to throw it on the back of his golf cart and drive me back to camp.
In the morning, despite the persistant limp I hiked the trail up and over Hecata Head because I wanted to be sure not to miss the lighthouse. As it was I had to hike all the way down to the bathrooms in the parking lot to change out of my long johns because it had started raining. The hike back up to 101 seemed like it took forever and then the tunnel walk after, which I managed to do when not a single car passed, was pretty awesome though.
South through Florence for a little candy at the Dollar Store, amazed at how many traveling kids were out. Was 101 a popular hitchhiking route?
Heading out of Florence I had a choice. Follow the trail back out to the ocean and camp somewhere on the beach, or follow 101 a bit further and stay at the hike biker camp in Jessie M. Honeyman State Park.
For some reason I chose the state park. But because it was off season they told me that I didn’t have to stay in the hiker biker camp if I didn’t want to. That I could camp closer to the showers and bathrooms if I liked. More seclusion, less bugs? Okay.
The next day I realized just how much my choice had thrown a wrench in my plans. It was almost two miles of walking through the dunes to get back to the coast. I don’t know if you have ever walked through sand dunes before but it takes a lot of energy even without a backpack on. And two miles with no clear trail to follow just seemed stupid. So I road walked south a little more until I found a road that the park host had showed me on Google maps. A road that would take me to another road which would take me back to the beach.
And man what a nice stretch this is through the Oregon Dunes. No one is out here. The few people I did see zipped by on a quadrunner. The beach just keeps going and going.
The state maps tell you to get off the beach at Three Mile Creek. That would be great if there was a sign telling you the name of the creek, but there isn’t. I had started to see more and more people and thought that maybe this was it. Except there was no creek. So I kept hiking, crossing a small river, and wondering if maybe that was it. There didn’t seem to be ANY people south of the river, but plenty of them BBQ’ing and flying kites to the north. It’s called Sparrow Park Road. That’s how people knew it since not a single person knew where Thre Mile Creek was.
Sparrow Park Road turns out to be a four mile dirt road, all uphill, until you get to 101. There the traffic is cruising along and there is no good place to hitch into town. From here it is all road walk into Reedsport, then through there into Winchester Bay. It was Easter Sunday I realized when I checked myself into the hiker biker camp at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. And because it was off season part of the campground was closed. The part which just happens to have the showers and bathrooms for the people in the hiker biker camp.
“Sorry,” the camp hosts said between mothfulls of food. Their Easter dinner and I was interrupting them for something as silly as a shower.
Actually I was just jealous of their dinner.
I ate a pepperoni stick and swatted at mosquitos. The worst of the trip.
I slept on the picnic table since I was pretty sure that it wasn’t supposed to rain.