This is hard to write. I’ve sat down to finish this story countless times over the last eight months and couldn’t do it. I’ve tried to sort the images that are left, tried to read the journal entries that weren’t finished. It’s heartbreaking. But I NEED to finish the story, even though it doesn’t have a happy ending. Because there was great happiness in the journey. It needs to be shared. So here goes. Day 17 of our Grand Oregon Coast Hiking Adventure. Thursday, August 12th. A million years ago.
I left off with us camping at Cape Perpetua, along side a bulldozer. We are awoken early to the sounds of the construction crew grumbling about “idiots who can’t read”. While Meg is off doing the dishes I set them straight about who exactly set us up in that site and make the Foreman and Crew Chief feel suitably bad for their rude commentary. We pack away quickly in order to evacuate the construction zone and are hoping that by detouring a bit north to the Devil’s Churn Day Use area we’d find the coffee shop open. No such luck. Back to the trail!
About 1.5 miles down the road our wooded trail ends at Neptune State Park. We use this break to brew up some coffee and have a little breakfast.
After that we head down the Highway 101 shoulder for 8 miles straight. We stop at every state and federal park along the way for little breaks. There are some hills, but they offer up great views!
How about a break on a bridge.
Around 1pm we finally make our destination: Carl G Washburn State Park. Although they don’t take reservations, and it’s a Thursday, the entire campground is stuffed to the gills, including the hiker/biker camp. We hike over to their day use area to charge our phones in the bathrooms and figure out a new plan.
We ended up desperate enough to do something new: we hitch-hiked to Jesse Honeyman State Park. I know, it’s dangerous. We watched the picnickers in the park and approached a rather safe-looking couple and asked if they were heading south. They were, and graciously let us ride in the canopy of their pickup truck. They even stuck around long enough to know we were going to get a place to stay. Unfortunately there were no “car” sites left and Ben was on his way to join us that night. We settled for a hiker/biker spot and after dropping off the dog and some supplies he parked the car in a neighborhood about a mile away.
We set up a lovely little camp and Meg made such good friends with our neighbor (who was a cyclist) that after they bonded he shared a plate of fresh veggies with noodles he had whipped up. It was great having Ben and Jackson with us and we spent the evening chatting and enjoying the fire.