Washburne Loop

June 8, 2002

There were ten names on the trip sheet, including two children: Austin, 4 years old, and Cameron, a baby girl 3 months old, who spent the entire time asleep in a large “snuggly” tied to Chrissy’s, her mother’s, front. One time, after we had hiked about three and a half miles already, I asked her: “Your back must be hurting by now, and your shoulders, too.” “Only my left shoulder a little, because the strap of the backpack is pressing on the knot of the sling.” But when I suggested that I carry her back pack for her she wouldn’t hear of it. I have to admire Chrissy: she had two (or three?) more little children at home, being watched by their dad, while she scouted out the Washburne loop to see if it would be suitable for her other children to hike. Well, Austin, the 4 year old son of Deborah, proved that it would be suitable. Once I pulled out my frisbee ring during the lunch stop near the lower end of the Hobbit Trail he took charge of it: “Catch!” Others joined in periodically and cheered him on: “Catch!” He missed only once when he threw the frisbee into China Creek where it flows out of the beaver dam.

We had started the loop from the day use area, hiking counterclockwise on the beach to have the wind in our back. When we got near the Washburn State Park campground I asked the two mothers if they wanted to declare victory and return to the cars. Or if they thought they and Austin would like to add the smaller northern loop through the campground and along China Creek back to the beach. Chrissy wanted to go on (Cameron didn’t care one way or the other: she was fast asleep). Austin, frisbee in hand, was already down the trail to the campground, so I never did find out how his mother would have voted. At the shower and restroom building we “rested” while Austin (“Catch!!”) threw more frisbee (at us, at two young girls passing by, into a tree…).

The weather had become beautiful. In the morning there had been a very slight drizzle, more like a mist, on the beach, now it was sunny and dry. We were back at the cars around 2PM. There is no day use fee here, and we decided to skip the stop at the Heceta Head lighthouse parking with its $3.- fee and spend the money instead in the Gingerbread Village on warm gingerbread with icecream ($1.-) and coffee($1.-).

I urged everyone to pile into the large corner booth, European-style, and not be afraid of sitting close to one another (American ideospace being of course much larger). People were from Britain (Barb), British Columbia (Patti), Bavaria (Renate and I), Florida (Deborah and Austin) and Oregon, I think (Helen, Chrissy, Cameron, and Wilson). There were seven women and three men, eight adults and two children. We were back at the South Eugene High school parking lot by 5PM, Wilson driving my car.

Hikers were: Cameron (3 months) and Chrissy Anderson, Helen Dart, Renate and Wilson Mackenzie, Barbara Sutherland, Austin (4 years old) and Deborah Turvey, Patti Anne Wallace and Helmut Plant (leader).

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