July 1, 2003

The Coon Family Hiking Club
Official Hike #9

9.0 miles - 3 hours 34 minutes

We set off on our Lincoln City Shoreline hike around 9:00 AM. As it turned out, this was our longest of the official hikes so far! The tide was out, and so the beach was a broad walking trail, with plenty of damp firm sand to walk on.

Since we would be walking on terrain that was quite different than we had on our previous hikes, we decided to wear different footgear. For myself, I pulled my old jungle boots from the back of the van. I had purchased them from a Navy uniform shop on Diego Garcia back in 1975. If you looked at them, you wouldn't believe that they are 28 years old. They are in great shape still, because I have only used them for hiking on rare occasions. The reason I wanted to use them on this hike is that the tops are quite tall, and would keep the sand out. That part worked very well on the hike. No sand at all got into my boots during the hike. However there was a downside to these boots. The heal area was very hard, and by the end of the walk, especially after we had left the beach to walk a few miles on concrete, I had worked up a pretty good blister on the bottom of my right foot. Another feature of the boots is that they have little air holes near the sole, that allow your feet to "breathe." This helps them to dry out if they should become wet for any reason. It also lets in sea water, if it is allowed to get up to the holes. I unfortunately demonstrated that fact on my right boot, when we were crossing a little stream that crossed our path before emptying into the ocean.

Dotti took a completely different approach. She decided to wear sandals. When she got down to the beach, she changed her mind and decided to go barefooted on the sand. This worked out very well for her, and for the first part of the trip, her feet were in good shape. However, when we exited the beach and made the return trip via the Lincoln City street system, she wore her sandals, which ended up rubbing a pretty good blister into the side of her foot.

So, we both had sore feet at the end of the walk. However, I must mention that we still got dressed for dinner that evening, and walked to a restaurant up the street from our motel.

This picture was taken from the balcony of our motel room. You can see there is lots of beach sand heading off to the south, which is the direction that we were getting ready to go.

Beyond the shadow being cast by our motel, you can see some rocks that are a good indicator of where the tide is at. When the tide is way in, the rocks nearly disappear. When the tide is out, they are all out of the water. We started our walk with the tide being quite low.

Dotti took this picture of me as we were getting set to start out on our hike. Notice that the sun is shining brightly. We had mostly sunshine nearly the whole time we were at Lincoln City. (Well, okay at night it got dark. ) In spite of the bright sunlight, it was still nice and cool. We kept our coats on for nearly the entire beach portion of our walk. It never got really hot during our visit, and we were able to enjoy a fire in the fireplace each night!

In order to get to the beach from our motel we had to go down the stairs that are rising up to the left from my lovely Dotti. The road empties out directly onto the sand, and there is a section of the beach where parking is allowed. One guy had a tent set up next to his car, and had obviously spent the night there.

Here I am with my backpack on my back and my camera in my hand. As you can see, we didn't use our walking sticks this time out. The rocks that you saw in the second picture above are now stretching from directly behind me to out of the picture to the right. Also, behind me in this picture are a couple of vehicles. The truck on the right has managed to get his rear wheels dug in nicely to the sand. The truck on the left is giving him some assistance.

The backpack varies in weight as we do our walks. We take off our coats and stow them there, remove our cameras or put them back. (When I got back to the motel, I weighed the backpack and found that it weighed 15.5 pounds. My boots weighed another 4.5 pounds. I, together with all that I was carrying, weighed 206 pounds as I walked in from the hike.) The sky is a beautiful blue, and remained that way throughout the walk, in spite of the layer of clouds that you can just see out on the horizon, which happily kept their distance.

Looking eastward back at our motel. Our room was on the very end on the left on the second floor. The sign in the foreground marks the northernmost limit of the area of the beach where cars can be. Beyond that it is foot traffic only. You can see the final remains of the morning marine clouds that are in the process of being burned off.

Since Dotti got her camera, it has been a new experience for me; having more than a couple of pictures of myself in our photo collections. Dotti is really beginning to enjoy her camera and she has been snapping a few pictures of yours truly.

We have made it over to the rocks mentioned above, and are walking on ground that will be underwater by the time we made it back at the end of our walk. Dotti has decided that she is not going to wear her sandals on the sand. So, she is cleaning them off, readying them for stowage in the backpack, by slamming them against the barnacle incrusted rock, and she appears to be enjoying the process. Off in the distance you can see that the rocks extend quite a ways towards the west, and are dry at this point in time.

