Three Mile Lake

February 5, 1983

Sun most of the day as we hiked the ups and downs of those beautiful dunes, heading south from Tahkenitch parking lot twelve miles south of Florence. The short trail through the trees is an attractive one in itself, as it twists over the modest rise through the tree-covered hills that separate the coast highway from the beach. On this Saturday the trail showed numerous signs of spring’s approach, from greening of mosses, budding of rhodys, and the tiny flowers appearing on the huckleberries.

Always stirring is that first view of ocean panorama across the wide expanse of sculptured dunes, unbroken except for spidery stands of dune grass. Our party saw only two other people hiking the area that day, but there were a number of footprints and the odd deer print kept us hoping to view its maker, though to no avail.

After a couple hours of southward progress, interrupted by a few meanderings after a particularly tempting view, we climbed the highest dune to the left and there, as promised, spreading below was Three Mile Lake. We settled ourselves on the northwest slope of the dune out of the wind and enjoyed the view of sun-sparkled water as it lay like a dark-mirrored river between the tree-lined dunes. After a leisurely lunch we noticed the tiers of clouds that seemed to be moving in from the south, so we took a reluctant leave. Happily, the clouds disbursed as quickly as they arrived, and the walk back proved so sunny that jackets were no longer a necessity by the time we reached the parking lot. The Baldwins graciously read our reluctance to leave the coast and invited us back to their cottage for coffee, and thus ended a most satisfying day in the dunes. Hikers were Ewart and Margaret Baldwin, Barb Elsen, Gladys Grancorvitz, Margaret Markley, Steve Peterson, and leaders Dallas and Jack Cole.

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