Waldport Walkers

This page contains some of the earlier hikes we have done. It was getting so big that it took forever to load on computers. Ancient history here.

On the last day of 2012, New Year's Eve, December 31, new hiker Vic joined Heather, Betsy, Karen, Mary, Margaret, John and Jim and we headed for Legion Road. Some of us were worried about the status of the lakes and those fears proved to be well founded, as we hit a lake about a mile from our starting point, John and Ann Smith's driveway. Heather and Mary managed to ford it and the rest of us opted not to try, so the two had to ford it again. On the way back, John once again demonstrated his well deserved "Do Not Follow Me" pin by leading us through some wild woodlands. That actually came out on a velvety soft trail and we discovered the remnants of someone's camp. We then investigated the old wagon road and managed to get all the way to Bayview Road. It turned out to be another good hike, and our final one for 2012, bringing our total Monday count to 184. Happy New Year!

Once again there was no rain on Thursday, December 27. John was joined by Mary, Betsy, new hiker Karen, Jim and his grandson Austin and daughter Laura for a very nice complete traverse of the Woodland trail. Austin took a group photo which appears below.

On Christmas Eve, John, Margaret, Mary, Betsy, Chris and Jim were joined by Jim's daughter Laura and grandchildren Austin and Taylor. We returned to the "fish ladder" and the sun actually came out during part of our hike. Dick's Fork creek was running strongly and the hike was beautiful as always. Our visitors enjoyed the nature. Photos will follow later. Merry Christmas to everyone.

As predicted by the TV weather guessers, a violent storm blew all night and things did not look much better on Monday, December 17th. That did not deter those of us of questionable sanity, John, Margaret, Heather, Mary and Jim from meeting at Keady Wayside. Mary had not been able to sleep Sunday night, and elected to return home. Jim was wishy-washy but decided to accompany the others to hike the Woodland Trail. This turned out to be an excellent choice, as we were sheltered by the trees from a few bursts of rain and hail. We ended up walking every single branch of the trail for 3.5 miles. We did quite a bit of policing, and discovered more which needs to be done, but will require rope to get access to the debris. We discovered a green bike abandoned in the sand pile at the top of the Pacific View trail end. When returning from the top to the bottom, we paused at the base of the switchbacks to think of how we ever managed to scale that hill before the trail was built. The trail--it is so well done and so much more than what we expected. A treasure to Waldport. Back in the parking lot, we found a menu (pricey) for the re-opened Outtagas Pizza in Yachats. We all said goodbye, and would you believe, once again, as we got into our cars the wind picked up considerably and a huge hail dump took place, and we once again remained dry.

A sunny and chilly December 13 proved unlucky for John since he found no company for the Thursday hike. He chose to explore the possibility of linking a new Lint Slough Trail with Township 13 and Crestline Drive. The first section of trail along the slough, cleared by our trails crew, is still very open. While exploring a possible link from the top, he came across fresh bear tracks, and then fresh deer tracks, but no easy connection with the slough trail. Total hiking time, one hour.

The morning of Monday, December 10th started with a clear sky, followed by an instant fog bank, instant clearing, and best of all, no wind. Seven of us met at Keady to discuss which trails to hike. The original choice was Cummins Ridge, followed by the 804. We headed south in two cars, and stopped partway because the folks in the lead car had decided to switch to the 804, as the tide was high, surf was up and it was a nice day which did not require trees for umbrellas in the forest. Sorry, Gillian. Gillian, our photographer, joined Mary, Maggie, Margaret, John, Bill and Jim and provided the two photos below, outside of the Adobe walking, and posed a little further on. The surf was wild, and we spotted sea lions rafting. We had parked at the abandoned Landmark restaurant and were glad to see that our vehicles had not been towed when we returned after 5.2 miles.

Thursday December 7 brought us cold weather and showers, interspersed with sunshine and beautiful rainbows. Mary and John hiked the Woodland Trail, followed for a short distance by a large, and fortunately friendly, black dog. We found that the City Maintenance crew had removed the large tree blocking one of the upper trail entrances, just a day after it was reported to them. Well done! Having been asked by the City where two additional benches should be placed, we explored the southern section of trail and found a few select view-sheds to recommend. We returned to sunny Keady Wayside after 55 minutes of hiking and good conversation.

Another rainy morning did not deter John, Margaret, Bill, Maggie, Mary and Jim from heading to our "fish ladder" location. As usual, it stopped raining as we started out on our hike. How, once again, did we arrive at December? The 3rd, actually, and because of the rain, Dick's Fork Creek resembled a small river and was roaring. The little waterfalls became big waterfalls, quite spectacular. When we reached the fish ladder, the water was really flowing through there, overflowing the small dam. On the way back to the cars, we explored a trail alongside one of the Dick's Fork tributaries and discovered a perfect nurse stump/tree. We also explored the wide trail not far from the gate, and it extends much further than we remembered. There is another animal trail which begs to be explored on our next trip up there. That entire experience is just a beautiful venue. There were several photo ops and no cameras. 4.57 miles.

A windy and drizzly November 29 did not deter Heather and John as they sought sanctuary on the Woodland Trail, now our regular venue for Thursday hikes. As we entered the forest the rain stopped, and the sun broke through the forest canopy. We hiked to the south end of the trail and back, a delightful and brisk one-hour hike.

Wow, sun was shining on Monday, November 26th. John, Margaret, Heather, Mary, George, Gillian, Bill, Maggie and Jim met at Keady Wayside and Margaret suggested Eckman Lake Road to "the berm" discovered many hikes in the past. Bill and John drove and it took about 1/2 hour to get to our parking place, somewhat short of the berm, as there was a tree down across the road. Earlier we had to stop to clear some big branches enough to drive through. Off we went on Road 5360 which was very steep to the berm. Once there, we started out on Road 5361, which Jim and Margaret both thought would end at the "tee" with roads left and right from there. There were many deep trenches and berms cut across this road, and many trees down, resulting in the bestowed name of "obstacle course" for the road. We split into two groups, four returning to Road 5360 and beyond, five pressed on. We never found the tee, but did come across the clear cut logging site, which we remembered being at the end of the left road from the tee. There have been some serious winds up there, causing the fallen trees. 5.1 miles. Our group photo, courtesy of Gillian, taken at the tree where we parked. Thanks, Gillian.

'Twas a dark and stormy night followed by a wild and windy Monday, November 19, when three Waldport Walkers met at Keady Wayside. At the risk of being deemed foolish at best or crazy at worst, John, Margaret and Mary, clad in full rain gear, headed for our Woodland Trail.  We cleared the trail of storm debris as we climbed along.  No big trees were down;  however, there were plenty of branches to keep us busy.  One branch fell directly on Mary's head and then careened onto Margaret: a bit of a surprise but no harm done. We clocked a mere 75 minutes but enjoyed our stormy  and soggy walk in the woods. (Submitted by Mary)

On a sunny Thursday, November 16, Mary, Margaret and John hiked the Woodland Trail. We marveled at the soft sponginess of the unfinished final spur of the trail. On the way back the rope banisters at the switchbacks were very reassuring on the wet trail. Our 65-minute hike culminated with us lending a stranded homeless father and two sons our cell phone to reach their family for rescue. Since the Woodland Trail is well sheltered from the elements, and is very accessible, it will be the main venue for our Thursday hikes during the windy and rainy winter months

On November 12, five Waldport Walkers met at Keady Wayside for a Veterans' Day hike in the rain.  The weather limited our options  and Jim opted out for the gym.  John, Maggie, Margaret and Mary decided to stay close to home and hike our Woodland Trail. The bay was full with strong waves hitting the rocks so Maggie smartly decided to move her Smart Car inland while the others took their chances. The creek (ambitiously called the Red River)  was running strong complete with a couple of waterfalls.  We noted that the trail has reached a probable 99.5%  completion stage.  When we returned to the bay, the tide was in with waves coming over the sea wall.  Total hiking time was 75 minutes. (Jim did 3.5 miles on an indoor treadmill). Wimp. Thanks to Mary for the report.

GOOD NEWS from John: On a drizzly Thursday November 9, lone hiker John decided to hike the Woodland Trail to see whether there had been progress on the unfinished southern branch of the trail. To his delight he found the trails crew energetically leveling the unfinished section in preparation for wood-chip surfacing. Andrew, the crew supervisor, informed him that they were going to develop yet another spur, linking the new section of trail to the playground on Crestline Drive. We are very near to completion of our beautiful forest trail.

Monday, November 5 was foggy in Waldport. When we gathered at Keady Wayside, Diana, George, Gillian stated that they had not hiked the Gwynn Creek trail which we did last week. It did not take much discussion for Heather, Susan, Mary, Maggie, John and Jim to agree to a revisit, so we drove to Neptune Beach, parked and started up Gwynn Creek again. The creek was running strong again, and lo, the sun came out upon us once again, creating wonderful rays through the old growth forest and illumating various sights as we climbed up the trail. We actually went beyond the waterfall where we stopped last week, and above it the trail was remeniscent to me of the upper part of Amanda's trail. It was all spectacular. Here are three photos taken by Gillian, of Gwynn Creek as we crossed the bridge at the bottom, and two of the great sun rays in the forest. 4.93 miles of more sensory overload. It was interesting that as we passed the point where many trees had fallen across the creek, George made the same comment as Margaret had last week, "pickup sticks."

George sent this group photo at the bridge at the foot of the trail

And two more from George, just great photos

A windy and drizzly Thursday, November 1, drove Carolyn, Heather, Margaret and John to the sanctuary of the Woodland Trail. Protected from the elements we were able to enjoy our hike, while assessing how the trail had withstood the impact of a foot of rain in the past three weeks. The trail is in excellent condition, and has now been extended south to the electrical substation on the corner of Range Drive and Crestline Road. At the end of our hike we emerged from the forest to find that the wind had not abated. A delightful hike of just over an hour.

The rain continues. Six foul weather hikers gathered on Monday, October 29th. Mary, Maggie, Margaret, Heather, John and Jim owe kudos (I guess today it's props) to Margaret for suggesting Gwynn Creek trail at Cape Perpetua, to hike under the shelter of the trees. We had not visited here in a long time. We parked at Neptune Beach and crossed Highway 101. The trail down low was very wet, but as we started up Gwynn Creek, it was remarkably dry. What a beautiful vista, misty forest, huge old growth trees, some with ferns growing up on the trunks (how does that happen?) We crossed nine tributary streams feeding Gwynn Creek, and a couple that were too wimpy to include in the total. Upon reaching the ninth, there was a pretty waterfall and partial trail washout, so we turned around there. Mary and Margaret had crossed the washout. There were many places where trees had fallen across the creek, as Margaret described them: Pickup sticks. This hike was a total sensory overload, and Murphy's 65th Law prevailed, "When the scenery is very beautiful, chances are no one will have a camera." True today. 4.82 miles. Then on the way home we stopped at the spouting horn at Captain Cook's Chasm, and it was really spouting. Interestingly, we encountered very little rain.

On a sunny but windy Thursday, October 25, Carolyn, Mary and John chose to get away from the wind. We parked at the Forest Service Ranger Station, and hiked the trail through the forest east and north of the property, emerging at Norwood Heights. We meandered through the neighborhood, and returned to our cars via a different path through the forest. Mary chose to hike back to Keady Wayside.

On Monday, October 22, seven hikers met at Keady Wayside. The heavy rain had stopped, but an ominous sky sent us seeking shelter under the canopy of trees on Dick's Fork Road. Jim2 and Jane, who had recently completed the Portland Marathon, joined Curtis, John, Margaret, Maggie and Mary for an enjoyable but relatively short walk in the woods. ( No six miles today.)  Except for one downpour accompanied by a sudden drop in the temperature we were mostly dry.  We turned back at the reservoir.  The sun shone briefly through a patch of blue sky as we drove home.

Thanks to Mary for the report. The missing Jim was enjoying this

On a sunny Thursday, October 18, with a light easterly breeze and a low tide, Beth, Carolyn, Margaret, Mary and John decided to hike the beach. We walked along the bay passing two Great Blue Herons, and then eight crabbing and fishing boats in the Alsea River Jaws. We then headed south, turning back at Governor Patterson State Park. On our way back we found a "No Wake, 5 mph" buoy stranded near the high tide mark. We returned to Keady Wayside, a hike of just over an hour.

