Posted by: blinklove | July 26, 2010

Entering the Last Stretch of the OCT

So here we are now in Gold Beach, Oregon with only 40 miles left to cover of the Oregon Coast Trail. The Pacific Coastline of Oregon has been a beautiful contrast to the high-rising western mountains. We’ve walked down sunny white beaches into small harbor towns, over soaring capes down into hidden coves, and up over headlands who’s ancient forests opened up to meadows with stunning views of the ocean hundreds of feet below. We’ve met pods of seals sun bathing on lazy mornings and bald eagles have flown right over our heads, screeching and sending seagulls into a panicked escape. But it has also challenged us with violent winds, unpredictable weather, narrow highway shoulders, and miles and miles of walking in that really soft sand (you know that sand).

Don't worry, the seal laid down after the tracks had been made. He/she was happily lounging on the beach.

All of that has made it an interesting journey since we last reported from Newport, OR. We’ve encountered both the ordinary and the extraordinary. I could have sworn that the bald eagle that first flew over our heads must have been stalking us. We were hiking down a stretch of beach that is very much a path-less-traveled, far from town and without a public access over the dunes for a long stretch in either direction. If someone was going to walk down this otherwise ordinary section, they would have to be going out for more than a leisurely stroll. So it isn’t too far fetched to think that this keen bird circling over us because it was curious, or….hungry! bum bum BUM! Well ok, they are big birds, but not that big. Anyways, it all made more sense when we came up on the eagle picking at a recent catch. It turned out to be a raccoon, cute and unfortunate. This is one of the unusual experiences gained from walking places most others never do.

So, from here to Brookings, OR (the finish line) we will experience the final “style” of Oregon Coastline. Though the weather is much colder and windier here that back on the Atlantic Coast, Oregon boasts an incredibly diverse array of geological features and wildlife. Up north the beaches were long and flat and sandy. Through the middle of the state large rock formations began to interrupt the beaches and at times the ocean hit the shore at the base of a 300 foot cliff. Now, we will look forward to far less beach walking and instead we will walk through temperate rain forest, up and down headlands and will catch views of the ocean as the trail peeks over the edge of soaring bluffs. We are very excited to complete this trail and our plans for a return to the PCT are in the works.

’til next time…

.stephen.

P.S. – There have been a couple questions about the details of the night of the 15th. Well I had a wonderful time! After visiting the animal shelter, I got a haircut and returned to the hotel. Awaiting me in the room was champagne, chocolate covered wine grapes, chocolate enhanced cheddar cheese, a wonderful book of cat poems, and a gorgeous blue dress. Yes, Stephen is the best. We then went to a local hangout we had been hearing about. It was open mic night with many talented musicians. Stephen swing danced with me and the owner of the establishment was so impressed with his moves that she told us we could have any dessert on the house. We chose the berry cobbler and it was delivered with whipped cream and candles =) I was the last person to play in the open mic. I did not play piano very well, but I had a wonderful time. And that was my birthday! Thank you for asking and thank you for sending all of your birthday wishes! heather~

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Responses

  1. So lovely to hear about your time on the OCT. Looks chilly but beautiful. Thanks for the pics! Sending special thoughts your way…

  2. Wow! My son with smooth moves! Definitely didn’t get it from me. Stephen knows that. And, we’ve already known he’s quite the dancer! Love you both and you’re really making time in Oregon.


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