One of the things that I enjoyed looking at was the temporary water features created by the tidal changes. The water would come is as the moon's position changed relative to the surface of the earth, filling up and/or submersing hollows, trenches, rocks and sand. Then, as the cycle continued its endless procession, the water retreated, leaving behind miniature lakes, emptying along temporary miniature rivers, heading back to the sea. The rocky islands formed by the tops of the nearly submerged boulders, became a tiny mountain range, and formed small scale valleys, as the water receded into low tide conditions. Two times a day the water comes in, and two times a day it goes back out, and these rocks go from a land formation to a sea bottom or vice versa with each change.

Here I am doing a little "mountain" climbing. At the foot of the "mountain" you can see a temporary lake stands behind me, and a temporary river flows back around the rock standing alone just this side of the breakers.

This is the same rock you saw in the background of the last picture. This lake has a tiny island poking up into the air, however, like an iceberg, you can see that most of that island lies underwater. This lake has an outlet, running water towards the west, running around the small rock standing in its path.

The vehicles are moving into the distance. You can see that the stuck truck is still being worked on. Fortunately, the other truck had a winch mounted on it, and that was being put to use when we walked by. Later, when we got back from our hike, they were gone, so I am sure the rescue was a success.

Here is a picture of what I consider to be the most beautiful lady on earth. Her smile dazzles me every time I see it. We are only a couple of months from the 29th anniversary of our first meeting, which only preceded the date of our engagement by a few weeks. After all these years, I can only say that I am incredibly lucky to have met this woman!

This was taken about the time that I got my right boot wet on the inside, from crossing the path of stream. The water spread out in its path as it neared the sea. Up the beach just a few yards, the water was deep and far too wide to think about trying to cross without getting very wet. Here, I thought I had a chance to pick a path that would keep my boot uppers dry. I almost made it. The mountain in the background is a good landmark to judge distance on the walk. The shape of the mountain kind of reminds me of a mountain we had outside of Barstow, California named Elephant Mountain. This one, like that one, looks like the back of an animal whose lower body is buried in the ground. Our motel has receded off into the distance.

Here Dotti is getting set to take a picture. Our trail lies wide and long in the background.

Later on I had wandered down closer to the water and looking back I could see Dotti with her camera poised to take a picture of me. Behind her the rolling hill holds the buildings aloft. All along our walk, we saw the buildings running from right down near the beach, to way up in the air. We later got to experience that rolling action as we walked back on the road that follows the vertical oscillations of the hills. In the foreground you can see how the moisture level of the sand becomes drier as it moves from where I am to where Dotti is. It was much easier walking on the slightly damp sand than it was on the completely dry sand. We sometimes would walk on the dry sand for a while, but we always found our way back to the firmer sand nearer to the water.

There are 5 pictures in this collage. The first one shows the look that Dotti had on her face when she stepped into the water for the first time. Can you say, "Cold!"? Moving to the right you see her feet in the water which doesn't reach her ankles. Moving downward and to the left, you can that the cold water is getting her attention. To the right of that you can see that her right ankle is covered and the left one is only half exposed to air. You can also see that behind her there is a wave sneaking up on her. Moving all the way over to the right you can see Dotti scrambling to get clear of the wave, but she didn't make it. Her pants got wet for a few inches up from the cuff.

The beautiful blue sky is reflected nicely by the sea water here, contrasting nicely with the white of the breakers.

As we were walking, we came upon a seagull that looked like he was going to just let us come right up to him. All at once he changed his mind and took to the air.

In the background is a building that has a lighthouse painted on the wall facing us. In the coastal towns of Oregon there are a lot of buildings with paintings on their exterior walls. Some of them are quite good. In the foreground is a strip of beach that has been cut by water, creating an interesting pattern of sand and puddles.

Dotti, exploring the puddles, seems to have found some warmer water this time. (Either that or her feet are totally numb now.)

Dotti, you are having entirely too much fun!

There is quite a number of seagulls congregating here where a stream enters the Pacific Ocean.

Dotti is here looking inland, where the buildings are lifted out of sight along this portion of the beach, as the tracks of various walkers and joggers mark the smooth surface of the beach.

One of the features of the Oregon coastline is the frequent appearance of volcanic rocks, breaking up the otherwise uniformly sandy beach. Here is yet another example.

Up on the hill overlooking the beach we could see a number of buildings.

The rocks here are covered with barnacles, and surrounded by sea plants. Water is cutting its way through the sand heading down to the ocean, where it will later be lifted up once again to cover this area of the beach.

A close up of one of the plant covered rocks.

Here Dotti's shadow is falling over a shell we found on the beach.

This appears to be a canyon where the water can return to the sea.

Another close up of one of sea plants growing on the rocks.

