Samuel Boardman Park Club Campout - May 2009
Coordinator Diane Rannow and Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

Last weekend, we camped and hiked in the Brookings area with hiking friends.

One of the many attractions in the area is Samuel Boardman Park which is a 13 mile or so strip of parkland on one of the more scenic stretches on the Oregon coastline.  Most of our friends planned a moderate hike on the Oregon Coast Trail,  from Arch Rock to Whalehead Beach while Dollie, Rheo, Susan and Richard, and myself aimed to hike the full length of the park

The Oregon Coast Trail has a tendency to traverse the bluffs several hundred feet above the ocean, descend straight to a beach, walk on the beach, and then ascend up to the bluffs.  The descents and ascents are rated as double omigawd steep. 

So, while the scenery is fantastic, the trail is grueling.  Some of the sights seen were Natural Bridges (a set of arches), China Beach, secluded Miner's Beach, Thomas Creek Bridge (the highest in Oregon),  and Indian Sands.

After Indian Sands the trail spit us out onto Whalehead Beach.  And then the "fun" began.  The OCT headed straight up the bluff and use of hands was required, the trail was so steep.  It was overgrown, too, and only by discerning where the vegetation was marginally less dense could we ascertain the path.  Once on the bluff, we went into a spruce forest where roots threatened to twist ankles with every step.  Somewhere in there, knee pain of the excruciating variety came to visit me whenever I went steeply downhill, which was often.

So when we got to House Rock at just about the 10 mile mark, we put out there and I hitched a ride to Lone Ranch where I met the Vecchios for a return shuttle back to our car.  Since Rheo put out at Whalehead Beach, the Vecchios get the Iron Boot Award for finishing the whole thing.

~ The Great One


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