Dellenback Dunes - Ides of March! - March 15, 2014
Coordinator John Malone, narration by Lois Soulia, and pictures by Kevin Bernhardt and Richard O'Neill.

On March 15, the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking club, including two newbies, met to hike the Dellenback Dunes over on the coast. The group divided up into three cars with 4 passengers and one car with a driver and Talon. As the convoy headed west, the skies were streaked pearly gray with cirrus clouds and some sunbreaks, forecasting a lovely day on the coast which it was! No rain, yea; if it had been sunny it would have been too warm. Richard reminded the group to heed the speed limit citing one member’s misfortune on the same route. Luckily no one got busted. Unlike for Caesar, the Ides of March were not a bad portent for hikers.

They started out together, climbing up the trail to the first huge fore dune which had changed considerably since the last visit with peaks and valleys and sculpted sand formations showing the direction of nature’s sculptors, the winter winds. At the top of the fore dune, John led the faster hikers off to the south and Ten Mile Creek. Three other hikers stayed on the dune, enjoying the panoramic views until they dropped down to the trail which leads though the deflation plain and the impenetrable forested marsh to the ocean. The three returned via the same route for about a 4.8 mile hike.

John’s group found that nature had again changed the scenery, wiping out the beach and leaving a precipitous cliff to look over Tenmile Creek’s joining with the sea. They hiked down to the ocean’s edge and then followed the beach to the trail leading through the shore pine forest and the deflation plain back over the dunes to the trailhead, about an eight mile hike. The people who built the plank bridges along the trail to the ocean have to be appreciated for their hard work which allowed the hikers to mostly avoid the pools of murky brackish water covering the trail in some places.

John is to be commended for stepping up to coordinate the hike which he did in very fine style.

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