The rainy season had started on Monday, October 15. The foul weather group, John, Margaret, Maggie, Mary, Susan, Heather, and Jim decided to go to Cape Perpetua and hike the Cummins Creek trail. One driver nearly missed the turnoff and thanks to a courteous following vehicle, may have avoided an accident. We didn't experience much rain at all, and the forest is just beautiful. A couple of young ladies were biking on the trail and we met them during their downhill run. We turned around at the usual spot where a big tree had formerly blocked the trail, but the rangers have corrected that situation. We were all taken with the beauty of the forest, especially after a gentle rain. We examined a few animal trails on our descent, and just had to go down the trail to the Creek. Mary sustained an injury climbing over a log across that trail, being cut by a sneaky sharp branch. Cummins Creek was running hard and a lot of trees were down near the Creek. We logged 6.3 miles in two hours of hiking, perhaps a record for the group.

On Thursday October 11, with a light fog and the sun occasionally breaking through, Carolyn, Heather, Maggie, Mary and John chose to explore the west edge of Lint Slough. Starting from Township 13, we tried to find a connection to the trail entering the Isaac Walton League property to the north. We reached the slough, backtracked, worked our way north on forest roads, and were stymied by a steep ravine, so steep that one would have to roll down. The ladies unanimously elected John to test the roll, he declined, and we ascended the hill, back to our cars. We never did find a connector trail.

Still no rain in sight. Columbus Day, October 8 (I thought it was the 12th) found Bill, John and Jim outnumbered 3 to 1 by Maggie, Margaret, Mary, Beth, Sue, Carolyn, Gillian, Sharron and Diana. Keeping in mind that it is hunting season, the twelve of us elected to return to the Beaver Creek Natural Area. The goal was to completely traverse the Beaver Creek Loop trail, which on the map is listed at 2.1 miles. We decided to go "up" first, so hiked up the mountain from the base of the wye to "the top," and since Sue had not been to Snaggy Point we detoured to there, where Sharron took the attached photo. Then we backtracked to the Beaver Creek loop and walked down through the forest where we encountered an owl sitting in a tree, and later found little orange frogs plus a very tiny green one. When we passed the apple tree and came to the bridge, we traversed part of the marsh trail. We met a couple coming from the north side and chatted for a while. On the way back to the cars we checked out the entry to the West Beaver view trail, and then drove to the visitor center to get some more maps. 4.89 miles, a very nice hike.

PS: I was WAY off on the elevation of Snaggy Point, it's 320 feet, not 800.

Our sunny streak continued on Thursday, October 4 when Clairmonde (from Corvallis), joined Carolyn, Heather, Mary, Mary, and John on another hunter-avoiding hike. We drove to Eckman Lake, and hiked up the west side of the lake, admiring the geese and ducks, and then on up the steep hill past the green water reservoir. The views over the valleys were spectacular, and on returning to the lake, we saw what looked like two turtles basking between two ducks on a floating log. We returned to our cars, pausing for a few blackberries, a hike of just under an hour.

This "rainless" streak is getting scary, as is the fact that it was October 1. Hunting season has started, so after meeting at Keady, twelve of us decided to walk the beach north of the Bayshore Beach Club access. Ladies, Diana, Sharron, Gillian, Heather, Carolyn, Mary, Mary2, Margaret and Maggie severely outnumbered Bill, John and Jim. The beach was great, sunny, easy to walk on, nice surf, and actually new territory to most of us. We walked on past the Driftwood Beach state park, and most of us turned around to head back. Gillian, Diana, Mary and Sharron continued to "The End," which must be something like "The Top." We were buzzed by a low flying UltraLite craft. That looks like too much fun. Those of us who cut short logged 5.55 miles, so the four ladies must have accumulated much more.

Gillian sent this photo of Diana, Mary, Sharron and herself at "The End." Thanks, Gillian.

On a sunny Thursday September 27, Beth (welcome back!), Carolyn, Margaret, Mary, Mary, and John, welcomed Peggy (from Paris) to our hiking group. Since two of the group had not been on Waldport's Woodland Trail, we took them on the tour. They were delighted to find such a beautiful forest trail so close to home. The trail has now been completed all the way to Crestline Park, and a side trail to the south is being developed. We returned to Keady Wayside, a hike of just over an hour.

Another nice Monday dawned on September 24. New hiker Mary2 joined six other ladies, Mary, Maggie, Margaret, Gillian, Linda and Barb, along with the equal number of men, Bill, Vern, Finn, John, Curtis (welcome back), George and Jim. After our usual discussion, we decided to head for Yachats and park at the end of Perch Street, at the beach end of the 804 trail, hike south on the 804 to the Green Salmon restaurant, then up a hilly hike inspected earlier by Margaret and Mary. This turned out to be another very nice hike despite the hill on the new-to-us trail. The surf along the 804 was as wild as we have seen it, encouraging none of us to try surfing. Barb got a group photo at the State Park in Yachats which will be posted here when I receive it. Received 11/11/12

On Thursday, September 20 we gathered at Keady Wayside in a heavy mist. Carolyn and John decided to introduce Evelyn and Mary (visiting from Idaho) to the Gerdeman Gardens trail. We explored the forest trail south of the gardens, and then proceeded to the waterline trail, turning back long before reaching the reservoir. For once the trail was completely dry. We saw many mushrooms, one snake and a chipmunk on our hike of just under an hour.

Prior to our meeting at Keady on September 17, George had visited the Ranger headquarters at the Beaver Creek natural area and learned that the trail through the marsh was dry enough to navigate. Fifteen of us headed for Beaver Creek, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Evelyn, Linda2, Gillian, Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Carolyn, George, Bill, Vern, John and Jim. We parked at the HQ on North Beaver Creek road, and did manage to get across the marsh trail, though in a few places it was quite muddy. Once into the main park, former boy scout and "Do Not Follow" Jim suggested hiking to South Fork trail then West Beaver View trail and return. This great navigator managed to take North Fork trail, and could not figure out why we didn't run into West Beaver. After hiking uphill for a long way, we encountered an intersection with Snaggy Point trail. A quick look at the map revealed the mistaken North vs. South. I wish the rangers would put bigger trail signs up for old eyes. No, no excuses. So we split up at this point, with John, Evelyn and Linda2 backtracking, while the rest of us continued to Snaggy Point where the view is always worth the climb. After resting for a few, we returned via Snaggy Point trail (new to us!) and back across the marsh for 4.6 miles. It was fun.

Photo of Beaver Creek lily pads by George

Lucky Thursday September 13th bought a bright and sunny hiking day for Carolyn, Don, Evelyn, Heather, Joyce, and John. We drove to Waldport Heights, parked near the beautiful viewscape east over the Alsea River, and then hiked south through the forest along the waterline right-of-way to the water storage tank. After enjoying the views, we returned along the same route, encountering an irate shouting lady and some large unidentifiable mushrooms on our way back, a hike of just under an hour.

Though it rained overnight, Monday, September 10 was dry. Two new hikers, Evelyn and Linda, joined Joyce, Heather, Diana, Gillian, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Bill, George, John and Jim, and we headed for Legion Road. The lakes had dried up nicely along Legion, and the blackberries were in great abundance, slowing us down considerably as we picked and ate them. At about 2 miles along the road, we encountered two trucks, and some guys were trimming brush along the side of an adjoining road. They had obviously cut a lot along Legion, as well. When we returned to the cars, Mary and Joyce were nowhere to be found. They must have stopped to pick more berries. 5.5 miles covered today.

On Thursday, September 6, Mary, Tom and John arrived at Keady Wayside, and in view of the low turnout, decided to go their separate ways. John had promised the Seal Rock Trails group that he would explore the route of the old wagon trail north of Alsea Bay. He searched in vain for the old wagon route from Bayview Drive, but found many winding trails through the forest. He then tried to follow the wagon route south from Legion Road, but found no new route to Alsea Bay. His total hiking time was one hour.

On Labor Day, September 3rd, new hikers Tom and Eric (Joyce's husband) joined Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Gillian, Heather, Joyce, Tina, Vern, Bill, John, George and Jim and we headed for the State Park in Yachats to hike the 804 trail. Some of us welcomed the nice, level trail. On this holiday weekend, we had never seen so many people out walking, jogging, beachcombing and just enjoying the great weather. When we reached the beach at the north end, we "meandered" among the sea urchins and starfish, and witnessed pelicans flying inches off the sea and some whales spouting. Lots of mussels had washed up on the beach and Tina enjoyed the nature walk as much as the rest of us. We walked 5.00 miles.

George sent these: Meandering and gabbing.

Thursday, August 30th dawned bright and sunny. Barb, Finn, John and Margaret introduced Marlene and Ted, visitors from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Waldport's Woodland Trail, which they thoroughly enjoyed. We were accompanied by our little feral cat friend for part of the way, and found three abandoned green bikes. We returned to Keady Wayside, a hike of just over an hour.

Monday, August 27 was another sunny day. Barb, Bill, Diana, Finn, George, Georgia, Gillian, Heather, Jim, John, Joyce, Maggie, Mary, Sharon, Tina and Vern drove to the South Lincoln County Water facility off Blodgett Road and hiked in to the reservoir. That rainforest is really stunning when the sun is shining. When we returned to the parking place we split into two groups, one going up Blodgett Road and the other down to the Big Creek crossing. As Gillian referred to our hike, it was a woodland meander. The SLC facility was once known as "The Cooler" when it belonged to the Forest Service. One of the buildings there was kept at 50-55 degrees, and seedlings from Washington were brought there and left in that "cooler" for about three weeks, where they became aclimatized (is that a word?) and their survival rate once planted in local forests was increased from 65 to 95 percent.

Here is a group photo by George, who is the only one missing

On a sunny Thursday, August 23, Betsy, Carolyn, and John decided to assess the progress at the top of Waldport's Woodland Trail. We reached the switchbacks as the City crew completed replacing the stolen rope banisters, now secured with steel clamps. The final section of the trail near Crestline Park has been leveled ready for wood chip surfacing. We returned to Keady Wayside, a brisk hike of just under an hour.

On a sunny and windless August 20th, our gathering of 23 hikers decided to venture to Cook's Chasm near Cape Perpetua and hike from there. Ana, Barbara, Betsy, Bill, Carolyn, Chris, Diana, Emily, Finn, George, Gillian, Heather, John, Joyce, Kristi, Maggie, Margaret, Mary, Meadow, Philip, Tina, Vern and Willow hiked down toward the ocean, pausing at the Spouting Horn (low tide, not spouting!), on past the tide pools, and then inland, through the tunnel under the highway, and then south on the Oregon Coast Trail where the mushrooms are just emerging. We crossed Gwynne Creek, veered right over the highway, and on to the beach at Neptune State Park. After some of us had splashed in the ocean, clambered over the rocks, and found a washed up sea star, we regrouped and returned to Cook's Chasm. Our actual hiking time was 90 minutes.

Here is a photo by Gillian of the August 20th hike, a nice sunny day.

On a foggy and windy Thursday August 16th, Mary and John chose to introduce Finn and new Waldport Walker Georgia, to our well-sheltered Woodland Trail. Our enjoyment of the delightful forest atmosphere was temporarily spoiled by the discovery that someone had stolen two long sections of the switchback banister rope. When nearing the top of the trail we found that the trails crew are extending the wood-chipped trail even further. Good work! We returned to Keady Wayside, reaching it in just under one hour.

August 13 featured fog and cool air. 18 hikers met at Keady Wayside and decided to return to Fern Ridge cemetery in Seal Rock. We all drove to George's house, and he, Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Philip, Willow, sporting her first ponytail, Joyce and her daughter Tina (welcome aboard), Vern, Finn, Barb, John, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Betsy, Heather and Jim set off for the cemetery. We spent quite a bit of time exploring the various historic gravesites, picked up some .45 calibre trash, then ventured down another "No Trespass" trail to the intersection of two power lines. We came to a very steep hill and decided that was far enough, so backtracked to George's. At this point we became the Waldport Walkers and social club, raiding George's beautiful Dahlias. Thank you, George. One of these days we will find that elusive "connection" to Legion Road. We did get some ideas for the future, such as Marsh Road. 4.89 miles.

