A delightful day hiking to the Heceta Head lighthouse from Washburne State Park was enjoyed by a group of seven. Four of the participants had done the hike before, one of whom remembered when the Hobbit Trail had to be crawled through. The weather was pleasant enough - no sunshine but no rain! We started our hike by walking along the sand to the Hobbit Trail. Sights along the beach included a whale carcass with nine or more turkey vultures hovering nearby, and an altar-like alcove carved into the sandstone cliffs. Also, sadly, graffiti was present in the cliffs. No hobbits were spotted on the Hobbit Trail but the wildflowers were quite plentiful on the trails. We identified Oregon iris, Pacific rhododendrons, elderberry, salmonberry, and fringe cup. Two mystery plants were later identified with the help of guide books as Western lily of the valley and Hooker’s fairy bells.
Four members of the group took the Heceta Head lighthouse tour after lunch and found it very informative. Two of our group stayed and talked to the tour volunteers and, instead of returning the way we came, took a shorter route via the lighthouse keeper’s house down to Devils Elbow beach. They waited there until the rest of the group completed the hike along the China Creek trail and picked them up.Members: Pat Soussan, Daniele Delaby, Yuan Hopkins, Kathleen Willett, Barbara Norregaard. Nonmembers: Harriet Kelly, Bob Graff.
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