Blacklock Point - January 10, 2009
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill
Without belaboring the fact, the weather has not been conducive to good hiking for the last month or so. So you can imagine how overjoyed we all were when there was nary a cloud in the sky on Saturday. Not uncoincidentally, turnout was high for a club hike, there were 21 of us; it was time to dispel some of that sesonal weather affective disorder (or SWAD, for short) that was beginning to affect us all.
The first part of the hike was through coastal woods. The sunny spots were just right but the shaded parts were still icy and we went from "brrrr" to "aaaah" as we hiked along. The trail is an abandoned road and large puddles forced us to detour here and there.
After a mile and a half, the trail spit us out onto Blacklock Point and we had spectacular views south to the Sixes River, Castle Rock, and Cape Blanco. The point jutted out into the ocean, culminating in a chain of rock islands. It was a mild scramble to a rocky overlook where some of us ate lunch. Others ate on the point while a third group went down to a rocky beach below.
Then there were 14. 7 stayed on the beach for some exploring, while the rest of us continued north on the Oregon Coast Trail. We did some bushwhacking to a couple of barren overlooks on the cliffs. The view north was stunning as the cliffs continued on, temple-like, for several miles. We could actually see the rocks at Bandon Beach, some 20 miles or so, further north.
Then there were 11. Dollie, Carol, and Richard S lagged behind and radioed us as they were not sure about a trail junction. Then there were 8 as Jane, Beverly, and Nancy went back to aid them and they would continue back to the trailhead. After several miles of hiking in the coastal spruce atop the bluffs, the trail eventually dropped into a creek canyon and spit us out on the beach. The waves were spectacular and a sneaker caught a couple of us too close to the shore and feet got wet. And always the rust colored cliffs on the left hand side.
Where the cliffs petered out, some of us took the Oregon Coast Trail to Floras Lake and waited for the others to complete their bushwhack to the same spot. At this point, we seperated as several hikers were tired and they continued on to Floras Lake where we would pick them up after returning to the trailhead. And so now there were 3.
Chris, Ray, and I took the old road through the woods. There were large puddles and the woods were too thick to whack easily through, so we simply waded through. The road then spit is out on the nearly mile-long runway of Cape Arago International Airport. Good thing no planes either took off or landed while we were there.
Meanwhile, Dollie's party never saw Jane because they had taken a cutoff to the road we returned on. Figuring it was the wrong way, they returned to beach and then returned to the trailhead via the Coast Trail so they also got around 9 miles in, arriving about 20 minutes after we did. So then there were 6, or maybe 3 with an asterisk.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club