OCT | Day 7 | Cape Kiwanda to Lincoln City

Cape Kiwanda to Proposal Rock

Today was supposed to be 25+ miles, so the girls decided to use a fast-forward and skip the first section. It was also an early wake-up call to catch low ride at the 8 to 10 mile mark, which made it even less attractive.

I rose around 5:30 AM and left at 6:10 AM. It was a quiet walk through Cape Kiwanda, winding my way down to the 101. 

I snapped a few pictures of the Nestucca River as I walked by, mostly because we really hadn’t seen any large rivers up to this point. Otherwise the scenery was nice but unremarkable.

From the time I started, I worried that I wouldn’t get down to beach fast enough to catch the tide, so I was moving as fast as I could without running. Probably too fast in retrospect as it took a toll on my feet and body to chew up all those road miles.

At the 7 mile point, I found Winema Road and turned toward the beach.

When I got down to the water, I was pleased to see a wide section of sand to walk on and a clear path for the next 3 miles. There was one point (at 8.68 miles for me) where I could see how it might be challenging to get through at high tide but thankfully, that wasn’t now.

In the distance, I could see what I thought was Proposal Rock. I’d never seen a picture so I didn’t really know what to expect. Even as I walked closer, it looked like another cape.

It wasnt until I was nearly upon it that I could tell that it was a very large and separate island. 

Proposal Rock supposedly got its name due to a 19th-century legend telling of a local sailor named Charley Gage proposing to his lady love there. It sounds like many couples have followed in their footsteps since. 

The island was quite different from all the other “rocks” we’d seen along the coast because it was green and covered with plants and trees. There was actually a narrow path that led to the top of it where I could see people climbing up. On any other day, I would have tried it but not with this pack and not with the miles I had left.

The water you can see on the left side of my picture is Neskowin Creek. I couldn’t cross it but I was able to follow it east to Hawk Creek where I turned north and found a short trail that led to town.

Neskowin to Cascade Head

The girls were taking a bus from Lincoln City down to the town of Neskowin. I had a little time to kill so I grabbed some coffee and an  English muffin at the Hawk Creek Cafe.

From Neskowin, we were back on the highway.

Which led through the Siuslaw National Forest.

Occasionally we’d see trees along the roadside covered in moss.

The highway led up and over Cascade Head. At one point there was a trail from the north end of the forest but it had been abandoned a while back due to landslides. As walked along the 101, we were looking to find gravel road 1861 which would take us through the experimental forest. When we got there, however, the road was closed until mid-summer. Damn!

So it was back on the highway.

Down to Lincoln City

Past Cascade Head, we crossed the Salmon River as it ran out to the ocean.

The need to cross the Salmon is one reason we weren’t closer to the coast. Without a highway bridge, we’d need a boat to cross.

Eventually, we were able to return to the beach as we approached the north end of Lincoln City.

In some places, the path off the beach into town required a climb up a tall concrete staircase. As we walked by, we hoped that our exit was a little shorter.

Our original plan was to camp in Devil’s Lake State Park but we called an audible mid-day and booked a hotel instead. Everyone on the team was road-weary so we decided we needed real beds and showers for the night.

Day 7 mileage was 23.8 with 1,270 feet of elevation. Total distance to this point — 124.6 miles.

Click HERE for a link to the Strava map.

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