The spouse and I are spending April and May on the beautiful Pacific Coast of Oregon. We are volunteering for Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Oregon is blessed to have beautiful state parks and, thanks to the "Beach Bill" passed by the legislature in 1967, the public has "free and uninterrupted use of the beaches."
Most people know that the Pacific Crest Trail, made famous in the 2014 movie "Wild" with Reese Witherspoon, runs through Oregon. Did you know that Oregon also has the Oregon Coast Trail that runs 382 miles along the Pacific Coast in Oregon.
Yesterday I walked a section of the trail. Here's the rest of the story:
While the spouse and I are at the coast, we've had our mail forwarded to the park. When we get around to it, we drive up to the ranger station to pick it up. Yesterday I decided to walk.
I asked the spouse, "Is there a trail that leads up to the ranger station?" He says, "Yeah, just go down by the hiker/biker camp and you'll see the trail. It goes right to the ranger station."
I head off for a 15 minute hike and find the hiker/biker camp easily.
I cross the little bridge over a boggy area,
and start up the trail.
The trail is heading up the hill and I chug along easily following the well-groomed trail. A few minutes later I can no longer see the camp or hear cars from the highway. I am alone in the forest.
Twenty minutes later I am wondering why I can't see the ranger station. Ten minutes after that I realize that I am exactly like those dumb people you read about in the newspaper who get lost in the wilderness. I have no cell phone, I'm dressed in short sleeves and slip-on shoes, and I have no snacks or water. I am alone in the forest. I keep walking.
The trail gets harder to see. A few times I had to make a decision about which path was the main trail. I can't hear or see any sign of civilization. The forest is beautiful...except for the spider webs strung across the trail. I begin to wonder if I'm going to have to eat grubs and worms to stay alive. I keep walking. This trail has to eventually get somewhere. After walking about an hour I can hear cars in the distance and finally the trail breaks out onto the highway. I have no idea where I am on the highway; there are no signs, but I turn left and keep the ocean on my right. After a short walk, I begin to recognize some of the scenery...it all looks different when you're whizzing by in a car!
The ranger station is about a half a mile back from where I exited the Oregon Coast Trail. I picked up the mail and asked the ranger if there was a trail to the campground.
"No" she says. "There's no trail up from the campground to here, but the Oregon Coast Trail goes to Bastendorf Campground."
When I got back to our campsite, I told the spouse that I was taking a nap for the rest of the day and I would NEVER trust his directions again!