On a sunny but windy Thursday August 9th, Mary Betsy, Beth and John chose to hike from Governor Patterson State Park. They traversed the old railroad right-of-way to the Waldport Forest Service Ranger Station, and then onto the forest trail east of the station. They encountered signs of bear and two spots where garbage had been dumped on the trail. When they reached the T-intersection in the trail, John chose to go south to Waziata and back via the beach. The remaining trio walked through Norwood Heights into town, and proceeded along the sea wall to the beach, and back to Patterson Park. Their jaunt was just over one hour long.

Another nice day greeted us on August 6th. 17 hikers made the trip to the usual parking area south of Eckman Lake. As a group we started up Forest Service Road 5360 until we reached "Gillian's Fork," where we split into two groups. Finn (welcome back), John, Curtis, Jim, Don, Gillian, Carolyn, Sue and Betsy ventured up Gillian's Fork to the very end. Evidence of many animals, particularly bears were on the trail. The other group, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Barbara (welcome back), Beth, Vern, Bill and George continued up the road. When the Gillian's Fork group returned to road, we were unsure if the other group had reversed course, so gave out a collective yell which went unanswered, so we turned around and headed for the cars. When we reached them, the other group had not returned, so a few of us hiked short distances on the other roads until the second group returned. Two large ODOT trucks were observed carrying yard debris down one of the roads. This we will need to investigate. Jim's pedometer registered 5.01 miles.

On sunny Thursday August 2nd, the low tide and gentle breeze invited a beach walk. Beth, Betsy, Carolyn, Chris, Don, Grace, Jeremy, John and Mary proceeded north along the bay beach, under the Alsea Bay Bridge, and on to the Port of Alsea docks. We then hiked up Mill Street, paused to inspect the old Waldport Gaol, and then on to explore the west side of Lint Slough. The potential trail route along the slough needs clearing. We returned to Keady Wayside, a hike of just over an hour. Beth sent the following photo of Grace and Jeremy at the old Waldport Jail.

July 30th was again overcast. A very large group collected at Keady Wayside, and in the first attempt to satisfy everyone and split into two groups, John led a group on Woodland Trail. Report: The group who chose to explore the newly completed upper section of the Woodland Corridor Trail were George, Verne, Susan, with Margaret and John and their visiting family, Mike, Christy, Jeremy and Grace. They found that the rope banister on the switchbacks had been installed, and that the old and new upper sections of the trail had received their wood chip surface. The five newcomers to the trail were very impressed. Here are two photos of that group courtesy of George.

The second group consisted of Bill, Maggie, Don, Carolyn, Beth, Mary, Gillian, Curtis and Jim, and they headed for the visitor center at Cape Perpetua. Having avoided the Cook's Ridge/Discovery Loop Trails for a few years, up the hill we went. It turned out to be beautiful once the sun came out. We encountered 13 other hikers on those trails as tourist season is in full swing. Photos by Gillian. Our group photo is at a very large stump which has obviously been used as a rock climbing site.

On Thursday July 26th, the heavy mist in the air did not deter our Waldport Walkers. Newcomers Alice and Judy joined Beth, Betsy, Carolyn, Joyce, Mary, Don and John on an exploration of the logged forest south of Range Drive and west of the golf course. Six of our nine hikers were not familiar with the trails in this area, and were delighted to find another nearby place to hike. Our meandering forest hike lasted just under an hour.

On a sunny Monday, July 23, new hikers Maryann and Ellison joined 22 more of us at Keady Wayside, where the usual "where shall we go?" discussion took place. Folks, we need to change the way we select venues. The final decision favored the Beaver Creek State Park natural area, starting on the north side at the Visitor Center, hoping to make it across the marsh trail. Our group contained Don, Carolyn, Chris, Betsy, Bill, Maggie, Joyce, Heather, Kristi, Emily, Katherine, Meadow, Josh, Rebecca, Mary, Sharron, Diana, George, Vern, John, Curtis and Jim. Our seven cars arrived at the visitor center and off we went. After about 1/2 mile, we encountered water which required waders, so turned back, drove to the "other side" and set off on the Beaver Creek Loop trail, having lost Ellison, Maryann and George. Now down to 21 hikers, we again split into two groups. Kristi, Emily, Josh, Rebecca, Vern and Jim went up the mountain right at the wye, and everyone else went forth on the loop trail. The view from Snaggy Point was fantastic on this clear day. I am not sure where the group of 15 went, but we mountain climbers returned to the loop via the Snaggy Point Loop, Cougar Ridge, and South Fork trails, for 5.4 miles. The trails had been cleared recently, EXCEPT for the ones we chose to come down upon, and as usual the grass was wet and tall. The young folks picked and ate tons of berries. We had fun. Suggestions in the auto trip back home included "why don't we let one person pick the venue each week," and "we don't all have to go to the same trail, when our group is this large." What do you think?

**My wife Sharon had a brilliant idea. Everyone bring a suggestion on a slip of paper. We put them all in a bag, shake it up and draw one. That will be the hike of the day.**

On a sunny Thursday July 19th, Joyce, Betsy, Heather, Mary and Carolyn and Don were introduced to Margaret and John's visiting family and friend, Jeannette, Leeza, Nika, Matt, and Madison. The lucky 13 of us hiked our Woodland Trail, seven of us for the first time! We found our trail builders working to complete the upper section of the trail, where they are putting in a new branch trail to Crestline Park. They expect to complete the the entire trail in August.

Photo courtesy of John and Madison, photographer who is not in the pic.

Monday, July 16 was misty. New hikers Chris, Justin, Josh and Rebecca joined returnees Jim2 and Jane, Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Meadow, Don, Betsy, Carolyn, Mary, Sharron, Diana, Joyce, George, Vern, John and Jim. We decided after a long discussion to walk from Keady Wayside across the bridge, and I thought the plan was to hike Bayview Drive to the place where the Thursday hikers found a possible connection to Legion Road. However, when we got across the bridge, our leaders had taken the path down to the beach on the north side of the river, so we followed them and hiked to the jaws of the river where there was a big flock of Turkey Buzzards, obviously waiting for something or maybe someone to die. There were also quite a few Harbor Seals which entertained the younger members of the group. "Beach Access" is not marked on the beach side of the houses, so we probably trespassed by crossing back to the streets. We then took the "high road" back to the bridge, which led us through the KOA campgrounds. 5.5 miles, 21 hikers, another record.

On a misty Thursday July 12th, Beth, Betsy, Carolyn, Mary, Don and John decided to determine whether it is possible to hike from the SE corner on Legion Road south to Bayview Drive on public right of way. We found our way to several houses hidden in the forest, but did not reach Bayview Drive. We returned to near where we had parked, and were then introduced by Betsy to her friends John and Anne, whose beautiful home overlooks Alsea Bay. John, very familiar with the area around their home, gave us a map showing the route of the old wagon road, which was where we had just hiked. It turned out that we had turned around just a few hundred yards from Bayview drive. This was a short but very rewarding hike.

Monday, July 9 was overcast. That did not stop our group from setting a new record with 20 hikers. New hiker Joyce joined returnee Diana, Susan, Sharron, Carolyn, Mary, Margaret, Heather, Gillian, Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Ana, Willow, Phillip, Don, Vern, George, John and Jim for a trip to Amanda's Trail, starting at the parking lot on Yachats Ocean Road and going to the bridge at Amanda's statue. We paused for a long time at the bridge and it seemed everyone took photos. Mine are not posed, so I may have missed some of you and am sorry. It was cool and a little breezy, but a good hike right at our four mile marker.

On Thursday, July 5th, a sunny windless beach beckoned Mary, Margaret, Betsy and John. We hiked south along the beach pausing to admire the huge gaper clams retrieved by energetic clammers. Expecting a messy beach, we virtuously carried plastic bags for a cleanup. To our delight we found very little to retrieve. Our hike to Patterson Creek and back covered 2.8 miles in one hour.

On an overcast but dry day, July 2nd, 15 of us gathered at Keady Wayside. New hiker Justin and Sharron did not accompany new hiker Susan, Betsy, Beth, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Gillian, Heather, Curtis, Vern (returned), John, George and Jim to Cape Perpetua and the Cummins Creek trail. It appeared that a few trees had fallen since our last journey on Cummins, but the rangers had cut them up. One was enormous and appeared to have burned at the base, then cut down. John had obtained a new pedometer at a garage sale, and we compared mileage. John showed 4.6 or so and Jim had 5.0. Both showed over 10,000 steps. Heather had ridden in the cab of steam locomotive 25 at the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad over the weekend, and enjoyed the trip. Cummins Creek is a great trail. Susan is obviously a hiker, and she and Betsy were in the lead most of the day, along with Beth.

Here is a photo by George, and thank you George.

On Thursday, June 28th, Beth, Maggie, Mary, Heather, and John took Heather's friend Betsy on a tour of our Woodland Trail. Away from the wind some complained about the heat (nearly 60*F!). We saw many bicycle skid marks, but the trail was remarkably free of litter. Our hike of just under an hour ended as the clouds rolled in.

More "Junuary" rain greeted us on Monday, June 25th. Gillian cruised by and waved at us, with news that the Woodland Trail was a mess. Of course we had to investigate. Mary, Beth, Heather, John, Margaret, Kristi, Katherine, Emily and Jim gathered up trash bags and headed up the Woodland Trail, which wasn't really too littered. We came out at the skate park, which was a different story, really trashed. We backtracked on the Woodland to Park Street, and from there went into Township 13 and on to Joe Vandehey's property trails. There is evidently a very big dog that romps around in the sand at the end of Bird Avenue, judging from pawprints. Jim demonstrated sliding skills on a steep part of the trail, on his backside. We hiked down to Lint Slough and through a literal garden of foxgloves, many of them white. We returned to Township 13 and split into two groups, one heading down Ball Blvd. and up through Pat Ball's property, and the other group returned to the Woodland Trail and the Red River access road. We joined up at the bottom of the Woodland Trail. 5.5 miles.

Photo of John surrounded by foxgloves today, thank you Beth

On a sunny and windy Thursday, June 21st, Mary and John introduced Heather and Beth to the hillside forest just west of Lint Slough, which owner Joe Vandehey had invited us to explore. Heather and Beth were new to this forest, and were impressed with the views of the slough, the existing logging roads, and the potential for trail development. After pausing at the edge of the slough, we each found a walking stick, and ascended the steep slope back to Township 13.

Monday, June 18th, looked a little iffy, and we did get rained on at our meeting place. Before launching off to hike, we listened to Joe Vandehey describe his plans for development of his land between Township 13 and Lint Slough. He had a number of informative maps and basically gave us permission to hike the old logging roads on his land. He has plans to build a gazebo along the slough where kayakers can land and hike in a park which he also proposes. He left the maps with us. We counted 17 heads and per Margaret's suggestion, drove up Dick's Fork road to the old foxglove meadow turnoff. Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Philip (welcome Philip), Ana and Willow joined Don, Carolyn, John, Margaret, Mary, Maggie, Beth, Heather, George and Jim and we headed east on Dick's Fork to a side road blocked by a gate. As we started around the gate, our now well known maintenance man from the South Lincoln Water District arrived and opened the gate for us. We went quite a distance along this road then followed the power line access road further than we ever had before, to a dead end, then returned on yet another road which brought us out at the SLWD facility with the large storage tank. New territory! Good choice, Margaret. When we returned to the cars, we counted heads again, and uh-oh, only 16. We started down the road and stopped to canvass the other drivers when we determined that the missing person was Sharron. We found that she had not joined us after all, choosing to hike across the bridge by herself.

On a sunny Thursday, June 14th, Paula, Kristi, Emily, Katherine and Simon, joined Margaret and John in showing their visiting friends, Marge and Norm from Tucson, the beautiful Woodland Trail. There was lively discussion of the forest flora, Emily collected ripe salmonberries for all to taste, and we were shown the poisonous twinberries to be avoided! Our hour-long hike ended with us watching the harbor seals disporting on the sunny sand flats.

In addition, George sent this photoshopped item of all 19 hikers from Monday.

