Heceta Head - March 17, 2012
Coordinator Lois Soulia, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Diane Rannow

On Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012, twelve members of the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club headed for the cold, windy and rainy coast to the Heceta Head Lighthouse.   To celebrate the holiday, Lois and Jennifer provided cookies with a green or Irish theme.  The drive to the coast was beautiful with the daffodils shining through the rain and the plum trees providing bursts of white and pink blooms from hillsides and farms.  There had been 8 inches of snow the previous week and debris from that storm was visible all along the way.

At the Devil’s Elbow State Park, the twelve started out towards the historic lighthouse which is closed for repairs.   By the time the group reached the lighthouse,  it had divided into three segments; the faster long-legs, the middle group and the not –so fast sure-but-steadies.   All hiked the peninsula to the top and over the top and across Hwy. 101 to the “Valley Trail”. This particular section provides spectacular and beautiful views of the Oregon coastline.

The faster long-legs diverged from the Valley trail to take in the China Creek  Loop which added a mile to the total distance.   They went through Carl Washburne Park to the under the highway trail to the beach which was supposed to be closed but daunted no member of the club. They then went  south down  the beach to the lunch spot at the day use park across from the state park, where they joined the Sure-but-steadies who had arrived first,  not going through the park and the middle group who had braved the man who had insisted that the trail was impassible and arrived secondly.  It was enjoyable to have the whole group together for lunch which was punctuated by a short rain squall.   The group proceeded down the coast, through the Hobbit trail and back up to the lighthouse and the car park below.   Only one brave(?) soul went wading.   The fast group racked up about 9+ miles, the middle group, 7.7 miles and the “Sure-but-Steadies about 6.5.  It was a good way to celebrate the holiday.

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