Asprin and the idea of catching the ferry across the bay got me through the next day.
My ankle was bulging out of my shoe and now both of my feet were infected on the bottom with some kind of rash. But man was I having a good time.
As I waited for the ferry across Nehalem Bay I watched some kids and their dogs playing and fishing on the other side. They ran away after a bit and then I noticed it. One of their dogs was in the water swimming towards me. The current was swift and I was sure that not only was the dog going to be swept out to sea but that it was my fault for standing on this side of the bay where the dog had never seen anyone before. So I started whistling and trying to call the dog over but it just stopped and looked at me. Then another dog’s head popped up, then another. I felt so stupid. They weren’t dogs, they were sea lions.
After the ferry I followed the rail lines for a bit and made it into Rockaway Beach. I had no desire to try and flag a fisherman down to ferry me across to Crab Harbor. The truth was that I didn’t want to do anything. Instead of road walking through Garabaldi, Bay City and into Tillamook I caught a local bus and got a hotel room in Tillamook for a couple of nights to rest my ankle.
So day 6 was a zero.
Feling a little better on Day 7 I hiked down the coast, through the rock tunnel at Oceanside and another road walk down to Cape Lookout State Park.
Cape Lookout State Park has the best hiker/biker camp in the state. With the exception of a single rude park ranger of which I was to hear many stories about from cyclists and hikers further down the trail. (This was the ONLY rude park ranger encountered in Oregon in the two months I spent touring Oregon State Parks up and down the coast as well as inland.)
The next days hike was great except for the fact that I missed low tide by an hour and crossing the mouth of Sand Lake just didn’t seem safe. The water was too deep and moving too fast. So I hiked inland on the alternate route working my way back towards the beach and Cape Kiwanda. A daunting climb up one of the largest piles of sand I have ever seen in my life.
I Pacific City my ankle still didn’t seem up to par. I thought about stealth camping, getting some food there and just sleeping on the beach somewhere out of the way. Instead I took the bus down the road walk and was dropped off at Winema Beach, Where the trail gets back off road and rejoins the beach.
By night fall I dragged my weary ass into Devil’s Lake State Recreation Area and setup in the strangest suburban hiker/biker camp.
Across the street were homes with views into the camp. What they must think of all the random people that show up here, the cyclists and hikers, hitchhikers and bums passing through. It feels like I’m camped on their front lawn without permission.