OCT | Day 10 | South Beach to Beachside
South Beach to Beaver Creek
Day 10 began rainy. By this point, we had plenty of practice walking in the rain but we left a little late to try to avoid being drenched from the start.
Like many of our days, we started out walking out through the woods to exit the state park we stayed at the previous night.
Once we got the beach, we climbed over the dunes and headed for the water’s edge to get to the hard-packed sand.
We had 6+ miles walking along the sand to start, which was obviously monotonous at times but surprisingly interesting at many points.
Whether it was unexpected rock formations, tidal pools or the diverse collection of shells that the waves had washed up, I continued to be impressed by the diversity.
Of course, we had plenty of beach streams to cross as well. Most we could walk through, or simply step over, but some posed a challenging puzzle for us to try to navigate and keep pur feet dry.
For the larger streams, we could sometimes walk upstream to find a natural bridge formed by trees and rocks. Here’s one I climbed over on the way down to Beaver Creek.
Just downstream, you can see that the girls elected to take their chances on the rocks instead.
Beaver Creek to Seal Rock
The beach led to the mouth of Beaver Creek where we expected to have to wade across. Thankfully, someone built a bridge we could use instead. According to Bonnie Henderson’s blog, a new campground for Brian Booth State Park was being created here by combining Ona Beach State Park and Beaver Creek State Natural Area. Apparently, they built a nice bridge in the process.
We crossed the creek then headed back out to the beach to walk to Seal Rock.
Along the way, we found a section of beach where the rocks were almost completely covered with bright green moss.
We found one section that looked like a miniature-golf course, so I posed for a picture practicing my putting.
As we approached Seal Rock State Park, we could see large waves crashing over the rocks in the distance. The beach ended at this point but we walked to they very end to get some photos. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture any big waves but plenty of nice panoramas.
Back up the beach, our exit was a trail up the ravine to the highway.
The road led past the official entrance to the park.
Looking back north from the other side of the cliffs, the rock formation looked to me like a massive seal lying on the beach but I think it’s actually named Elephant Rock.
After a mile on the highway, we returned to the beach at Quail Street.
We then had three more miles of beach walking before the end of the spit at the mouth of Alsea Bay. Here, we took one of the various access trails off the beach into the neighborhood and followed the roads to the Alsea Bay Bridge.
We crossed the bridge to get to the town of Waldport
Underneath the bridge, we saw dozens of seals swimming the shallow waters. Here’s a grainy picture from my camera on maximum zoom.
According to locals we met later, there are times when there are so many seals under the bridge that it looks like a “carpet.”
In Waldport, we stopped at Grand Central Pizza to eat. Here, I had my favorite beer so far in Oregon, the Cavatica Stout from Fort George Brewery. From what I could tell, Fort George only distributes in the Pacific Northwest, so I’ll have to enjoy it while we’re here.
After dinner, the whole group had had enough walking for the day, so we started looking around for alternative options to avoid the three miles of highway walking down to our campsite at Beachside State Park.
Fortunately, Jill managed to talk a couple of the restaurant patrons to help us out, including a very nice guy named Jim.
Finally at camp, we set up our tents and called it a night.
Day 10 mileage was 16.4 with 339 feet of elevation. Total distance to this point — 176 miles