Siltcoos River/Carter Lake Dunes

October 16, 2004

Under cloudy skies, twelve hikers, in three cars left Eugene and headed to the coast. Our first trek (2.6 mi.) was along the trail bordering the Siltcoos River. Passing through Murtlewax campground you proceed to an overlook of the river estuary. This is one of serene beauty and although there were only a few ducks seen this time, in other seasons we have seen many more. Photographers should note that there are many opportunities on this trail for those moody images especially in the winter months. Several small coastal ponds and large driftwood pieces are excellent subjects. As we walked up the beach to the river mouth our progress was observed by a group of seals bobbing in the surf and a very large flock of seagulls patrolling the sand. For our lunch stop we drove back up the road about 0.5 miles and made use of the picnic tables near the river. Unfortunately after lunch the fog/mist got rather thick and rain gear was put on for the second hike (about 3 mi.) which starts from Carter Lake campground area. Passing Taylor Lake we headed out into the dunes. For the first time we were able to follow the trail to the beach. In the past when I saw ducks swimming across the trail I turned around. Since the rainy season is just starting there was no water this time. As the wind had picked up we did not walk on the beach but instead headed back into the dunes and continued heading south for a while. We then looped back so that we could climb two very large dunes, one aptly named “Big Dune”. On a sunny day the view from the top is wonderful. I always find it a thrill to run down the face of these. From here we headed back to the viewpoint above the dunes and onto the trail back to the cars. Joining me in these familiar and pleasurable hikes were members: Ann-Marie Askew, Max Brown, Barbara Bruns, Arlene Deyo, Marshall Kandell, Norma Lockyear, Carol Petty, Barbara Schomaker and nonmembers: David and Shelly Call and Judy Crawford. Leader—Sheila Ward.

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