Week two of the OCT. Florence, 204 miles and our second rest day!

Day 9 Neskowin to Lincoln City

We left Newskowin in a light drizzle that lasted all day and was sometimes heavy. Our first obstacle was finding the “unmarked” north Cascade Head Tail. After 30 minutes of hunting we finally found it behind a water tower and headed up.

Two wet, cold hikers

Trail was not bad but narrow, rocky and muddy in parts and very steep. The rain came and went all morning but sometimes was heavy and never stopped. We lost the trail twice and spent some time looking for it. Finally made it to the junction with Harts Cove Trail and things got easier.

Partial view from Cascade Head

The weather was really bad at the top of Cascade Head – raining and windy and cold but we managed to get a couple of views on the way down, enough to see it would be stunning on a clear day. Finally made it to the highway at 2:15. Seven hours of hiking with two short breaks to make 11.5 trail miles. And the rain was heavy so we decided to hitch into Lincoln City. A nice fellow stopped and took us to the casino in Lincoln city where we made a reservation at a local hotel. Camping doesn’t sound fun when you’re wet and muddy and it’s raining.

Washing water after hiking Cascade Head!

Day 10 Lincoln City to Depoe

Up and out after our free breakfast and headed to the beach. Absolutely lovely day – sunny and cool (unlike yesterday). After a 4-5 mile beach walk he hit the outlet to Siletz Bay where I hunted around for a boat ride across the bay without success.

The only boat I could find was a canoe!

So we stopped for a break and I had a short talk with a fellow whose son was hiking a section of the OCT. Then we walked up to 101 and started hiking around the bay.

After three miles or so, back on the beach at a pretty little park, Glenedden State Recreation Area, where we stopped for lunch.

Lunch!

Then a couple more beach miles. The sand here was tough for walking so we took off our shoes for a while and finally headed back to 101 a bit early through a private, do not trespass under any circumstances, condo complex. I think I am finally getting Bert into the right attitude. Then three or four miles on 101 to our little hotel (Four Winds). No grocery store in town but the convenience store was pretty good.

Lovely little beach motel

At dinner we saw whales from our bayside view! Very cool.

Day 11, Depoe Bay to Newport

The day started with a ~ 4 mile highway walk so we decided to take the bus to bypass that bit of fun. The bus dropped us off at the Otter Rock viewpoint.

Waiting for our bus.
View from Otter Rock

Walked a couple miles to the Devils Punch Bowl where I stashed my pack while we walked out to the viewpoint.

Devil’s Punchbowl (a collapsed sea cave).

Bert thinks someone saw me and stole my Marmot rain jacket (and Zpacks hat!) here. In any case I did not have them when we arrived at camp. Darn! Loved that hat.

Nice walk down the beach (3 miles or so) then out to the highway. Saw some vultures snacking on what appeared to be a deceased seal… yum!

Morning snack on the beach.

Stopped for a break and snack (not seal). Then 2 miles on the highway over Yaquina Head and then back to the beach.

Looking north at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Stopped for lunch after 10 miles or so. Then up and over the Newport Bridge (VERY scary) and a couple miles to the South Beach State Park campground.

The Newport Bridge. Yes, we walked over that thing!
Us on the bridge

After discovering my lost rain jacket we took quick showers then hiked to the Rogue Brew Pub where we called a cab for a round trip to the local sorting goods store. New jacket and hat in hand we went back to the pub for beers and dinner!

Yes!

Day 12, Newport to Waldport

Day started with a beach walk – in fact nearly all the day was on the beach. We walked about 4 miles to our first break (picnic bench!).

Another day on the beach!

Walked another 4 miles or so to our second break as we left the beach for 101 at Seal Rock State Park. Had to pull out our guide to figure how to get off the beach (“a small trail in a ravine”).

Hiker at Seal Rock

Things were OK til we got to a “shortcut”. Ended up climbing a near-vertical sand face to a private house. Guy came out and we said we were lost hikers – he gave us directions to 101 so we didn’t have to backtrack. Then a short mile over the big bridge into Waldport (yes another big bridge!).

Another scary bridge crossing – this one was better.
Made a friend on the bridge.

At the hotel at 1:30 – too early so we went next door for a beer then walked to Big Ray’s Food Store to stock up for the coming two camping days.

Day 13, Waldport to Cape Perpetua

Had our free continental breakfast (nice blueberry muffin) before heading to onto highway 101 for a half mile or so before working our way down to the beach.

Waiting for lunch to wash up on the beach.
Nice spot for a rest.

After shrimp sandwiches and beer (or wine) in Yachats we headed back to 101 to cross over the Yachats River and the start of a short trail section.

Lunch in Yachats

The trail followed 101 for a while before heading inland and a big (1100’ or so) climb up to Cape Perpetua lookout.

Working on my Highway 101 hiking form

Unfortunately the Cape was completely socked in so we did not see anything.

No views today!
Camping next to a lovely creek in Cape Perpetua campground.
Someone brought the vodka!

Day 14, Cape Perpetua to Washburne SP

Short easy day (~10 miles) with some pretty scary highway sections. Rained during the night so the tent was soaked the morning. Hiked the OCT straight from the campground for a couple of trail miles before hitting …. 101! Then what was supposed to be a short two miles before returning to the beach turned into three miles because we could not get to the beach.

On 101 most of today! Why is that woman smiling?

The guide says “squeeze between the houses” but there were just fences, dogs and no trespassing signs everywhere we looked. Tried walking through Sea Perch RV Park but the manager accosted us before we could get to the beach and kicked us back onto 101 for 2.5 VERY harrowing miles (no shoulders in a many places) before finding a rough trail back to the beach.

Lunch at Stonefield Beach
Hiker working hard at drying out our tent at Washburne State Park

Arrived at the hiker/biker campsite by noon so a very short day but Bert was having serious blister issues so a short day was okay.

Day 15, Washburne SP to Florence (Rest Day!)

Very excited – today got us to Florence and our second rest day. I modified the route a bit to hit Florence a couple miles north on 101 and a Fred Meyers so we could resupply.

We’ve seen 17 of these guys. Bert is counting

The day started sunny and cool with a 3 mile climb up to the Heceta Head lighthouse.

Heceta Head lighthouse and view looking south.

Then…. the tunnel. The feared tunnel. Spent 10 minutes or so trying to hitch a ride – even talked to one guy – but no luck. There is absolutely NO shoulder but it’s only about 100 yards long and we were early (~8 AM) so traffic was light. Bert suggested we jog it so….. off we went!

Happy post-tunnel hiker. Note the narrow shoulder. There was NO shoulder in the tunnel.

Then another couple of miles on the highway to the Sea Lion Caves where we stopped for a visit.

Sea Lions!

Then a couple more miles on the highway (with very little shoulder!) to where we could access the beach (Baker Beach).

Baker Beach

Did a couple miles then stopped for a quick lunch.

Nice spot for a break.

Then more beach and finally the road across to 101 and Fred Meyers! Did our shopping then caught the bus the 2.5 miles or so into Old Town Florence, our hotel and….Martini Night! And laundry!

Florence!

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