Gwynn Creek

July 24, 2003

At 9:00 a.m. five hikers (three members and two non-members) left the West l1th Shopko parking lot and headed out highway 126 for the Coast and an escape from the July heat wave that had been gripping most of Oregon for the past week. Although the Internet weather forecast had projected clouds, the hikers made the turn on to highway 101 in Florence under mostly sunny skies and a temperature in the low 60s. The good weather continued for the rest of the drive to the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center Parking lot where the hike began. Although the Coast forest fire risk indicators read HIGH, the trail was lush from the very beginning. The first 2½ miles of the hike included about 1100 feet of elevation gain. This part of the hike was broken in half about halfway by a peaceful lunch on a group of logs surrounded by old growth firs and hemlock. After reaching the top of the ridge, the hike began winding down above Gwynn Creek through more old growth and a more lush understory. The sun continued to shine and the temperature remained in the 60s as the hikers reached the last mile of the trail which parallels highway 101. An unusually large number of seabirds (mostly gulls) were seen busy wheeling above and riding on the waves as the group peered through gaps in the trees along the trail. The hikers (LaRee Beckley, Wendy Clarke, Doug Hintzman, Kathy Hoeg, and Stewart Hoeg) arrived back at the Visitor's Center pleasantly fatigued and refreshingly cool. With reserves recharged, the hikers headed back to Eugene and a return to the heat.

Stewart Hoeg

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