The morning of my second day on the Oregon Coast Trail thru hike I walked from Gearhart into Seaside. Feeling a little better because the rain had gone away and it didn’t look like it would return. I picked up some extra food at the Safeway in town after walking the boardwalk and sightseeing. Causually strolled around town and killed some time playing on the beachside swingsets.
I had planned a short hike that day, up to the hiker shelters at the top of Tillamook Head. Unlike the shelters on either the Long Trail or the Appalachian Trail these shelters were more like cabins. Complete with roll down canvas doors and four bunks in each.
The hike up Tillamook Head was a sweaty, muddy climb but it felt great to be back hiking again. There was some concern about not knowing where I would camp the next night as the Parks Service had suspended camping in Oswald West State Park, the next logical choice for a OCT thru hiker. That threw a huge wrench in my plans but I had no choice but to hike and see what options there were.
So I hiked. Down into Cannon Beach along the shore having a blast hiking around Hug Point, Silver Point and Humbug Point. It was so much fun because I had miscalculated low tide and thought the knee deep water was as shallow as it got. At each point I tried to time my run through the water between waves but getting hit each and every time. Come to find out that when it is really low tide the water is no where near the the rocks.
Then the trail leaves the beach and crosses over 101 for the climb up Arch Cape. There are no signs and the state maps are wrong on a few points here but they get you to the trail. The climb is another long one and the trail coming down Cape Falcon twists and turns so much that at one point I thought I had accidentally got on the wrong trail as I seemed to be heading north up the coast. That’s just the way the trail goes though and soon the never ending, extremely muddy descent dropped me out onto the beach at Oswald West.
I had dinner there and watched the surfers for a while as the sun started to set. Still not sure where I was going to camp. Right there by the bathrooms in the grass would have been perfect but I decided to move on.
My feet were aching pretty bad and my right ankle seemed a little swollen but the climb out was nice with some great scenic overlooks. I stealth camped that night just outside of Manzanita pretty sure that I was out of the parks boundary.
The next morning my ankle was noticeably more swollen and it hurt to put any pressure on that foot. So I hobbled my way into Manzanita for a breakfast sandwhich and sat on the beach enjoying the day. It wasn’t much further down the beach to Nehalem Bay State Park and I declared a nero and gave up in the hiker/biker camp.