Thanks, George, and thanks to Gillian for the first Monday photo.

A very nice weather morning on June 11 brought out a record number of hikers to our group. New arrivals Lois, Don and Carolyn joined Curt, Ruth, Lily, George, Gillian, John, Margaret, Mary, Beth, Sharron, Heather, Kristi, Katherine, Emily, Willow and Jim, nineteen of us, with the ladies outnumbering the men 14 to five. Senitila stopped by to introduce us to her nephew from Tonga, but they did not join the hikers. Kristi's family had not yet experienced Gerdemann Gardens, so five vehicles transported all of us to the parking area behind the galleries. We were greeted by the owners of the gardens, who were expecting a tour group. We tried to convince them that we were that group, but did not succeed. Beside having a record number of hikers, we also had, again, the record in age difference of 80 years between Willow and George. The muddy area was still muddy, and quite a few of us decided that the hill up to the reservoir had become much steeper than our last trip there. Willow had a great time discovering bugs, snakes, and other miracles of nature for a three year old, including Indian Rhubarb growing in the little creek. The footbridge across Starr Creek had been damaged, handrails knocked off and the bridge down in the creek-vandalism? Several photos were taken of the group posing in front of the "Absolutely No Admittance" sign, which we know pertains to vehicles, not hikers. In fact, two workers from the South Lincoln Water District arrived at the reservoir by truck while we were taking a breather there and confirmed that we were welcome.

On Thursday, June 7th a steady drizzle and high winds reduced the Walkers to one participant. John decided to explore the upper Woodland Trail to assess progress on the final stretch. It still needs work before wood chips can be applied. He then hiked the forest trails west and south of Crestline Park (which the Walkers Trails Crew previously cleared) to asses their condition They need some grooming, and one section is submerged. He then proceeded to explore the south end of Governor Patterson State Park, a good place to be out of the wind!

On drizzly June 4 (June? Already?) the gathering at Keady welcomed Sharron back to the group. She, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Beth, Gillian, Senitila, John, Curtis, Bill and Jim headed across the bridge, down to the beach and over to Bayshore, where we ascended and descended a sand mountain for access to the beach on the west side. That beach is always pleasant and easy on which to walk. The weather looked quite threatening but we were only drizzled upon. John is attending a meeting tomorrow during which "front desk" folks dealing with local area tourists will be briefed on local trails. We will soon be attempting to develop some for the Waldport area, so John and Jim stopped in the vistitor center to get some "base" maps. The ranger there reported that a small boat had been found at Patterson Park, but no people were around. On the return leg from Bayshore we ended up in three different groups, but eventually all returned to the starting point. 5.68 miles.

On sunny Thursday, May 31st, Kristi introduced to our hiking group two more of her children, Ana and Kristin, who together with Willow, Katherine, Paula, Beth, Mary and John ascended the Woodland Trail. Near the top we discovered the trails crew cutting the final swathe of trail through to the skate park. After doing a thorough cleanup of the mess in the park, we virtuously descended back to Keady Wayside.

Monday, May 28, Memorial (or Decoration) Day was like a reunion for our hiking group, as Bill, Maggie, Beth, Curtis and Lily returned to the group. Senitila joined us for the first time, and John, Margaret, George, Gillian, Mary and Jim completed the group. We returned to the "fish ladder" once again, and it was as beautiful as ever. We all did a lot of talking, catching up with each other's travels and adventures. We managed to accomplish our usual 4 miles. John shared information with us concerning activities at Cape Perpetua to celebrate National Trails Day next Saturday. I tried to copy the poster here but it didn't take.

Photo by George, and thanks George.

On Thursday, May 24th, with both low wind and low tide, Kristi, Emily, Katherine, Willow and John decided to explore the beach. We headed south and were soon surrounded by the squirts of gaper clams amongst the eel grass and sea lettuce. As we proceeded south our budding young biologists collected the shells of varnish clams, gaper clams, cockles, and when we reached the open beach, razor clams. They watched the pigeon guillemots entering their nest burrows in the sandstone cliff, and the harbor seals sunning themselves on the Bayshore Spit. Meadow and Kristi retrieved agates from a little cave on our way back, and we added some Dungeness crab casts to their collection of beach treasures. Our 50-minute nature walk was a delightful way to celebrate Kristi's birthday.

It was inevitable that the rains returned for our May 21 hike, as that was the day our roofer was to start work. Vern, Paula, John, Jim, Margaret, Kristi, Katherine, Emily and Meadow met at our usual gathering place. It may have been an omen when a seagull dropped an aerial bomb which landed between Paula and Vern, fortunately sparing both of them. We waited for our leader, Mary, and when she didn't arrive, we decided to stop and check on her enroute to Blodgett Road, where we were anxious to show our newer members the beautiful road to the South Lincoln Water District reservoir alongside Big Creek. Mary was not feeling well and did not accompany us. The salamanders, or "water dogs" were out and Meadow enjoyed watching them. The folks who had not seen this area before were impressed by the waterfall on Big Creek and the beauty of the road and forest. When we reached the reservoir the rain got heavier, and on the way back we dropped down to the lower trail and really got wet in the foliage. We hiked just under 3 miles.

At the reservoir, and a group photo along the road.

On a sunny Thursday, May 17, Kristi, Emily, Katherine, Meadow, Willow, Mary and John introduced our newest Waldport Walker, Paula, to our beautiful Woodland trail. Near the top end of the trail we were entertained by Emily, Katherine, Meadow, and Willow taking turns swinging over the little canyon on a rope. The older and wiser amongst us declined when invited to follow suit. We made our way through to the Skate Park via an unfinished stretch of trail. On our return through the forest Meadow showed us her hugging trees, and we found two other hikers enjoying our trail for the first time.

Another nice day, Monday, May 14, the day after Mothers Day, found John, Margaret, Gillian, Mary, George, Vern and Jim at Keady Wayside discussing possible hike sites. Kristi and Katherine arrived, bringing three-year-old Willow with them. The ten of us headed to the State Park at Beaver Creek, parked in our usual place, and found the lower gate open for the first time in our memory. Observations on the park: There are a lot of trees and branches down, and little evidence of any correction. Mowing might also be in order in places. Aside from those, the park was again a great place to hike, and as we promised Kristi and family, we did some mountain climbing to Snaggy Point. There were many indications that a herd of elk had been not far ahead of us. Wish we could have seen them. Willow proved to be a very capable hiker, putting us to shame on the steep upslopes, and she had fun hiding in the grass. We set a new age difference record, having Willow at 3 and George at 83, for a whopping 80 year difference. George took these photos, and thank you, George.

On Thursday, 10th of May, a sunny but breezy day, Kristi, Katherine, Simon, Meadow, Mary and John decided to explore the forest west of the golf course. We parked on Range Drive, and walked the old logging roads, showing our newest members a direct route through the forest from Crestline Drive to the beach at Governor Patterson State Park. Well sheltered from the wind, we thoroughly enjoyed our hike of just under an hour.

Monday, May 7 was actually sunny for our 150th hike. The ladies outnumbered the men, with Kristi, Katherine, new hiker Emily, Heather, Gillian, Margaret and Mary along with John, George, Vern and Jim, headed for Legion Road, or as I like to refer to it, the Minnesota Road, Land of 10,000 lakes. This was the best weather day we have had in a long time and we enjoyed the hike, running across Dave at his property, where he tried to get us to help move a gigantic boulder. We declined. The little salamanders that we often see proved to be excellent swimmers, and we even saw a few frogs in the lakes. We logged 5.28 miles, but Kristi, Katherine and Emily probably logged 9, walking to and from home besides the hike!

Gillian got a group photo of us, and George photoshopped it to get us all in. Thanks to both of you.

On Thursday, 3rd of May, Mary, Katherine, Kristi, Meadow, and John decided to explore the forest between Township 13 and Lint Slough. The idea was to determine whether access to a new Lint Slough Trail from Crestline Drive was feasible. We found a number of old logging roads which could become hiking trails with permission of the landowners. Our youngest hiker, Meadow (aged 5) managed the steep hills as well as all the adults, in spite of an age differential of 72 years, probably a record age span for our hikes! After the hike John explored the south end of the Woodland Trail to check on progress, and who should he find heading through the forest in the opposite direction but Meadow, Katherine and Kristi! They then guided him to an existing trail link to the Skate Park. Thank you, and thank you for becoming Waldport Walkers.

Another Sunday night of rain and continuing drizzle on Monday, April 30, the last day of April, did not deter Curtis, John, Margaret (welcome home to all), Vern, Mary, Kristi, Katherine, Heather and Jim from hiking. We wanted to show Kristi and Katherine one of our most scenic haunts, and decided upon the "Fish Ladder" venue, which we learned is not a fish ladder at all. Every time we revisit this place, we discover something new to us. While some of us lagged behind the main group of hikers, pointing out some of the sights to Kristi and Katherine, we observed bodies moving across the ravine from the small waterfall. It turned out to be our own group. The road actually turns 180 degrees there and we had not noticed that fact in the past. It was very wet, we saw many little salamanders, noticed a tree across the stream which appears to have exploded, and generally enjoyed the day. We logged a mere 3.39 miles.

Thursday, April 26. On sunny but very breezy Thursday, April 26th, Mary and John decided to get out of the wind and explore the newest developments near the top of the Woodland Trail. We drove to the skate park, entered the forest, and searched in vain for evidence of trail work in the area. We then proceeded to the Park Drive Trailhead and followed the trail southward, again finding little evidence of recent trail work. We were not in the right places! Mary decided to hike back to her car parked at Keady Wayside to add a mile or so to her hike.

Monday, April 23 dawned foggy, but dry. Gillian, Mary, Beth, Heather, Jayne, George and Jim met at Keady. We were hoping that Kristi and Katherine would join us so we could take them to one of our scenic favorites, but they did not arrive. We drove to Blodgett Road and went on up past our usual parking spot. We had not been up there for about a year or more and it was quite the uphill march. Lots of trees and branches had blown down, but the sun came out and the lighting in the forest was just spectacular. We turned around (just short of the quarry as a map search showed after the fact. It also showed that we had reached 700+ feet elevation.) and ended up with just over 4 miles. Since we had several plastic bags, we did not find nearly as much trash as usual. It was a lovely day and a fun hike.

April 19, from Mary. (I forgot to report that there was no hike on Thursday, April 12, due to inclement weather). On April 19, five Waldport Walkers gathered in the rain at Keady Wayside for their Thursday hike.  Joining Beth, Maggie, Bill and Mary was Maggie's friend Anne Marie from Boise. We opted to show our Idaho guest our Woodland Trail.  There the canopy of trees kept the wind and rain at bay.  A few workers were busy wood-chipping the final remnant of  a section of the trail leading to Crestline.  We skirted the large pile of chips and walked along Crestline till the wind chased us off to a side street. At the end of this road we came upon the trail that, when cleared, will join Lint Slough, an area John had  previously described  to us. Our hike lasted for 68 minutes and left us drenched and happy.

It was raining all night on April 16, but stopped long enough for us to get a hike accomplished. Heather, new hiker April, Mary, Kristi, Katherine, Vern and Jim set out to show Vern the new Woodland trail. Gillian, after bringing April to join us, opted for the indoor warmth of the Newport Rec Center. Vern was impressed with the trail, and the rest of us were also impressed that the work crew has now cut the trail all the way to the skate park. It still needs to be chipped. Once we reached the skate park and did some more cleanup-after-others, the ladies went down the path which leads west, and Vern decided not to crash through the low hanging branches there, so the guys went back on the streets while the ladies stayed on trails. The guys logged 3.3 miles and were only about five minutes ahead of the ladies returning to Keady.

On Monday, April 9, the day after Easter, Mary, Maggie, Beth, Heather, Bill, George, Curtis, Vern and Jim were joined by newcomers Kristi and Katherine. After discussions of what might be dry, we decided to go to George's house and hike back up to Fern Ridge cemetery, as it had been a long time since we visited there, August 2010. Amazingly, there was evidence of the tons of rain even along the road to Fern Ridge. We were nearly hit by a van on the way up and by and SUV on the way back. When we reached the cemetery the van was parked there and the occupants were dozing. We walked around the cemetery for a while and then headed back. The gate was open on a road which wyed off the one we were on, so we set off on that road. After about a half mile, we encountered a house out in the middle of nowhere and a friendly dog there. We turned around, not wishing to trespass, and a young woman came by on a horse, leading another horse. This woman verified that the road we were on is in fact the one that joins with Legion Road. We had discovered it at long last and will visit it again, driving up to the cemetery and starting there. On the way back to George's we picked up five bags of trash left behind by cretins. We hiked 4.68 miles.

