The alarm goes off at 6am and two sore and exhausted souls emerge from the tent. We have to be out early in order to hit the point crossings at low tide at 11:18am. Breakfast is not as good as dinner, it was my first attempt at powdered eggs and dehydrated ham. We didn’t eat much of the mess. We also skipped coffee for time reasons, thinking we’d hit Cannon Beach in time for a stop. Packing up took longer than we anticipated and we didn’t leave camp until almost 7:30am. Already behind, yikes. We headed down the hill moaning at the steep angle and its effect on our sore legs. 1.5 miles later we hit the Indian Beach parking lot. A little break to readjust packs, we start the 1.5 mile trail that leads between the two parking areas. Here is the first view:
This jaunt between parking lots is an incredibly steep and tortuous route and halfway through I ended up calling Ben and begging him to drive down from the cabin to pick up our packs and take them away. He obliged, to our delight. Meg (who is only recently recovering from a hard-core bout with breast cancer) was having a very low energy day and I was worried that we wouldn’t make the tides at the pace we were setting. After dropping our packs off with the support team we tried to pick up the pace. It was another couple of miles into Cannon Beach where we made the quickest cafe stop for a latte, an amazing piece of raspberry coffee cake, and the restroom. One more quick stop at the market for a loaf of bread and some goat cheese. (It was here that we realized that now had NO means of carrying things, so yes, that is a grocery bag tied to Meg’s belt loop.)
We made our way down to the beach and set off south, as brisk as our bodies would allow. Cannon Beach proper was super crowded, and with it being low tide (we were late) the tide pools at Haystack Rock were mobbed.
Looking south at the points we have to cross, at low tide.
The first major crossing went well and here I am at the start of Hug Point, grinning because I am sure we have made it in time!
Oh, I was wrong. The sound end of the point is much lower than the north. We had to jump into knee-deep water and RUN.
We got wet. (And not for the last time.)
Here I am modeling the two-fisted, two-hunked bread eating technique.
This point (which is hard to imagine as there is no scale) was where we had to climb straight up and over the rock wall. Terrifying. I think that other than the camera around my waist, my biggest concern was that I would tear the butt right out of my pants on all the barnacles. There were several more points to round that were underwater and involved climbing and/or wading. It was scary, wet and cold. The adrenaline did help us forget our other woes for a while though.
We finally emerged at the beach just north of Arch Cape, 5.5 miles from Cannon Beach. The rocks were quite difficult to walk on and we were worried that a twisted ankle was on the horizon, so we snuck up onto 101 for the last couple miles.
We got picked up at the Arch Cape Grocery store and were taken back to the family cabin in Seaside for the last night. 10.5 total miles for the day. Tomorrow the rest of the family heads home, but Ben and Jackson will join us for the hike. Our packs and Ben’s car will be shuttled to our campground, Nehalem Bay State Park, so luckily what is described at the hardest trail day will be done without packs.