OCT | Day 11 | Beachside to Florence
Beachside to Yachats
As we left Beachside on Wednesday morning, we were increasingly wary of a big storm predicted for Thursday and Friday. Weather.com indicated a 100% chance of rain and gale force winds on the coast. Not the type of conditions we really wanted to walk or camp in.
We planned to pitch tents in Washburne State Park that night then continue on to Florence the next day. Florence provided an opportunity to do laundry, shop for groceries, and rest in a nice, warm hotel. With a storm approaching, though, we decided that we might need that oasis sooner so we restructured our plans to get there a day earlier.
From Beachside State Park, we had a 4-mile walk on the beach. The ocean was out so there were quite a few tide pools.
And more creeks to negotiate.
Att the end of the beach, we could see a rocky headland where we expected to find a trail. As we got closer, though, we weren’t confident we could cross another creek that blocked our path so we found an alternate trail that took us up to the highway.
Highway walking was typically stressful and a little drab but sometimes we’d run into unexpected patches of beauty.
Fortunately, we only had a short stretch on the road before darting into a neighborhood.
As we walked back toward the beach, I was able to snap a picture looking back from the trail that was supposed to lift us off the beach. Looks so easy from this vantage point!
At the end of Salmon Street, we found the Yachats 804 Trail.
We followed the 804 trail south through the Smelt Sands State Rec Area.
Along the path, there were plenty of OCT badges to guide our way.
And more flowers to provide color to the beach.
The 804 trail led us into a neighborhood and around Ocean View Drive to the south side of the town of Yachats.
From here, we walked into town and found Yachats Brewing + Farmstore for lunch. And beers! Yachats featured a lot of interesting saisons that were right up my alley. Too bad we couldn’t stay all afternoon. I had the Barrel-Aged Plum Loyal, which was excellent.
Just as were getting up to leave the restaurant, we ran into our hiking buddy Tanner from Dallas (graduated Georgetown, going to work at Google). We chatted with him a bit, warned him about the approaching storm, and traded contact info and itineraries before loading up again.
As we walked out of Yachats Brewing, we suddenly realized that we only had 2-3 more hours to get a cab to come up from Florence before the end of the day. We still thought we had time to hike up Cape Perpetua, however, so we hustled down the road to try to get there.
The hike up to Perpetua starts gradually on Amanda’s Trail, which was named to honor a local Coos Indian in rememberance of a dark period in Oregon’s history. It’s worth a quick Google search, if you’re interested in the story.
At the start of the trail, the girls went ahead while I walked down to the highway to get enough phone signal to call the cab company. After booking a ride, I then set off to catch them.
Past Amanda’s Trail, the path eventually gets steep but meanders through some beautiful forest.
At one point, we found an area where the entire forest floor was covered with clover.
Even with all the climbing, we were moving pretty quickly. The clock kept ticking, though, so I nearly had to run past the summit while taking a picture.
Once we were at the top, I checked my watch and realized we didn’t have a lot of time left. Worse yet, I wasn’t exactly sure if we were in the right spot to be picked up. I was pretty sure I told the dispatcher to have the driver meet us at the top of Cape Perpetua but I couldn’t remember if I had also mentioned the Visitor Center, which appeared to be further along, if not back down the other side of the mountain.
In a bit of a panic, I left the girls behind and started down the trail, thinking I could get back down to the highway and either meet the driver at the Visitor Center or catch him driving up, whichever came first. Unfortunately, this turned into a near run for me as I raced the clock. God only knows why I didn’t end up in full Superman position at a couple of points. Fortunately, I did make it down to the bottom JUST as the driver was turning off the highway onto the park road. Score!
I’ll be honest and admit that sitting on my butt at that point for the ride to Florence was a pretty nice break, especially as we drove along a bunch of highway that I wasn’t sad to be missing. There were some hikes, like Heceta Head, that we also missed but we’ll just have to come back and tackle those another time.
Once we got to Florence, we checked into the Lighthouse Inn and headed to find some Mexican food to celebrate another great day on the OCT. Tomorrow, we hide from the storm and take a well-deserved rest.
Day 11 mileage was 12.8 with 2,051 feet of elevation. Total distance to this point — 188.8 miles