Here is a photo of our group at Fern Ridge, courtesy of George, thank you George.

April 5th dawned sunny and almost windless. Jane, Maggie, Mary, Bill and John grabbed the opportunity to hike the beach. Due to high tide we could not hike around Yaquina John Point, and so we drove to Gov. Patterson Park and hiked south from there. We turned back at the end of Big Stump Beach, well past the ancient redwood stump reminder of the ancient forest which once stood there. We found a large red light bulb and a very big float, which raised questions about their origins, the Japanese tsunami maybe? Our 75-minute hike was enjoyed by all.

April 2 was once again rain-free, and we celebrated "the Return of Vern" by heading to the fish ladder road along Dick's Fork creek. The 10 of us, Beth, Bill, Maggie, Margaret, Mary, George, John, Gillian, Jim and Vern, enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the rushing water of Dick's Fork creek, which was verifying how much rain we have had recently. After traversing in and out to the fish ladder, we had not accumulated enough mileage, so continued along the road which connected to the Eckman Lake roads. Some workers from the South Lincoln Water district opened the "Road Closed" gate in the photo below. We had a conversation with them and they reported 4.2 inches of rain at the fish ladder over this past weekend. A lot of tree branches were down, partially blocking the roads, and we picked up a lot of beer cans tossed by uncaring individuals. The photos are again from Gillian's camera.

Our group, and the fish ladder with sun shining upon it.

Dick's Fork creek, and Vern at work. We covered 5.5 miles.

March the 29th: Another wet and windy Thursday led John to seek the shelter of the forest along the west bank of Lint Slough. I found several more abandoned logging roads with the potential of linking a future Lint Slough Trail with Crestline Drive and the Woodland Trail. I then went to the south end of the Woodland Trail to find the trails crew extending the trail toward the Skate Park. They indicated that they plan to link up with the forest trails cleared by our Waldport Walkers Trails Crew this month.

On March 26, the sun was uncharacteristically out along the beach. We elected to revisit our favorite scenic path off Blodgett Road, alongside Big Creek. Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Jayne, Gillian, Heather, Bill, George, John and Jim were all impressed by the number of blown down branches and trees along the path, the ferocity of (little) Big Creek, its rapids and waterfalls, and the sunlight in our forest haven. After hiking to the reservoir and back, we discovered a new (to us) old road or railroad bed which was covered with soft moss and a delight to walk on, and it led to the South Lincoln Water buildings, where one of the workers opened a gate for us to let us return to the cars. Not having accumulated enough mileage, we ventured up Blodgett Road for a ways and returned, totalling about 4.25 miles. Our avid photographer Gillian took many photos and here are a few samples:

March 22: Sunny weather greeted Maggie, Mary, Margaret, Bill and John who decided to explore the recent additions to the Woodland Trail. We found the steep branch leading to Pacific View Court was not quite completed. We then proceeded to beyond the Park Avenue trailhead, and found that the trail builders had cleared a lengthy new stretch of trail heading south. The objective of reaching the Skate Park seems to be within reach! We arrived back at Keady Wayside just before the raindrops!

On March 19, the weather gods once again favored us and John, Margaret, Mary, Maggie, Bill, Jayne, Jim and Gillian, along with a hitchhiker that Mary picked up, headed for Cape Perpetua. We parked at the Captain Cook bridge and walked the trails along the shoreline, the Captain Cook, Cape Cove and Trail of the Restless Waters. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the ocean, the surf, the Spouting Horn, Good Fortune Cove and the Devil's Churn. We encountered a few downed branches that had to be held such that we could pass by them. The first two photos, once again by Gillian, show the chivalrous acts of the men allowing Mary to pass by, and by Margaret, allowing John to pass by. Another photo of our group taking in the beauty of that ocean, which appears in the final photo.

March 15, the Ides of March: On a wet and windy March 15th the lone Thursday hiker, John, decided to do some investigative hiking. First I assessed the progress at the south end of the Woodland Trail and found that considerable new trail cutting had occurred during the pst week. Next was exploration of the possible routes through the forest from Township 13 down to Lint Slough. I found a network of old logging roads just waiting to become trails. Finally, a brief visit to the forest trails around and near the Skatepark suggested that they could be a future project for the Saturday Trails Crew.

March 12: Near gale force winds and rain did not deter Maggie, Mary, Margaret, Curtis and John as we set off to explore several in-town trail options. The proposed Bridgeview Trail paralleling Highway 101 was traversed from the north as far as the small canyon, and then from the south to the same canyon which will have to be bridged to complete this trail. We then ascended to Norwood Drive and soon branched off to the east along a public right of way. After some serious bush whacking and little street walking we reached the sewer line road which links with the Woodland Trail which we followed back to Kendall Ballfields and Keady Wayside. Our 80-minute hike revealed some interesting new in-town trail options.

Thursday, March 8, from Mary: Our Thursday March 8 hike found six hikers and one dog gathered in bright sunshine at Keady Wayside.  Because we were welcoming one new member Sylvia, Maggie, Bill, Margaret, Mary, Jan and dog Duffy wanted to show our newcomer the Woodland Trail.  Workers were busy constructing the latest leg of the trail leading to the top.  They informed  us it would be completed today.  Needless to say, we won't be long in checking out this latest sign of progress.  As promised our Thursday hike was finished in just under one hour.

It was raining continuously on Monday, March 5th, but that did not stop Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Curtis, Bill, John and Jim from venturing up Dick's Fork road. We walked into the "once was a foxglove" meadow and noted that the big sign about bad water had blown down. On the way in we saw many, many of the little salamanders that live up there, but on the way back out, did not see one. Odd. We investigated some of the side trails which beg another visit on a drier day. We also found, for some of our fair weather foxglove lover hikers, a new foxglove area. It seems that the amount of trash that we encounter is always inversely proportional to the number of trash bags we have brought along. Lots of trash today, shotgun shells, beer and soda cans, twelve packs. We got soaked in the 3 miles we hiked. John offered an explanation as to why this particular Monday was not dry--this year is a leap year. We should have hiked yesterday. The photo below is from last week on the beach, some serious flotsam.

Thursday, March 1. Mary, Maggie, Margaret, Beth and John decided to go to Lint Slough Trail which our trails crew started clearing last week. Beth was unfamiliar with the trail, and eager to see it. The rain stopped and the sun came out as we left Keady Wayside. John decided to go up the Woodland Trail to visit the trail builders who were extending the trail to Pacific Heights Lane. The Lint Slough group thoroughly enjoyed the trail, and look forward to seeing it progress further. They arrived back in just under an hour as the sun disappeared and the rain came down.

All weekend the weather forecasts spelled rain all week, except Monday. Of course, because it is always clear for the Waldport Walkers. Monday, February 27 was indeed rain-free, and Heather, John, Margaret, Curtis, Ruth2, Mary, George, Gillian, Jayne and Jim set out south on the beach, as it was barely above freezing and the theory was to stay in the sunlight. We turned inland at Patterson Park, and went up the dirt road short of the Forest Service to Kelsie Lane, then on to the sewer access road and Park Drive, where we encountered the Woodland Trail work party and City workers laying out a further extension of the Woodland Trail south of Park, hopefully to join the skate park some day. We then traversed the Woodland Trail to the lower entry, noting the stanchions placed on the switchbacks where rope will eventually be installed. This trail has exceeded our expectations. We had a variety of scenery today, beach, in town, the forest of the Woodland Trail. Gillian took the following photos, two of which illustrate the new benches placed by the city on the Woodland trail.

February 23--On this sunny and cool Thursday morning Jayne, Mary, Maggie, Bill, Heather, Clint, Margaret and John decided to explore the Woodland Trail. Two of our group had not experienced the trail, and the rest of us were curious about recent work on the trail. We found the trails crew installing the poles for the rope banister at the switchbacks. We proceeded to the Park Street trailhead and noted the new stretch of trail heading south through the forest. On our way back we paused and pondered the original purpose of the little dam on the Red River. We completed our hike in just under an hour.

It was drizzling on Monday, February 20, but we don't let that stop us, do we? John suggested Cummins Creek trail to get us under the umbrella of that beautiful forest that covers the Cape Perpetua trails. Bill, Maggie, Curtis, Gillian, Mary, John, Margaret, Heather and Jim were not disappointed by the choice. Lovely forest scenery and shelter from the weather. Several small trees had blown down across the trail, but did not hinder this group. In our discussions while hiking, the fact that John, Mary, Bill and Maggie had ventured out to help clear a new trail along Lint Slough last Saturday was brought up. Thanks to all of you for helping to prepare another future Waldport trail for use. We were so mesmerized by the scenery that we logged 5.11 miles and it was very enjoyable.

Thursday, February 16--On this cold and drizzly Thursday Beth, Margaret, and John explored the Woodland Trail. We found the new signage (hiking but no bikes or motorcycles), and the sturdy new benches in place. There were signs that a large animal had preceded us on the trail, and we observed that the new signage did not prohibit bears from using the trail. The hike was shorter than usual, but good fun in spite of the rain.

Another sunny Monday brought Bill, Maggie, Jayne, Mary, Curtis, George, John and Jim together on February 13. We once again decided to enjoy the sun and walk the beach north to the Port of Alsea. We found the sand to be quite soft and tough to walk in, so exited the beach once we reached the Port, and walked the streets to visit some of the historical sites in Waldport, such as the jail, which really surprised those members who were not previously aware of this quaint building. We continued on to the site of the former Lint Slough trail and slogged along the edge of the slough and a short distance up into the woods beyond the "rose bowl" as Jayne calls the sewage processing pond. This brought back memories of a trip up through here long ago when we split into three groups. The slough does present possibilities of another trail to replace the one lost when the dam was removed. It will take some effort to clear it. John introduced us to the Waldport magazine produced by the Chamber of Commerce and a flyer from the Rural Tourism Studio, both of which promote outdoor activity such as ours. We logged just under 4 miles.

Here is John's report from the Thursday hike on February 9: On this warm and windless morning Sharon, Heather, Jayne, Beth and John gathered at Keady Wayside for our Thursday hike. One of our group suggested that we cross the bridge and hike to the Soul Resort since some were not familiar with the beach access north of the bridge. On our way over and back we saw several Great Blue Herons, and a gathering of Harbor Seals on the sand flats west of the bridge. During our return hike, John asked for advice on cooking sweet potatoes. He was rewarded with four different versions, one of which he will test tonight to accompany the barbecued pork chops. Thank you fellow hikers!

New hikers Sharon and Heather joined the group of Beth (welcome back), Bill, Curtis, George, Gillian, Jayne (welcome back) Jim, John, Maggie, Margaret and Mary on another sunny Monday, February 6th. Once again, with new members, we elected to visit the fish ladder off the Eckman Lake roads. We drove all the way to the "intersection"--sorry about the confusion on that, it's my pet term for the junction of the roads we hike. It was pretty obvious that the wind had taken a toll on tree branches and some trees on Road 411/417 since our last visit. As usual, it was beautiful in the forest and Dick's Fork Creek was running well, making nice nature sounds to accompany us as we walked. Sharon and Heather enjoyed the view at the fish ladder, and Gillian and Beth photographed our group, below. When we returned to the cars, our different pedometers did not agree. We either hiked 3 miles or 3.5. At this point, Mary volunteered to drive a few of the hikers back to Keady Wayside. The rest of us backtracked to a side trail that just begged investigation. Soon after we started down it, I recognized it as the one which will now and forever be known as "Yvonne's Trail." The one time that our friend Yvonne accompanied us, we went down this trail, and when the day was over she questioned our sanity and vowed never to go with us again. Of all things we found a sewer line manhole cover on this trail which had obviously not been used in some time. We drove back to Keady on Road 1045, down to highway 101 and the red house. This road was better than the one we took inbound. Gillian's group photos appear below, along with an artistic one she took which just personifies the trails we hike. Thanks, Gillian.

