Bandon Beach to New River - February 27, 2016
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

Spring is coming and six hikers made the journey to enjoy a beach walk on a brisk spring day. The day was half overcast and half sunny and I got my first sunburn of the year.


We started at the Face Rock overlook and immediately below on the beach was an elaborate maze, looking all the world like an sandy crop circle. Nearby, the artist was holding court, talking about lay lines and sacred places while beachgoers wandered the maze. We had walked not even a quarter-mile and already the hike had gotten off to a magical start.


The tide was way low and we had acres of beach to walk on but nonetheless boots got wet as we had to ford creeks Johnson, Crooked, and China. Feet were wet comically when we walked around a large rock island stranded on the beach. We chose the seaward side of the rock and as we did so, an unexpected and fast moving sneaker wave rolled in. Hikers made a mad dash for higher ground on the large rocky island only to find there was no high ground and pinned against the island, we could only stand there as the wave came up to our knees. That was rude!


We did have to contend with one other sneaker wave on the way to the New River, it chased us up the beach and onto a pile of driftwood. Progress south after 4 miles was blocked by the fast moving New River. There was another hiker there and he turned out to be our friend Don from the South Coast Striders hiking club. After lunch and a lollygag, we headed back north to our cars.


The story about the return trip was all about the incoming tide.  No more low tide for us, the tide did not give us a lot of beach to work with and several more mad dashes to higher ground were executed. The high tide also erased the maze on the beach.


 

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