Our day begins with the lovely realization that it has rained overnight and we get to put on wet wool socks and wet underwear. Great start. We decide to just have coffee and pick up a real breakfast when we hit Garibaldi, 2 miles down the road.
Part of the walk is done along the train tracks (which are only used for a little tourist train anymore), which brings to mind the movie Stand By Me. Nothing like a little adrenaline to start your long day.
Our first stop is at a little market, where we get some Aleve and snickers and inquire about a good place to eat. The cashier recommends Dairy Queen, but luckily another customer steers us to the Parkside Cafe. Here we tuck into an excellent roast turkey sandwich and iced chai tea. Happy! A little phone charging also happens.
Then down to the marina for another boat hitching attempt. After just a little wait, a great local couple and their friend are heading out to go crabbing and happily welcome us aboard. We all have a great time chatting as we motor across Tillamook Bay to Crab Harbor on the spit.
The tide is a little low, so our amazing captain actually piggybacks us from the boat to dry land! These guys were so awesome.
Now to tackle the Bayocean Spit. We decide to start on the bay side, as there is an old gravel road to follow and some great views.
After a couple miles, we cross over to the ocean. For the first time on the trip we see some blue sky! So beautiful.
Heading towards Cape Meares. Loving the sky, but we do have to stop and smear on sunscreen.
We pass through the little community of Cape Meares and begin the trail up and over the wooded cape. A little break for a snickers bar. It’s been a long day already.
Here’s where the story gets scary, and I didn’t take any photos. We have a guidebook and state published maps that have served us well up to this point. At the top of Cape Meares, however, the trail signage leads a certain way. We think it’s mostly following our map, but as we descend further, the trail is getting more and more faint. There are still random markers, so we press on. Once we entered the bog at the top of the bluff, we knew things weren’t right. Following the faint trails for so long, we were not able to re-find the main trail. Decision time. We know where the ocean is (down the huge cliff) so we know where north is. After a couple hours of adrenaline-fueled bush-wacking around, following old game trails, trying to stay out of the bog, convincing Meg that attempting to “drop” down onto the beach from the cliff is too dangerous, and generally trying not to panic we stumble onto the highest houses of Cape Meares. Beat down and trembling we make our way down the series of gravel driveways, happy to be un-lost, but not happy that we are exactly where we began hours ago. Our promised motel room is at least 6 miles away on the OTHER side of the cape. We pass some residents and they take one look at us and insist that we accept a ride to our motel in Netarts. We accept without much fight.
It turns out that our kind driver has been lobbying the state to remove the trail markers, as the trail itself has sunk into the bog. We also learned that every year hikers have to be pulled out of the QUICKSAND in the bog! I like to think that our level-headedness as well as a big dose of luck is what kept us safe and eventually let us back into civilization.
After checking into our room, we walked down the The Schooner for a hearty supper and a beer then spent the evening vegging out in front of the Food Network.