John led another Thursday hike on February 2nd. Here is his report: On the beautiful sunny Thursday morning of February 2nd, our new Waldport Walker, Veryl, together with Beth, Maggie, Margaret, Bill, and John explored the Woodland Trail. After traversing the trail to the Park Street trailhead, we tried to find our way through the forest to Beth's home, but were prevented from doing so by some deep pools. On our return to the trail we encountered Heather and Sharon, two devoted users of the Woodland Trail. They may be joining us for future hikes.

After a Sunday of continuous rain, Monday, January 30 dawned dry for the Waldport Walkers, as usual. Jim2 and Jane were back in town and joined us, as did Curtis's wife Ruth. The alliterative group of John, Gillian, Jim, Jane, Jim2, George, Mary, Margaret, Ruth, and Curtis headed for our favorite rain forest road alongside Big Creek to show Ruth the scenery. We were surprised to learn that Jim2 and Jane had not been on this one before. It was beautiful as always, and "Big Crick" was really running, making the waterfall spectacular. After visiting the reservoir we hiked down to the creek and decided it could not be forded today. We investigated a new path which eventually returned to the road. Since the total mileage did not meet our usual target, we drove back into Waldport to revisit the Woodland trail, which weathered yesterday's rain quite well. We saw the signs that John had placed at the start and at the 1/4 and 1/2 mile posts. The crew was again working the trail, cutting up the downed tree into firewood at the switchbacks. Gillian was our photographer today, and the photos are hers. One at Big Crick where we came to the crossing obstacle, and the other on the Woodland trail near the top at Brentwood Drive.

John has reinstituted the second, Thursday hike, and here is his report from Thursday, January 26:

On this beautiful sunny morning Jan (plus Duffy"), Beth, Margaret and John went on the Thursday "in-town" hike to explore the Woodland Trail. We found that the trails crew had completely restored the washed out upper creek crossing, and had resurfaced the trail damaged by the downed trees. We thanked them for their fine work, and proceeded to the three trailheads which emerge near Crestline Drive. We all thoroughly enjoyed the forest settings with the sun breaking through, and returned to Keady Wayside, a hike of 3.1 miles, lasting 50 minutes.

Monday, January 23rd turned out to be a bright sunny day, so the usual suspects, Curtis, Bill, Maggie, John, Margaret, Jim, Gillian and Mary decided to get some vitamin D by staying out in the sun and crossing the Waldport bridge to check out the sand drifts on Bayshore which have been featured in national news broadcasts recently. We were able to beat the high tide and hike along the beach on the north side of the river, on the way over. We saw two boats which had apparently been washed down the river in the recent storms. We also noted a sign over on Bayshore which looked quite official and said "Tsunami Action--Run Like Hell." Don't know how long it has been there. We walked south on Oceania and have never seen the sand drift quite as bad as this one. It affected more homes to the north, and those two down near the south end were buried. At places we guessed the road had over a foot of sand on it. We returned via the road around the KOA site, as the beach was not navigable at high tide. The hike covered 4.57miles.

The following photos were taken by Curtis:

A buried house and the main road, Oceania

The sign

After returning to Keady Wayside, John, Margaret, Bill and Jim were joined by Jan and her pug puppy on an additional walk to measure distances on the Woodland trail, and place some markers for 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 miles along that trail. We saw the new bridge at the north end trailhead and it is quite stout, very nice. We got as far as the foot of the switchbacks where we encountered the trail working crew and a tree that was dangerously hanging over the trail, partially down. John's wheel recorded 895 feet to that point, which is not even 1/4 mile. The little stream had washed out the trail on both sides of the culvert just before the switchbacks, so a bridge may be in order for that place. The recent storms have really tested the trail and revealed a few problem areas, but in general it came through quite nicely.

On Monday, January 16, there was snow on the ground in Waldport to help us celebrate Martin Luther King day. "Snowbirds" Curtis, Bill, John, Jim, Maggie-Margaret-Mary met at Keady Wayside and since no one wanted to drive anywhere in the snow, we opted to walk the beach. It was kind of surreal to see snow on the beach. A lot of driftwood has been deposited there as well. The first photo shows a structure someone had the ambition to build, and that is not white sand, it is snow. We walked south to just past the blue B&B house, and it did not look promising near Yachats, in fact we started to get snowed or rained on, so reversed course and returned north, as the second shot shows. It alternated from grey to sun to white, seemingly forever changing. We logged another 4.47 miles.

The second hike of 2012 is reported by Mary: On January 9, seven hikers, Curtis, Maggie, Bill, John, Margaret, Gillian and Mary met at Keady Wayside.  Our destination was the over-sized berm we recently encountered.  This barrier blocks the forest road to our peaceful meadow.Little did we know we would be scaling a total of 25 berms (Margaret counted them) all along the trail.  We did some off-trail exploring and Gillian took a bunch of pictures. This berm-blocked forest road is 5.5 miles from Highway 34 and 2.5 miles from our usual Fish Ladder parking spot. John is contemplating restarting  a mid-week hike, one that would be closer to home, shorter and generally less challenging. Jim, our webmaster, reminds us that with the new year, we have entered into our fourth calendar year of Waldport Walkers hiking. Gillian provided these and other photos:

Climbing over the many berms added to this road since our last trip. After some thought, the webmaster thinks that those berms were installed as speed bumps to slow down Mary and Gillian.

Your blogger received a report from daughter Laurie about a hike that she and several friends took on Sunday, down in LA from the Griffith Park Observatory to the Hollywood sign. They managed to take a few wrong turns, converting their 4 mile hike to 12. The photo is of granddaughter Taylor and her cousin Kylene at the sign.

For our first hike of New Year 2012, John and Margaret brought along their son Carl and daughter-in-law Lori, and Curtis brought his son Nathan. Mary, Maggie, Bill and Jim made it a total of ten hikers. With new hikers present, we decided to repeat another of our very scenic hikes to the fish ladder, along roads 1045 and 417. Dick's Fork Creek was running as strong as we have seen it. The lack of decidous leaves brought out features of beauty not noticed before along this trail, including a waterfall on a Dick's Fork tributary stream. Besides enjoying the beauty of the trail we managed to clean up after hunters/trashers to the tune of five bags full. Our statistician reported 81 minutes, 4.62 miles. Continuing on with the Woodland Corridor story, John is proposing to resume the second day, Thursday hikes to interest more folks in the allure of that trail. Stay tuned for more news once the trail is dedicated. Happy New Year!

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the trails, the hikers were stirring--Bill and Maggie brought their daughter Jeanine along to join John, Margaret, Mary and Jim. We discussed where we could take Jeanine that was scenic. Hmm, tough decision. Are there any of our hikes that have not been scenic? On December 26 we opted for the rainforest road alongside Big Creek, for about two miles, and then to drive to Gerdemann's Gardens for additional mileage. The weather was perfect, overcast and about 50 degrees. The usual muddy sections at Gerdemann's were as dry as we have seen them, and the lack of leaves on the deciduous trees added a brightness to the forest and made the moss covered works of art really stand out. According to Mary, our official statistician, we covered 5.5 miles in 100 minutes. Our next hike will be our first for the year 2012. Happy New Year, everyone!

As a bit of an aside, every one of us is getting excited about the progress on the Woodland Corridor trail in Waldport, and have been exploring individually. The workers seem to enjoy what they are doing and certainly appreciate the compliments we are giving to them in all sincerity. They are doing a great job. I took a few photos last week and here they are:

December 19 was another cold day. Bill, Maggie, John, Margaret, George, Gillian, Jim and Mary met at Keady Wayside and decided to return to Legion Road, as we had not been there in quite some time. Considering that there has been very little rain (a record Oregon December low) the "lakes" along Legion Road were still pretty full. As we got close to "Dave's Manor," whom should we discover but Santa Claus himself, seated next to a nicely decorated live Christmas tree. We all gave him our gift wish lists and wish him well carrying all of the requested iPads, PlayStations, Digital Cameras and other stuff to us on Christmas Day. Here is a photo of the jolly gent himself, and another of the hikers of today, thanks to photographer Gillian. Wishing all of you who may read this a very Merry Christmas.

On December 12 the outside air temperature was right around freezing. Dedicated hikers Maggie, Mary, Bill, Curtis, John and Jim met at our usual place and decided to return to Road 5360 south of Eckman Lake. Curtis fit all of us into his van and off we went. We parked a ways past our usual "jumping off" spot and trekked up hill for a couple of miles, past the berm which leads to the tee trails. It didn't get much warmer but we were warmed by the hill climb effort. Bill had brought some plastic bags so we policed the road of several beer cans and a green plastic jug. Upon returning to the van and starting back down the hill, we encountered a road grader coming up the hill. We couldn't figure out what he was accomplishing, as he had really messed up the formerly smooth road. We owe Curt a car wash. (As an aside, I have added a page on my main site describing some of the Holiday Express fun this weekend) Continue to Holiday Express

December 5 (How has it become December?) dawned literally freezing, with frost all over roofs and some roads. Five stalwarts met at Keady Wayside, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Curtis and Jim. John was representing us and other hikers at meetings, and had sent a list of them with Margaret, who shared with us. If any of you Walkers can make it, the SOLCOTT, South Lincoln County Trails group meeting is in the Waldport Community Center at 10:15AM tomorrow, Tuesday, and John would appreciate help from us in the public forum, passing on our contributions to the Waldport Trails effort. Back to the hikers, we five elected to go back to our beautiful short road off Blodgett Road to the reservoir. There were a lot of downed branches along the road, from the recent wind storm, but the stream was running hard, moreso than in the spring, and the view of the falls was very nice. Gillian took the photo of us at the end of trail. After returning to the car we decided to return to town and "do something exciting." Apparently that meant continuing to hike along the beach to the port launch area and back. Gillian's camera was acting up so we stopped into Maggie Rivers' office to check it. We ended up with 4.62 miles hiked, and ran into Jan and Gary at Keady, renewing old acquaintances.

Unlike last week, the storm took place on Sunday, and Monday, November 28 dawned bright, sunny and cold. Nine hikers, Gillian, George, Curtis, Bill, Mary-Margaret-Maggie, John and Jim gathered at Keady Wayside. It was so nice we decided to stay in the sun, cross the bridge, and investigate the once-again sand-drifted homes at the south end of Bayshore. We found quite a bit of new flotsam deposited on the north side of Alsea Bay and elsewhere along the beach. This place is such a natural wonder. Then we saw the results of the drifted sand on the Bayshore houses. It is such a terrible thing for the owners. One man was operating a small CAT plow removing the drifted sand from his back yard. On the way back we encountered a family moving into a home there on Bayshore, recently arrived from Virginia. They had not (apparently) walked around the block to check out the sand drifts. We also found a young mom with her two little boys who were enjoying the beach. John took a photo of them with the mom's camera. If I ever get around to it I will put another page of photos in addition to these, somewhere on this site. Oh, and we were having so much fun we walked 5.6 miles.

Sunbathing in some poor homeowner's yard--Gillian is too relaxed.

George has his $$$ out for a down payment on this scenic lot

Our group (and the young mom and kids) with new flotsam

The winter storms are upon us. Mary, Jim and John showed up at Keady Wayside in the rain. The rest of you were smarter. After a short discussion, Mary and Jim opted for indoor treadmills at Diane's Fitness. John, however, inspected the Woodland Trail:

I walked from the Kendall Park ball fields up the Woodland Trail (I see they've dropped "Corridor" in their signs) to asses the progress. In spite of all the rain the barked portion of the trail was very easy to walk on, and I was so well sheltered that I was hardly aware of the wind and rain. As you know they have as yet not surfaced (barked) the new sections of trail above the switch-backs. Near the top end of the trail i found two flagged sections which have as yet not been cleared, but will soon be according to Jay. One of these starts right beside the gate at the end of Park Street, and the other is north of there along Hill Street. Both of these sections are in a canopy forest. It is nice that they are working hard to avoid using the access road as the trail. I then ventured south along the sewer-line right-of-way which takes one all the way to the City property near Range Drive. I met with Larry Lewis after my walk and we discussed trail signs, mile markers, and plant identification signs (as suggested by Maggie Miller). I saw not one person during the time that I was out there.

