Day 16 presented a quandary for us. We needed to get from Sunset Bay to Bullards Beach. The most direct route led south over Cape Arago down to Seven Devils Road but here was no “good” way to follow that path without trespassing on private logging trails. Our other option was to hike three miles back down to Charleston and start at the beginning of Seven Devils Road, adding even more miles. We knew that way would work but were depressed about having to backtrack. Do we roll the dice or play it safe?
Thankfully, we had a trail angel named Karen who came to our rescue and offered a third option.
Trail Angel Karen
We actually met Karen the night before on our way into Sunset Bay. She was out walking her enormous Newfoundland dog in the neighborhood and struck up a conversation with Jill and Christy while we were walking by. Karen confirmed our suspicion that there was no good (i.e, legal) way to get around Cape Arago but she offered to drive us back to Seven Devils Road herself. Score!
Karen met us at our campsite that morning. Not only was she nice enough to chauffeur us around, she even brought fresh bananas for us to eat. Wow. And instead of simply taking us back to the start of Seven Devils Road, she actually took us to a point that was close to where we would have ended up had we taken the “forbidden” route. Karen worried that we’d be upset about missing out on the miles. Not a worry. Considering that that part of Seven Devils Road looked just as dangerous as the road we used to get to Charleston the day before, we were happy to bypass it.
Thank you, Karen! You must come visit us in Phoenix some time. Dinner’s on us!
Even with the assistance from our trail angel, we still had to bend the rules a bit when we saw the big “Road Closed” sign blocking Seven Devils Road. Karen told us that there was landslide about a mile down that prevented vehicle traffic but hopefully we could get around it on foot. We figured we could.
Fortunately, one nice benefit of a closed road is a lack of cars.
And while we found the road to be definitely impassable by car,
We had no issue climbing over the obstruction.
I learned later that the name “Seven Devils” was used by early travelers to describe the difficulties they faced when crossing the deep ravines along the coast south of Cape Arago (click here for more background). Fortunately, we had a road that made the journey a lot easier for us. For the construction guys cleaning up the landslides, though, the name Seven Devils might still apply.
After 5 miles of ups and downs, we found our way to the Seven Devils State Rec Area.
Our next milestone was Fivemile Point but we had a little time to kill before a low tide would allow us to get past the point. We took an extra-long lunch break and meandered a bit when we started heading south.
Back on the beach, we encountered a thin fog that obscure our path for a while.
The fog largely dissipated as we approached Fivemile Point, so we ended up with nice clear views of the rocks.
We hit low tide perfectly and had no issues scrambling around the point.
From Fivemile Point, we walked another 5 miles down the beach, crossing Whiskey Run Creek along the way.
Once we reached Bullards Beach State Park, we left the beach and hiked to the campground.
We wandered through the wetlands for much of the trail, so it was extremely helpful to encounter a series of low bridges and platforms along the way.
Eventually, we made it to our home for the night, our last yurt on the coast!
First, we stopped at the Face Rock Creamery for cheese samples, ice cream, and beers.
We then headed to the Bandon Brewery for pizza and local brews.
Here, we stuffed ourselves silly with pizza while enjoying the excellent Camp 7 Coffee Porter and My IPA on tap.
Day 16 mileage was 12 with 255 feet of elevation. Total distance to this point — 252 miles.