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Hiking the Pacific COAST Trail

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This hike took place on February 7, 2015 and the following is a journal entry from that day. I've been in Brookings, OR with Mom and Paul since 1-29-15.

It has been stormy and raining all week and most of my exercise has been on the treadmill. Today is the last day of my week and if I'm going to keep my hiking streak alive I have to hike today. So, I got my clothes on, put my rain suit on, thought about taking an extra fleece top, but didn't and put on toe socks, darn tough wool socks and my old Columbia hiking boots. I went to Lone Ranch beach where I knew a trailhead was located after a half a mile hike on the beach.

It was not raining when I started but was threatening and desolate. No other cars at the beach parking lot. I was on the beach right at the turn of high tide to low tide and it was good the tide was now going out as there wasn't much beach left to walk on.

The beach was wet with lots of streams running off the cliffs. And then I came to the stream with a waterfall coming out of the hillside and a fast moving and what appeared to be a deep creek crossing the beach.

I walked around a little to see if the water was shallower closer to it's run in the ocean.

It appeared shallower but was so much wider, I decided to try a deeper, but narrower part closer to the waterfall. I waited for the wave surge and then as the water ran back out I started across. No luck as I stepped in an unforeseen hole and was now soaked to just below my knees.

I got across, kept going and thought this hike wouldn't last long with wet feet. I was pleasantly surprised and even though my feet were wet my darn tough wool socks were keeping my feet warm and I felt no discomfort.

I got to the trailhead, called home and gave my location.

And then started a narrow and steep climb to the top of the head land.

I passed some curving streams with waterfalls, but mostly I was keeping my eyes focused on the forest on top.

It was about a half mile climb to the top and then there it was...

I had come this way before, but it had been on a bright sunny afternoon. Now the darkening sky was promising rain and there certainly wasn't much light. But I came here to hike and hike I did. I entered the hole and once again found myself deep in a forest of moss covered everything, very tall trees and a wonderfully soft pine needle covered trail. The trail had some ups and downs but nothing was as steep as the trail I had come up to get to this point. No rain fell as the trees were so thick I think the rain was absorbed before it hit the ground. The trees were many shapes and sizes. Look here at this moss covered tree that looks like it could hang a lot of coats.

The past week of storms with high winds had visited this forest as evidenced by the broken limbs I found. Fortunately there was no wind now that I could feel and the trees were not swaying or I would have considered it unsafe to be hiking.

I was completely alone and loving the deafening silence of this forest. As I walked farther and deeper in I came to the edge of the forest, peeked over and saw the crashing surf hundreds of feet below me. Surprisingly I was able to get a phone call out and told family at home I was turning around and heading back.

On the trip back I found this fungus and I was glad. When I had been in this forest in August of last year there had been a brightly colored fungus on almost every tree. I was disappointed to not find more on this hike.

Even though the tide was farther out when I returned to the beach, it was still a wet crossing when I came to the waterfall creek again. And now it was raining hard with a howling wind. Fortunately it was only a half mile back to the car and some warmth. Home again it was time to get out of wet and damp clothes and into a hot shower.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • _LINDA
    emoticon on completing your hike in challenging conditions!! So many people wimp out as soon as there is a cloudy day!! We don't melt! I find it peaceful, the sound of rain.
    emoticon photos!! I would love to be able to hike in a place like that!! Not much greenery here. Just long winters followed by a short summer where I can hardly wait to get out to the trails along the river. But they are really busy, lots of people, dogs, bikes and joggers. Its the only green space we have in this city. Outside is bald, flat prairie farm land. You have to travel an hour and a half to reach a forest. I loved the trip my sister and daughter and I took to the mountains two years ago -we got some gorgeous treks in- love that moss and ferns!
    You are lucky to live in such an incredibly beautiful state!
    1748 days ago
    Ah, the beauty of wool socks :)
    Thanks so much for sharing your hike and the beautiful pictures.
    We were up in Oregon this past spring and found the same kinds of run offs at the beach, though not as deep as you describe. What a wonderful place to hike!
    Keeping your streak alive.
    2176 days ago
    Sounds like a dry pair of extra socks and shoes in the car might come in handy next time? Beautiful hike!
    2176 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.
    2177 days ago
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