Thanks for the report, John, for November 21.

On November 14, the sky looked threatening but we set out for Amanda's Trail once again. "We" were John, Margaret, Mary, Maggie, Bill, Gillian, Curtis, Jim2, Jane, Ken, Mary Emma and Jim. We started at a parking area along Yachats Ocean Road and made it to the bridge. We elected to go a little further and it was obvious that this trail would be a real challenge, and decided it would be much better to delay a march to "the top" until dry weather returned (next July?). Upon returning to the bridge, we took a few photos, with Jane's camera, which I will post when I receive them. Thanks for remembering to bring a camera, Jane. Mary Emma provided some history to the lighthouse dwelling visible from the trail. It is actually an operating lighthouse, privately owned, called Cleft of the Rocks, and was originally built by Jim Gibbs, a retired lighthouse keeper, who apparently did not want to quit working. I know readers will not believe this, but once again, after remaining dry for the entire 4.68 mile hike, once we started back to Waldport in our cars, it started to rain.

What a group of handsome people.

Our group met at Keady Wayside on November 7, and as usual could not decide among ourselves where to hike. Hunting season is still open. After much humming and hawing, someone suggested the 804 trail, so off went Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Gillian, Jayne, Curtis, Bill, John and Jim to Smelt Sands State Park. From there we hiked north to the beach and encountered some sneaker waves and a younger couple who were visiting and hiking along the beach. We shared some trail info with them. The surf and foam were just wild, and the sun came out to provide a wonderful vista of sea, waves, blue sky, big puffy clouds, and of course NONE of us had brought along a camera. We spotted some confused pelicans flying north. What an enjoyable day it turned out to be, after a rain shower just before we met. We hiked south to the State Park in Yachats and returned to the cars, logging another 4.8 miles in this beautiful place we call home.

I don't know where to start. On October 30, Sunday, it rained all day, so it was a given that there would be mud, no matter where we went. John and Jim had conspired to get everyone to start out on the newly groomed (still in progress) Woodland Corridor trails, to obtain some photos for John. We gathered on Haloween at Keady Wayside, Linda, Jayne, Beth, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Gillian, Bill, George, Curtis, John and Jim. John had brought a length of rope in the event that the steep parts had not been tended to. They weren't. We had hoped that the temporary log bridge at the bottom of the trail had been replaced, but it had not and it was tough to cross. The newly cut and chipped trail was very nice, and the very muddy part had been fixed. The new switchbacks were not yet completed, but we tackled them. Even when completed they will be a challenge. Once beyond that point, we attempted to identify and hike connecting trails to the various streets on the top side. Several of us received Oak Leaf Clusters for our "Do Not Follow" pins. We did find our way to Dolores Street at Norwood Heights, then attempted some other side trails where we split into at least two groups and lost sight of each other. Gillian, Maggie and Jim followed Margaret through the forest, for which she received an immediate "Do Not Follow" award. Curtis was singing "I love to go a-wandering, Along the mountain track, And as I go, I love to sing, My knapsack on my back." This was very appropriate for the day. Others were singing "I was lost but now am found." Eventually We regrouped and returned via Dolores Street. It was crazy, but fun and we managed 4.26 miles. The photo shoot was successful. Two below show the lower part of the new Woodland Corridor.

More good weather, high tide and wild surf greeted us on October 24th. We decided to go to Cape Perpetua, and what a great choice that turned out to be! Ten of us, Gillian, John, Margaret-Maggie-Mary, George, Jim, Jim2, Jane2 and Ruth were wowed by the spectacular show at the spouting horn below the Captain Cook's Chasm bridge. We all wondered why Curtis and Sharron had not joined us. The ocean was beautiful to behold. Mary headed off ahead of the rest of us and when we finished watching the spouting horn, we set off to find her, wrongly assuming that she headed south on the Pacific Coast Trail, which the rest of us did. At one of the lookouts, Maggie spotted Mary on the highway below and shouted to get her attention, so Margaret backtracked to meet Mary. The further along we got, George and I decided that the sun angle was getting better for photographs of the spouting horn, so the two of us turned back and met Mary and Margaret. We also met Curtis and a group of friends that he had brought to this scenic trail. Great minds run in the same channels.......When George and Jim had their fill of photos we headed back to the Visitors Center. Everyone else had arrived earlier, and discovered that Sharron had driven to the Visitors Center. She had become stuck in traffic due to road work north of Waldport, and since she was returning to California later this week, had really intended to join this hike. We were sorry to have missed you, Sharron. Some photos follow. Gillian suggested that this was a "meandering" hike, and so it was. The group photos convey the message "This is why we hike."

Good weather returned for our October 17th hike. Newcomers Irv and Jane3, along with Ken and Mary Emma joined 11 regulars, John, Margaret, Curtis, Mary, Gillian, Maggie, Beth, George, Jim, Sharron and Jayne for a total of fifteen hikers. It was decided to drive to the State Park in Yachats and walk the 804 south to Amanda's Trail, and along Amanda's to the site of the newly installed bridge across Amanda's Creek. The 804 south is part of the Oregon Coast Trail and John's markers were evident along the trail. As we ambled along Ocean View Drive, we noted that the site of the old cottages had not received any new buildings, and learned that the financing had dried up. Some of these new cars are so silent we didn't hear them approaching as we resembled a herd along Ocean View. Once we got on Amanda's Trail the group spread out more and we didn't all rejoin until we reached the new bridge, a magnificent structure, where Gillian took the photos below. We spent quite a bit of time at the bridge and Amanda's statue. On the return trip, three deer charged out of the shrubbery along Ocean View and entertained us. They then went down to the beach, a new one on us, where a couple of dogs frightened them and they charged back up and across our path again. This was a very nice hike, and a new one for the scribe. I would like to try to go to the top of Amanda's some day.

Statue of Amanda, The Group on the bridge

Another bridge shot, and a very nice viewpoint along the trail

Another stormy night and morning on October 10 did not stop intrepid hikers John, Margaret and Mary. Here is Mary's report: Only three cars showed up at Keady Wayside on Columbus Day, October 10.  One car left presumably for a more climate-friendly venue.  Clad in full rain gear, John, Margaret and Mary drove up Range Drive to the old logging road where the weather calmed down a notch or two.  Though we hiked for only 55 minutes, we did stumble upon "Jim's House," that strange structure first discovered by Jim and then seemingly lost to us in future hikes among this tangle of trails.  Sad to report, but the "house" has collapsed and is now as pile of rubble. Unfortunately none of our able photographers was present to record its demise. Thank you, Mary.

A number of hikers met at Keady Wayside on October 3. While discussing where to go, everyone got drenched in a downpour. This scribe elected to leave, which he did. Mary sent the following report:

On October 3, a gentle early morning rain turned into an all-out downpour just as we gathered at Keady Wayside.  Beth, Jayne and Jim  (yes, Jim!) opted out of a soaking walk in the woods.  Six seemingly foolish walkers, Curtis, John, Bill and the three M&M girls Maggie, Margaret and Mary, headed for the protective canopy of trees on Dick's Fork Road.  The heavy rain let up and we managed a hike of a little over four miles. We shared the road with three large yellow ODOT trucks.  The first driver radioed ahead to the others to look out for us on the trail.  They are preparing for some work on the forest road so we may be running into them again.  We encountered no hunters and heard no gun fire. All in all. a peaceful stroll in the forest. Maggie, Bill and Mary were glad to be home from their travels to neighboring states and back to our Monday morning hike with friends.

The scribe went to the gym for two miles on the treadmill, then back out in the afternoon for 2.25 miles outside after the rain quit.

After months of dry weather, the rainy season started again on the weekend of September 24-25. On Monday the 26th, seven intrepid walkers met, and it was difficult to stand up straight with the wind velocity off the water. John had to attend a meeting and Gillian decided to opt for the warm, indoor environment of the Newport recreation center. We five, who may need a sanity check, Vern, Margaret, Finn, Sharron and Jim decided to stay close by, so we sped across the bridge, assisted by quite a tailwind, and discussed what the return trip might be like. Once across the bridge, we went down to the beach even though the tide was coming in, and walked to the motel beach. We turned around and noted new "No Trespassing" signs, which of course we came upon via the back side, so did not see them until we had already trespassed. The thought of changing our name from Waldport Walkers to Traveling Trespassers crossed my mind. From the motel we went up the hill to the edge of the KOA grounds and on to the high point where the wind was even more noticeable. We opted to take the road through the Seventh Day Adventist lot to 101 and back across the bridge, which wasn't quite as bad as anticipated. Upon return to Keady Wayside we had logged 3.44 miles. Vern and Finn are both leaving this week so goodbyes were said.

September 19 dawned foggy. Keady Wayside became crowded with newcomers Mary Emma and Ken, Ruth, Tom, Kristin and Jasper the 150 pound big gentle dog, along with regulars Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Beth, Gillian, George, Curtis, Bill, John and Jim. Our group of 15 set out for a return to the Beaver Creek state park, as hunting season is in full swing. Undeterred by an accident on highway 101, we all arrived at the South Beaver Creek Road entrance, and hiked the lower loop to the point where it starts uphill, then reversed course and split into three groups. We had stopped at the bridge at the end of the marsh trail, where Jasper had a swim in Beaver Creek. We went uphill at the North Beaver trail, to Snaggy Point trail, then back to the loop via the North Fork trail. Another enjoyable day, 4.89 miles. The photo is courtesy of Gillian and 12 of us are visible.

On September 12, 15 hikers gathered, and Gillian had done research on the Beaver Creek Marsh Trail, learning that it was dry enough to negotiate, so we elected to revisit the Oregon State Park at Beaver Creek. I was informed today that the 3M group, Maggie, Mary and Margaret, are actually the 3M squared group, as each of their last names also start with the letter M. They were joined by Gillian, Beth, Sharron (welcome back), Lily, Barbara, Jayne, Jim, George, Curtis, Finn, John and Bill. We parked at the Park Visitor Center and made it across the Beaver Marsh Trail, and for those of you who have a map, we continued south on the Beaver Creek Loop trail to the North Fork trail, went uphill to the Snaggy Point trail, then Snaggy Point Loop where we paused at the picnic table for a group shot which George will provide later--check back for it. From there we continued on the Snaggy Point Loop to Cougar Ridge trail, down the hill to N. Cougar Ridge, then South Fork trail back to the Loop and back across the Marsh, for 4.88 miles. It was a great day. Some of the folks picked berries but would not share them with the rest (just joking). I am typing this in great conflict with the US Open Tennis final and the visiting Cedar Waxwings.

Great Photo, George, thanks

Labor Day, September 5, found the ladies (Beth, Gillian, Linda, Jayne and the 3M group, Maggie, Margaret and Mary) outnumbering the men (Bill, Curtis, George, Jim, John and Vern). We 13 headed for Mike Miller Park in South Beach. John had found a new entrance to the trails a little beyond the advertised one, so we parked there. John had neglected to tell us about the roller coaster nature of this trail, and some members were tiring quickly. For this, John earned an Oak Leaf Cluster to his "Don't Follow Me" award. The weather was cool and overcast while our neighbors in Portland were baking. When we reached Marker 9 on the trail, the map showed it to be a dead end but we trudged on, and it was actually a connecting trail to the area around the Community College campus. In order to get to the campus from a housing development, Mary also earned an Oak Leaf Cluster by leading us through the woods. We examined the new Aquarium Science building and the Master Gardener's garden, then Curtis and Gillian haggled with the developers over new condos to be built. By now we had split into about three groups. We all met back at Marker 9 and retraced our path to the cars. In so doing, we managed to miss most of the original loop at the park, and I propose that we return there next week to experience that part. Photos are of part of the group at the Aquarium building, on the trail, and some of us playing in the playground. Forgot to report that we met another organized hiking group from Newport along the trail.

