Washburne/China Creek Loops

February 22, 2007

Four different weather forecasts gave four different prospects. . . all wet, more or less. As far as our hike was concerned, none was right! With the sun struggling with a variety of cloud covers, we traversed the shiny, wet sand and spent a few minutes exploring tide pools left accessible by a minus tide. The sea was frisky, however, and a little sneaker wave did just that. . . sneaked up and grabbed the legs of one of our hikers, only releasing her when it ran back into the surf. Being a real Obsidian trooper, she continued on — feet dampened, but spirit intact. The Hobbit Trail is but a hint of its old self. . . with only a few yards of grooved and tunneled trail likely to appeal to hobbits before turning into just an ordinary forest trail (the original route now overgrown and its lower access obscured by brush). The beaver pond was also a disappointment, its tall reeds dry, brown and broken. Hopefully, spring weather will return it to its natural beauty. With the mild, dry weather prevailing, lunch at the meadow was most pleasant and relaxing. The China Creek Loop gave us a look at the first bright yellow skunk cabbage blossoms of the year. . . and a marching unit of five salamanders. The only other “wildlife” we spotted was a very odd spongy something or other on the beach, slightly larger than a softball, covered with thousands of tiny egglike sacs. . . some open and empty. No one knew what it was, but a few theories of alien beings were expressed. Only time will tell. As we approached our cars, the rain and hail gods said, “Enough is enough” and returned us to Oregon coast February reality. On the way home a bunch of us stopped to check the cobra lilies at Darlingtonia Botanical Garden and soup and hot beverages at Alpha-Bit. Members on the hike included Jim and Sharon Duncan, Jim and Kathleen Floyd, Stewart Hoeg, Marshall Kandell (leader), Mary Morrison and Margaret Prentice; and nonmember Kathryn Golly.

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