Bullards Beach - March 3, 2012
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

Last October I enjoyed the hike on Bullards Beach so much that I brought the hiking club back for an encore (for me, anyway).

The weather has been iffy lately but the weather god gave us a fantastic spring day amidst all the snow and rain.  The sun was out, the temperature was mild, and the wind was much less boisterous than what I have experienced out here on the coast.  I even wore shorts and Lois said the club just followed the blinding white of my legs.

From the historic Coquille River Lighthouse, we ambled up the Coquille River.  There is no trail but the tide was out and we had plenty of muddy riverbank to walk on.  At the mud flats, Rheo tempted fate and walked out onto the flats.  Surprisingly, the mud flats were more solid than the banks.  There were several creek crossings and at one muddy spot someone had laid out a plank "bridge" which required a muddy walk to the plank and a muddy walk off the plank.  I'm not sure what the point was .

After a couple of miles, we crossed the park road and said goodbye to the Coquille, taking a paved path to the Bullards Beach campground.  B loop was closed so we had no problem appropriating a campground for a lunch while basking in the sun. 

So far, it had been an easy level walk, the very antithesis of a Richard Hike.  That would change.  Taking a trail up and over a wooded dune, the path crossed a long grassy swale.  Upon closer inspection, the grassy swale was actually a waterlogged marsh that was knee deep (waist deep to Lois, we're even for the white-leg comment now) in cold brown water.  The group stopped and began dithering like a congressional committee, accomplishing nothing in the process.  Time to take matters into my own hands.  I simply walked into the water and continued on.  I could sense the dismay emanating from my cohorts as all conversation stopped.  It wound up being about a half-mile wade, great fun for all!

Once out of the marsh, boots were relaced up and a sandy track spit us out onto the beach.  Most of us went back along the beach, returning to the jetty, lighthouse, and river for a 7 miler while Bill, Jennifer, Merle, and John hiked north on the beach for a 10'ish mile hike.  A nice hike on a suberb day, the sun helping to dry boots that were subjected to the moist rigors  of a Richard Hike.

The Wading One


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