OCT | Day 14 | Tahkenitch to Oregon Dunes KOA

Tahkenitch to Gardiner

Leaving Tahkenitch, we had a long day of highway walking to get down to Winchester Bay. Originally, we wanted to walk back to the beach from the Tahkenitch campground and head south but we couldn’t track down a boat to take us across the bay from the Umpqua North Jetty, so we had to get there on the 101.

As we hiked down the road, it became very clear where all the mosquitos in Tahkenitch came from. We were told that southern Oregon had more wetlands but it was plain to see from here.

After leaving the campground, the highway climbed steadily for the first couple miles.

From the top of the hill, we could see Threemile Lake in the distance.

We then descended into the town of Gardiner.

Gardiner to Winchester Bay

From Gardiner, we crossed two bridges to get over Bolon Island then on to the town of Reedsport.

In Reedsport, we ate lunch before stopping in Safeway to get coffee and a lighter for our camp stove. From Reedsport, we had more highway walking to get us down to Winchester Bay.

Winchester Bay

Winchester Bay was a great little bayside town that we decided to make our final destination for the day.

We had 13+ miles of highway walking already behind us and very little appetite to do more that day, so we found a good spot to rest our weary bones and arrange a fast-forward.

The Double D Sports Bar & Grill provided a perfect spot.

Here, I logged my 900th unique beer on Untappd with the Chinook Redd from 7 Devils Brewing. Miranda made me a nice napkin placard to commemorate the occasion.

While at Double D’s, we met another set of thru-hikers, Brett and Shannon, who had been hiking the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) but ran into snow in the Sierras and had to detour to the Oregon coast to keep going. 

From Winchester Bay, we took a taxi south to eliminate 14 miles of monotonous highway walking and get us to camp at the Oregon Dunes KOA where we planned to pitch our tents for the night.

Oregon Dunes KOA

Little did we know but we arrived right at the KOA in the middle of DuneFest 2017. Five seemingly out-of-place backpackers surrounded by a multitude of ATV, Razor and sandrail enthusiasts.

The bonus for us was an ice-cream social that started soon after we pitched our tents. Who knows if it was something special for DuneFest or a regular summertime activity at the KOA but we enjoyed it just the same.

It was a great ending to another fun day in the OCT.

Day 14 mileage was 13.4 with 673 feet of elevation. Total distance to this point — 222.1 miles