South Oregon Coast

May 29-31, 1993

Five hikers drove down to Brookings in one car, joining up in Bandon with Dee Bray, who provided the shuttle car and much coastal-dweller insight for the group that was to trudge through a rain-washed weekend amid the squeaky-clean splendors of the Coast Trail in and around Boardman State Park. Our first day’s trail was in the relatively best condition, starting atop Cape Sebastian and winding down to the beach leading to the mouth of the Pistol River. On the second day, between Arch Cape and Whalehead Beach, the effects of rushing water on overburdened creeks was apparent. More than one board “bridge” had slipped away, testing our broad jump skills. As these creeks entered the ocean, tan silt spread into wide patterns, betraying considerable soil erosion higher up. Where we were walking we could have used a pair of clippers to advantage (an 11th essential in a rainy climate?). Blackberry vines are excessively healthy this spring. Despite inconveniences, the beauties of the Coast Trail abound in any weather. The erosion sculpture of the sandstone cliffs, the swirling surf below, offshore tree island sea stacks, and in spring the wildflowers, including dwarfish blue flags, scarlet paintbrush and numerous yellow blooming things provide bright accents to the lush vegetation. Shore birds called overhead and we spotted the flock of feral goats that had provided Dee with such spectacular photo-ops last year. No filming this year, alas! We decided to seek dry weather on Bandon’s beach our last day — Monday — which was also the occasion of their Sandcastle Festival, which we enjoyed while walking along the part of the beach near Face Rock. Later we found a sunny picnic ground at one of the small state parks to the south and charcoal-broiled the shish-kebabs we’d kept on ice since Saturday, having succumbed to indoor pizza and Chinese fare in Brookings, where we also pitched ourselves inside the Chetco River Inn, where noisy gutters gushed at night, but the rooms were ah, so dry! Leaders Jack & Dallas Cole submit the following nominations of people we’d happily hike in the rain again with: Dee Bray, Jane Hackett, Vi Johnson, and Betty Macy.


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