Baker Beach

June 26, 2003

Seven Obsidians left the Shopko on West 11th in two cars, looking forward to escaping the 90-degree weather that was forecast for Eugene. Soon after leaving the city limits we encountered a long, long traffic tie up. Vehicles were turning around and after a brief consultation we followed suit. We detoured through Crow and followed Territorial Highway back to Route 126 at Veneta. We arrived at Baker Beach a half hour or so later than originally planned and were relieved to see that the fog was out at sea. However it wasn’t long before we discovered the high winds and they defined our day. We were dressed for a sunny day at the beach but almost immediately the windbreakers were donned. Someone had wisely thought to bring gloves. With the wind blowing fiercely at our backs we reached Sutton Creek probably in record time. We found a sheltered spot behind a dune and overlooking the creek for our lunch. Then we pressed on. Because of the shifting dunes it’s always a little tricky in the beginning finding the path along the creek and staying off the snowy plover protected area. We meandered over dunes and along the grassy path following the creek. Finding the opening back on to the beach from the loop was even trickier in the deep and blowing sand. By this time it felt as if the wind had increased and on the return along the beach we were heading right in to it. We fought it all the way back. We had to lean forward, hanging on to our chin strapped hats to keep them in place, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Conversation was impossible and our main concern was finding the opening to get us back to the parking lot. Our faces felt like sandpaper, we had sand in our teeth, in our hair, on our glasses, in our boots, everywhere. But we made it and finally arrived back, wind blown, wind battered and sand blasted, and making large deposits of sand in the parking lot. Our estimates of the wind velocity ranged from 35 to 50 mph., there certainly was a small craft warning. To quote Jim “It was a memorable hike”! Bill Sullivan rates this hike “difficult”. That was an understatement today. We awarded ourselves double points and the hike a C. The intrepid seven were Lois Bjerken, Sharon and Jim Duncan, Walt Dolliver, Sheila Ward and leaders Sandra Larsen and Margaret Prentice.

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