September 11, 2009
With temperatures forecast to be in the low 90s in Eugene, the seven hikers on this trip felt that the coast was the ideal place to be. Baker Beach is continually being improved and, with easy access across the sand dunes, it is quite popular with beach enthusiasts, including horseback riders. Before setting off south along the beach, we gathered some large pieces of wood and positioned them in the sand. This was to help us find the way on our return as there are no distinguishing markers from the beach to show the trail back over the dunes.
Everyone enjoyed the sunshine, the ocean, easy walking on the firm sand and conversations with fellow hikers. At Sutton Creek, we found a large log that could accommodate all seven of us for a lunch break where some goodies were shared. Our marker was still in place as we neared the end of our hike and we clambered up the dunes back to our cars.
The Baker Beach area is one of several sites referred to as “Snowy Plover Management Areas” (SPMAs). The Snowy Plover nests on Baker Beach from mid-March to mid-September and some sand dunes are off limits during that time. We saw no evidence of any barricades or nesting birds. Near the beginning of our hike, we did see a number of turkey vultures gathered close to the water and discovered that they had been feasting on a large squid that had washed up in the surf.
Hikers were Walt Dolliver, Lamonte Smith, Vicky Hanson (non-member), Julie Dorland, Margot Fetz, Joanne Ledet, and Pat Soussan. Co-leader, Sue Meyers, unfortunately, had to cancel due to sickness. Thanks to Margo for driving.