New Carissa - finally

March 9, 2008

This was the last time that we would be able to see the New Carissa shipwreck. The State of Oregon, in its infinite wisdom, is spending $16 million this summer to remove the evidence of their stupidity from nine years ago. The area is soon to be closed off for the “salvage” operations to begin. Spurred by this and the added attraction of the recently uncovered wooden shipwreck, the Olson, there were thirty on the signup sheet. A variety of emergencies and switching to daylight savings time on the day of the hike lowered the group to only 21 sand hikers.

We caravanned to the North Bend Sand Spit and started hiking about noon PDT. The leader had a God assistant handling weather, so there was no rain . . . in fact the sun came out enough to create a few sunburns. The trail-road was shared with parades of pickups and ATVs on their way to see the Olson. The first mile was across the spit to the Ocean. Many birds were nesting in the ponds scattered throughout the low barrier dunes. When we reached the beach, the rusting remains of the New Carissa seemed an arm’s length away . . . but the arm’s length was a mile down the beach. Except for the truck traffic, it was a marvelous beach.

The group spread out based on sand hiking ability and how many treasures were found. During lunch we admired the waves splashing over the huge hulk. Then half the group hiked the extra two miles (each way) down the beach to see the wooden shipwreck. The Olson ran aground in 1944 and had been buried in the dunes until this winter. The advanced party had quite a workout in the soft sand and dodging the waves at the high tide. The group gathered together at the north end of the beach walk and headed inland. Enjoying the outing were non-members Lois Anderson, Diane Kurz, Mike Rhodes, Ashley Ross, and David White . . . along with members Barbara Beard, Paul Beard, Dave Becker, Daniele Delaby, Walt Dolliver, Margot Fetz, Richard Heinzkill, Dick Hildreth, Pat Hutchins, Marshall Kandell, Nola Nelson, Charlene Pierce, Barb Revere, Kaushik Vaidyanathan, Ellie Weaver, and Leader Jim Pierce.

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