Old growth, so much to see -- Saturday, 8/22/15
We can hear the pounding surf from our campsite in Carl Washburne St Pk, although at times it sounds more like a continuous white noise, both of which are appealing. Saturday dawned clear and sunny, and our choice this morning was another beach walk, this time via the northern path. I don't think the temperature had reached 60 by the time we left Tergel, so we both donned overshirts. When the north wind hit us in the face at the beach's sand boundary and blew right through our shirts (I was in shorts, for heaven's sake!), we didn't last long. It was fun to trample the budding dunes, but my knees (and ears) were freezing, so we turned back to Tergel.
After lunch, we wanted to explore the park's China Creek (meadow) trail loop, which begins in the campground. Eventually the trail connects to Heceta Head lighthouse, but we wouldn't go that far; besides a sign at the entrance said a bridge was out, and anyway, You Couldn't Get There From Here. Okay.
We did a loop-de-loop, ultimately wandering through a majestic old-growth and luscious green forest of spruce and fir and wondrous ferns. Did we think the trail would be level? As soon as we stepped on the path, we started up, but gently, and happily we were always within the sound of ocean waves.
Initially we walked past dense Salal and scrub, into a warm, sweet-smelling meadow, redolent of late summer blossoms, before reaching the forest. A bench was thoughtfully placed next to China Creek, to rest or sit and listen to the quiet.
Walking on this narrow spongy path was like stepping across our bed's memory foam. Very nice! On the upper part of the trail, we viewed some humongous spruce trees, prize winners!
Fuzzy green lichen or moss covered every surface.
How many shades of green are in the big Crayola box? We saw each one here. How many kinds of fern exist in a rain-type forest? We saw many. We didn't see flowers at this time of year, but I bet spring would bring out some real beauties, and even more greens, if that's possible!
Skunk cabbage mixed with fern dominated a tiny creek. (no smell)
So, here's the bridge. If this bridge is hazardous, I'm your Great Aunt Harriet. The sign reads the same on both sides. One of us, me or Jimmy, is on the wrong side, never mind who, but I'll tell you that climbing over the barrier wasn't easy. This leads to the Hobbit trail and the lighthouse. We turned around. Guess we put on about four miles, but everything said 1/2 mile to here and here and here, so it was too much trouble to figure it out exactly. By the way, for you fitbit aficionados (nuts), I recorded my own steps because my fitbit couldn't sync to my computer (no Internet). Thurs: 15,012/6.17 mile; Fri: 11,591/4.76 mile; Sat: 15,119/6.21 mile ... not bad, huh?
Sunday morning we'll continue north, maybe stop a few miles up Hwy 101 at Newport, a town we enjoy visiting. BTW, I wanted to mention that Oregon campgrounds have a burn ban on "all recreational fires and briquette BBQ's" until further notice due to extreme fire danger. Hence, not only have we escaped the inland smoke, but we've appreciated no smoking campfires, either. So sad that the parched west is on fire. Well, we've enjoyed our time at good ol' Carl Washburne's park.