Friday, April 16, 2010

Beach Time

This is a pretty civilized hike! I'm in Seaside having a latte and catching up on Internet.

Yesterday I took the local bus from Astoria to Warrenton and then to Fort Stevens State Park. The only problem with local buses is that they assume everyone is a local and knows the routine. I had to ask for help and directions a few times. It was foggy and drizzling in the morning but my luck held and by the time I started hiking it had stopped. The trickiest route finding was through the state park. Once you hit the beach it's hard to go wrong! By the end of the afternoon the sky had cleared and I was down to a t-shirt in the sunshine.

The beach has been great, easy walking on nice firm sand. Waves crashing, sea gulls sqawking, shore birds running and flying. Even a pair of bald eagles, one adult and one juvenile (head not white yet) feeding on a seabird carcass.

The only drawback is that vehicles are allowed on the beach. So I was never far from a big truck with a young white driver with a baseball cap and a cigarette. I'm not sure what the attraction is to driving slowly up and down the beach. Thankfully the speed limit is only 25 km/hr.

I was figuring I'd just camp in the dunes behind the beach, but when I headed up there in the late afternoon I found there were houses only 200 yards away. I found the best spot I could between the mansions and the cruising trucks Not exactly a wilderness experience, but I knew that before I started. It was actually quite peaceful once the sun went down. I won't say quiet because the crashing waves are actually quite noisy.

I slept well although it was surprisingly cold. No frost, but it felt like it. I was a bit shocked to discover far more vehicles on the beach than the day before! I soon realized the tide was out and they were digging for clams. They didn't seem to be finding much, which isn't surprising given the number of people out there.

I packed up and threaded my way between the pickup trucks. It was a nice morning. A few hours hiking brought me to Gearhart where I was forced to leave the beach and walk the highway to get across a river. This led me to Seaside where I stopped for coffee. Next I'll head for Ecola State Park.

It's very different hiking down the beach instead of in the forest or the mountains. You don't need to pay too much attention to the walking and the sand and waves go on unchanging for miles. It's gives your mind plenty of time to roam.

Location:S Ocean Ave,Gearhart,United States

1 comment:

  1. Just a t-shirt in the sunshine! Oh my! :o) Sounds like a good time except all the people! At least you're on a beach so it sounds like a real holiday!