You can see the rolling nature of the hillside that tracks along the beach. At the left of the picture there are buildings right down on the sand, while moving just a short distance to the south the buildings are driven up into the air by the hill.

Looking north back up the beach to the "elephant" mountain. Our motel has completely faded from view.

As we walked along, we saw off in the distance a rock that was pointed towards the sky, and on it was what appeared to be a tree standing on its summit. When we had gotten a bit closer we realized that it was a man standing on top of the rock. By the time we got here the man and his children were heading out. The pointed rock was behind me in this picture.

The rocks are covered with hundreds of shelled creatures. The shells were about 2 and a half inches in length, and about an inch wide. When you stepped on them, there was some give to the structure, as if they were held together with a rubber like adhesive.

Naturally, having seen that it could be done... Is that sky blue or what?

Dotti took this picture of the star fish and other sea creatures that had been left high and dry by the tide's motion.

Here we are at the five mile point, and the end of the beach portion of our walk. Where the flag is waving in the background the road comes down to meet the beach and we exited at that point. We have just shed our coats, because we have finally warmed up enough to no longer need them. It is amazing the size of some of the pieces of driftwood that we saw. One tree we passed lying on the shore was nearly intact. Here you can see an assortment of various sizes.

With beautiful blue water and sky behind her, surround by sand, and flashing a beautiful smile, Dotti is also enjoying being free of her coat. We have completed 5 miles, but we still have a ways to go.

Driftwood is thick here as you can see. Off in the distance is a pier with stairs leading down to the beach.

We had come nearly as far as we could along the beach without going up onto the road to use a bridge to cross the large stream entering the ocean. So, it made a good point to turn around and start heading back.

As we left the beach, this shot is looking back at the ocean, the driftwood, the path leading out, and the signs with rules and warnings for those using the beach. From this point on we would be walking the streets of Lincoln City to get back to our motel

Here I am getting things organized in my backpack. At this point I could already tell that my boots would be giving me trouble on the hard walking surface. On the beach it hadn't been too bad, because the sand gave some cushion to each step. But now my heal was going to get the full brunt of the hardness of the boot. (For future hikes with these boots, I will need to get a nice soft insert.) Our coats are safely put away in the backpack, and all is ready to head back. There is a sculpture of a school of fish behind me in this picnic area.

Looking to the left of the last picture, just about due east, you can see where we would be heading back to the main highway: Route 101. To the right were some bathrooms, which after 5 miles of walking, we were happy to discover.

I caught Dotti putting her sandals back on. She had picked up a small rock or sticker in her foot and she was removing that before putting on her other sandal. She is still smiling even though we had already come 5 miles.

Note: Unfortunately, my camera did not have a good charge on it and so I could not shoot pictures on the way back. (I am not sure why, but I believe it was because the socket in the motel room that I had it plugged into turned out to be a "switched" socket, and when the light switch was turned off, so was the juice to that socket.) Also Dotti's battery was running low. So, what we did was to put the cameras away in the backpack, and walk back to the motel. Then we hopped into the car and drove back to take some pictures to show our walking route.

In preperation for that, once we got to the room, I charged my camera while we ate lunch. Then, for in the car, I have an inverter that produces 110 volts AC, and I used that to keep charging the camera as we went along, to make sure it didn't run out again. You will see that the pictures of the route back are taken from the road, driving in the northbound lane, even though on the hike we were actually walking northbound to the left of the southbound lane.

I doubt that very many people would have ever found that little picnic area if it were not for this sign painted on the side of a building that jutted out into the road. Taken from the car, in spite of the telephone pole, you can see the hand pointing west and the note letting you know what is there. If "life's a beach," then this is the way to it.

This shot is taken looking back south towards the place from which that last picture was taken. The hand sign was located around the corner, and not visible from here. In case you were wondering, I really did not drive the car to this position. Dotti had discovered an antique shop and we stopped for that. So, when I had seen what the shop had to offer, I grabbed my camera and went back out to the road to snap a couple of pictures.

Looking north from the same spot. You can see the antique shop, and the continuing hill that we were greeted with when we got out onto the street to continue our hike. It seemed like the entire return trip was uphill. Walking in the sand is harder than walking on solid ground, but walking uphill definitely tired us out more.

On this side of the road, as we continued up the hill, the sidewalk had completely disappeared already. On the other side, where we did our hike, it still is continuing. Lincoln City is a segmented town. There are groupings of stores and motels, and then stretches without anything; then another grouping. This arrangement made it a bit tough to find a good walking trail for our hike at times.

