Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hiking near Harris Beach State Park and Eureka, CA

Yesterday we woke up to lots of rain. About 10 a.m. the rain slowed and we saw, as Jim calls them, "blue clouds." So we took our first walk of the day on a park trail called Rock Beach.

In the afternoon we hiked three miles of the Oregon Coast Trail.  The entire trail runs 425 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River at the northwest border of Oregon to the California border.

Then last night we did a couple of miles around the campground including a walk to the campground picnic area for a view of the sunset.  I didn't take my camera on that last walk, but photos and captions of the day's two earlier hikes are below.

This morning we took off for Eureka, CA.  We followed US 101 the entire way here and drove through farm lands, by beautiful ocean bays, and stands of redwoods.  I'm not a fan of the increasing traffic, but the northern California coast is beautiful.

Tonight we met up with Yakima friends Pat and Cindy who just happened to be staying in Eureka for one night on their way to visit their son and daughter-in-law in San Francisco.

Hike Number One
The Rock Beach trail took us to the ocean at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, OR.
The trail was short but tougher than we thought it would be.  Here Cooper hesitates before going down a big step.  We later realized that about a quarter of a mile away was a boardwalk leading to the same beach.
Starfish at Harris Beach. If you click on the photo you can see that there are five starfish here (three maroon/purple ones and two orange ones).  I was trying to get closer but the ocean kept sweeping up between me and the starfish (also called sea stars.) 
Several people were boogie boarding in wet suits the morning we walked to the beach.
And this guy was standing in the very cold water, waiting for a wave to crash over him.  We watched for while, waiting for him to get knocked on his behind (which we were sure would happen) but he stayed upright and shirtless in the extremely cold water.
Bird/Goat Island off Harris Beach.  You can see the "blue clouds" on the right and a storm coming in on the left. We've had lots of rain on our journey down the Pacific coastline, but also at least one sunny day at each location.

Hike Number Two
We started our very short Oregon Coast Trail hike at House Rock Viewpoint in the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor.  Boardman was the first superintendent of Oregon State Parks.  There was a memorial to him a few yards away from where I took this pic. 
The only wildlife we saw while on our afternoon hike: a five-inch-long banana slug Jim spotted on a tree.
Jim on the deeply wooded section of the Oregon Coast Trail trailed we hiked on yesterday.  

A moss-covered Sitka spruce on the Oregon Coast Trail.  I told Jim I'd like to hike a longer section of it, if we could plan it so we could spend our nights at motels. Seriously.

Meanwhile, in Eureka, California
And tonight we watched a 49ers-Rams game with friends Cindy and Pat from Yakima at the Eureka, CA Red Lion.  The Red Lion really missed out on making some bucks as the place was packed but hardly anyone, including us, was getting waited on.  Cindy and I went into the dining room hoping we could order food there and take it back to the bar.  The waiter told us he'd be with us "as soon as is possible."  That turned out to be never. But we still  had a good time (plus Cindy and Pat are big 49ers fans and the 49ers won).  And, I had my favorite dinner when Jim and I got back to the rig:  microwaved popcorn.

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