After quite a walk, we are finally reaching the top of the first hill. The hotel here is called Inn At Spanish Head, and though I did not get a picture of it from the beach as we passed, I do recall that it was very tall. It had many stories of rooms that ascended from the beach up to the road level, with a long series of stairs to get down to the beach from the top. Most of the hotel had its east wall built right into the side of the hill. As we passed this point on the beach, I was worried that we might have to use a set of stairs like that when we reached our turn around point, and my legs were already telling me that I did not want to do that. Of course, after walking up this long hill, I'm not sure that the stairs would have been any worse. Up ahead, just beyond the distant sign, is a place where we could park the car at the top of the hill, and so we did. We took a few pictures of the view that we had during our hike back.

I thought this standing piece of "drift wood" made an interesting frame for the breakers below.

Looking down at the breakers. It doesn't look like they are that far away, or that we are all that high up until you look at the man who is walking where we were earlier. He looks like an insect walking on the picture.

Moving our point of focus to the south of the last picture, catching the edge of the upper floor of the hotel.

As you can see, the hotel's upper floor, is off the ground by one story, but it still lies below where we are standing, which is at the entrance of the driveway for the hotel. In order to get to the hotel you must drive down, and then the beach lies a long ways down from that. Stretching off to the south the beach continues.

We finally saw some downhill terrain. Unfortunately, we lost the sidewalk, just before we reached the Inn At Spanish Head, and for the next mile or two we were forced to walk in the bicycle lane that you can see painted along the edge of the highway.

Off to the left you can see a guy walking on the same path we had walked on. There were a number of places where corners made visibility fall off to zero, and some of the drivers were a little careless about staying in their lane. Whenever we came up to a corner, I always made sure I had my arms swinging out as I walked, so that oncoming traffic could see that there were people just around the corner.

Downhill is nice, except that with our sore feet, and tired legs, it actually made it more uncomfortable. We were wondering just a bit at this point if we hadn't taken on more of a walk than we were ready for. Off to the right is Roberts Book Shop, my favorite Lincoln City book store. (There is a small theater, this side of the bookstore, called Theater West, where it appears that small productions are done.) This bookstore has a huge selection of used books on almost any topic you can think of. There are rooms and rooms of nicely organized shelves. If we come to Lincoln City, we always stop there.

The downhill didn't last long before we were headed back up again. Was I complaining about the downhill? I wanted it back at this point.

Well, we finally had our sidewalk back for the rest of the hike. Dodging traffic was getting old. Fortunately the way it worked out, we were able to get through all the side street intersections without having to stop and wait for lights.

Heading down this hill made us feel like the light was at the end of the tunnel. Off in the distance is a landmark that we recognized: Sea Gypsy restaurant. Just this side of the Sea Gypsy, there is a parking lot for people who are accessing the beach . As it happened, I had clocked the drive from the Sea Gypsy to our motel the previous day, and so we knew it was 0.8 miles to go once reached that spot.

There is a string of little shops on the left that we have stopped at many times in the past, but we didn't do any stopping to shop on this hike. In fact, when we got to this point on the hike, we feared that if we did stop, we would not be able to get going again. My feet were in a lot of pain about now, and I was just interested in getting back to the motel and getting my nice soft tennis shoes on.

Finally, the street we were looking for! We had originally come out on to the road on south 51st St. At the parking lot near the Sea Gypsy was the north-south dividing line, where 1st St. was located. We then had to walk up to north 16th St., in order to turn left and reach our motel. (The light ahead in this picture marks 17th St., which is where we turned in the car, because trying to cut that traffic without a light was not something I wanted to deal with.) If you look to the left, and up into the mess of wires in the air, you will see the tallest sign, with orange, blue and green on a white background, that has a flag in front of it. This marks Maxwell's At the Sea where Dotti and I walked to later that evening for dinner.

Looking down the street towards our destination: Coho Inn.

What a beautiful sight this was when we got here! Our return path had only been 4 miles long, because the road cut a much straighter path than the winding beachline had, but that 4 miles took more of a toll on us than the 5 miles along the beach had, because of the hard surface and especially because of the hills.

Back in the room, this one was actually taken right at the end of our walk before we headed out in the car to take the pictures of our route. Notice how the rocks, where we were walking at the start of our hike, are all either surrounded by, or submersed in the rising sea. The white breakers are contrasted beautifully by the blue of the sky and sea.

A close up of the now wet rocks.

One last shot of the "elephant" mountain, as viewed from our room. We were very lucky to have had such super weather for our entire stay at Lincoln City. The sky was nearly always blue, which made the water, breakers, sand and even sea grass look even more beautiful than they always are anyway. The white clouds in the distance merely add a nice contrast, and mark the end of long buy very enjoyable hike.