August 29 (Did I ask what happened to July? Now two days left in August?) And bow season opened two days ago and will continue till the end of September, when rifle/shotgun season starts. OK, undaunted by this news, our group decided to return to the roads south of Eckman Lake. You know how I love the alliteration thing, and soon after we left our parking spot, Mary, Margaret and Maggie were out in front, followed by Jayne, Jim, George and Jillian, then Curtis, Lily, Finn, and Barbara--really. That would soon change. When we reached the place that I like to refer to as "The Intersection," the leaders continued marching down the hill toward Highway 101. Some of us decided we would rather go to the fish ladder, since Finn, Barbara and Lily had not been there before. Margaret sprinted after the leaders and returned to our small group. Soon everyone was back together headed for the fish ladder. The evidence of our drought showed on the moss covering the trees. It was quite dry along the road. Lily enjoyed the fish ladder and caught a small frog. We returned to the cars and had logged 5.5 miles. Mary, Gillian, Maggie, George, Curtis, and Lily probably logged over 6 miles. We decided to visit Mike Miller park at South Beach, next Monday, Labor Day. Gillian took the two photos below, and we thank her.

August 22 was "mountain climbing day." At Keady wayside, Jayne returned to the group along with Salem's Jim2 and Jane. Gillian showed up with Magnus, her "adopted grandson for a day." Our eclectic and alliterative group, Mary, Margaret, Maggie and Magnus, Jayne, Jim, Jane, Jim2, Gillian, Beth, Curtis, Lily and Vern set out for the Visitors Center at Cape Perpetua. It was misty and wet, but that didn't dismay us. At the visitors center we met Finn and Barbara, friends of John and Margaret, from Tucson, AZ and they joined us to make a total of fifteen climbers. That trail, St. Perpetua, is a great one. We were told that the elevation was about 800 feet at the top. It is listed at 2.2 miles round trip, but my pedometer recorded 4.75. Short steps? At the top, it was just about zero visibility, and we hiked to the rock hut. Amazingly (as usual) the sky started to clear and soon we could see all the way to Heceta Head. A boat was circled by the Coast Guard helicopter but was apparently in no trouble, as the helicopter continued south. On the way back down, all of the vista points that were fogged in on the up trip provided nice views. Hopefully Jane will send us a group photo to attach later. Great day, good friends, many of whom attended the NOAA open house over the weekend.

Here is Jane's photo, and thank you Jane. Waldport Walkers at "The Top"

August 15 dawned to be a continuation of a great summer. Our group met and discussed options, the beach, Cape Perpetua, others. Gillian suggested the Giant Spruce trail at Cape perpetua, and off went Curt, Ed, Deb, Mary, Margaret, Maggie (welcome back!), Beth, Gillian and Jim. We parked at Captain Cook's Chasm bridge and walked to the visitor center, and from there to the Giant Spruce, now that the trail has re-opened. Mary's secret place is no longer secret, as a trail is quite visible to it these days. We walked across the campground to the base of Saint Perpetua Trail, the face of the mountain, and as we returned to the Visitor Center the conversation centered on "When will we attack St. Perpetua Trail?" We decided to propose that for next Monday. It will not be for the faint of heart. Bring water, hiking sticks, snacks. We intend to place at least one car at the top for anyone who will not want to try to hike back down the trail, tough on the knees. If a larger crowd shows Monday and some folks don't want to do this, we can change plans. Happy birthday, Vern, we missed you. The two photos below are from today, taken by Gillian at the Giant Spruce and at Mary's secret place of meditation. Thanks Gillian.

August 8 was a nice sunny day, and as usual, 10 of us could not decide where to hike. The downhill trail near Dahl Disposal that led to the late Mr. Helms' place was chosen. Curtis, Lily, Vern, Deb, Ed, Margaret, John, Gillian, Beth and Jim started down that trail, which was quite overgrown. We did not get very far when we ran into an obstacle on the trail and backtracked to another which led to a nice overlook, but dead end. Back to the cell tower at Dahl we traipsed, and headed west through the field. Did I mention things were overgrown? We were in some tall grass peppered with wild sweet peas and other flowers. Eventually we got into the maze of trails north of Dahls and came out at Green Drive. Back we went, and again were unable to locate Jim's former home (See last August 16 for a photo). The last few trails were pretty hilly so we were glad to see the cell tower once again. Three deer joined us briefly at the end of the hike, and they looked very healthy. I believe the term for today was "Random Rambling," right Gillian? 4.15 miles.

On August 1 (sheesh, what happened to July?) a smaller group of us gathered. Mary suggested the 804 trail, as the tide has been very low the last few days, so Beth, Gillian, Sharron, George, Vern, Curtis and Jim joined her for this adventure. When the tide is out, the surf really changes along the trail. We were entertained by a few flocks of low flying pelicans plus a lot of humans and dogs sharing the trail. When one just observes the beauty of this whole area, it is really glorious. We are so lucky to live here. The day was beautiful and we could have stayed all day. As it was, we covered 4.76 miles, and Mary and Sharron probably logged 5 or more. The group photo and two others below were taken by Gillian. Thanks.

Beth lecturing the "Gang of Six" for today

"King of the Mountain, Vern"

Investigating tide pools at the north end

July 25 saw the return of Sharron and her friend, Sue, who joined John, Margaret, George, Mary, Curtis, Lily, Vern, Maggie, Jim, Beth, Ed and Deborah, and all set out for Risley Creek Road out at Taylor's Landing. We passed an accident in close to Waldport on Highway 34, and followed Ed up this single lane forest road, encountering a couple clearing a downed tree alongside the road. Some 4.5 miles later we pulled over still on road 3446. On the way up we had passed a sign to the Harris Ranch trail, which begs for further exploration. We walked along 3446 through some more beautiful forest, in and out of the fog and mist. We covered 4.35 miles on another great hiking day, on new territory.

On July 18, twelve hikers met at Keady wayside. Mary, Maggie, Margaret (I love doing that), John, Vern, Curtis, George, Gillian, Ed, Deborah, Lily and Jim went up to Waldport Heights to explore the water system and power line trails. We paused to check the vista looking east out the Alsea River and were attacked by mosquitoes. Vern decided to take his hike back to the cars which was a smart idea, as the rest of us suffered many bites on this hike. When we got to the place where the road to Peterson Park branched off, we split into two groups. Mary led Lily, Margaret, George, Ed and Deborah up the path which led to our friendly horses, while John led Jim, Curtis, Gillian and Maggie down to Lint Slough. As was the case last week, the foxgloves were everywhere. It has been a good year for them. When the Lint Slough group got back to the top of the hill, Margaret met them with news that the others were warned that they were trespassing on private property by a homeowner. We rejoined forces and backtracked to the starting point, for about 3.5 miles total, lots of up and down.

July 11 found a new couple, Ed and Deborah, joining George, Mary, John, Gillian, Curtis, Maggie, Margaret, Jim, Beth, Linda, and the return of Vern for a hike up to the fish ladder at Dick's Fork creek, which was as always, a beautiful hike. Mosquitoes chased us away from the fish ladder. We parked at our usual place which makes this a very long hike, 5.46 miles today. The U.S. Forest Service is to be commended for the repair job they have done on the road (5360) leading to the site. Thank you. We all hope Ed and Deborah enjoyed the hike, and welcome back, Vern.

On Celebrate America Day, July 4, Jim's son-in-law John joined Curtis, Lily, George, Mary, Margaret, Maggie, John, Jim, Gillian and Bill for a hike suggested by John and tried earlier by Bill and Maggie, starting from the trailhead at the top of Cummins Creek trail at Cape Perpetua. The scenery was beautiful in the forest, and the trail got very steep. We came out into a clearing with a breathtaking view of the valley containing Yachats River Road from about 1800 feet elevation. Along the trail there was evidence of an extreme biker run that some people had set up--crazy. Maggie and Bill had found an easier way down which joined the road (55) and led us back to the cars, which were four miles from highway 101 on 55. This hike was filled with fantastic scenery and a fitting one for the Fourth of July. Thanks to John, Margaret, Bill and Maggie for suggesting this one, much enjoyed by all. Following the hike, Mary, Margaret and John investigated a dirt road off road 55, and Jim took Curtis, Lily and John B up to the lookout on top of Cape Perpetua, as they had not been there. Here is our group photo.

On June 27, Curtis brought his daughter Lily to join Mary, Margaret, Maggie, Linda, Gillian, George, John and Jim for a two-part hike. We began at Blodgett Road on our favorite rainforest/waterfall road, which did not satisfy the four mile rule, so we drove to Gerdemann Gardens and added 2 more miles. Lily caught one of the tiny frogs we see around here during the first part, and she released it. Several of us had been traveling, so we caught up on the news. John brought maps of the Cape Perpetua trails, and the plan for next week, July 4th, is to drive to the top of the Cummins Creek trail where several trail options exist. There is talk of stopping in Yachats on the way back for pie and the La De Da parade. The following photo has nothing to do with our hiking, but it was the reason I was missing last week.

Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive 4449 running through Steilacoom, WA.

The scribe continues to be unreliable. Mary sent this report for the June 20 hike: On June 20, the last day of our rainy spring, five Waldport Walkers appeared at Keady Wayside to celebrate spring's final day.  We were glad to welcome Sharron back, but quickly learned she will be  returning to California for at least another month.  Joining Sharron were Maggie, Lyla, Curtis and Mary.  We chose a simple beach walk.  The tide was low, a negative one, and the wind was a its ebb point as well  Our walk took  us  to Wakonda Beach and back for a total of 4 1/2 miles. What began with a light mist ended with beautiful sunshine. 

Your scribe was unable to make the June 13th hike due to "supervising" a new garage door installation. Mary provided this report: On Monday, June 13, eleven Waldport Walkers met at Keady Wayside amid heavy drizzle.  Welcoming new member Sandy were John, Margaret, Bill, Maggie, George, Curtis, Gillian, Beth, Lyla and Mary.  We drove up Dick's Fork Road and hiked to our foxglove meadow where we found the vegetation has made quite a comeback  after its recent mowing.  We were nearly as wet as  as we were  on the Beaver Creek trails of one week ago.We finished with a hike up the forest road for another mile or so. Our good deed for the day consisted of removing a tree from the path to the meadow.  This Herculean feat was accomplished with only one brush with disaster. The scribe would be interested to learn of the "brush with disaster." I will not be attending next Monday as I will be enroute to the National Railway Historical Society convention in Tacoma. Keep up the recording, Mary, and thank you.

For our first hike in June, on the 6th, we decided to visit the Beaver Creek Natural Area after a long absence. I think we did that a little too early, as it was bloody muddy and the grass was very wet. Linda, Beth, Gillian, Mary, Margaret, Maggie and Lyla joined George, John, Curtis, Bill and Jim for a hike around the Beaver Creek Loop Trail, which we did and it turned out to be 4.24 miles counting a short side trip to Snaggy Point, which Bill had not seen before. The rangers had mowed part of the loop trail but apparently gave it up about halfway around as we hiked through tall wet grass. We need to petition the rangers to fill in some of the very muddy areas with gravel if they will do so. We did encounter another couple hiking, which we have done in the past at the natural area. It really is a great place to hike, but much more enjoyable when it's dry. We drove up to the Visitors Center and picked up some copies of the new, revised trail map. Some of the trails have been re-named and some have lost their identity, such as Fairway Meadow, which is a very appropriate name.

Photo by Gillian at Snaggy Point. Alas, no one volunteered to dance on the picnic table. Maggie was hiding.

Memorial Day, May 30 saw a collection of 13 of us arriving at Keady Wayside. Jan Power gave us a short presentation of the City of Waldport trails and a request for volunteers from the group to help keep the City effort going on trails. Then Curtis, Jim2, Jane, Bill, Maggie, George, Mary, Gillian, John, Margaret, Beth, Linda and Jim set out across the bridge and down the KOA trail to the beach, along the streets in Bayshore to a beach access, to the Alsea River jaws. At this point, most of us men wimped out and turned around. Curtis, John, George and Jim coaxed Beth, Linda, Margaret and Gillian to join them. Meanwhile, Mary, Bill, Maggie, Jim2 and Jane continued around the sand spit heading for the Bayshore Beach Club. Interestingly, we all ended up at the KOA grounds at about the same time on our return trip. John, Gillian and Beth jogged across the bridge in an attempt to humiliate the rest of us slow folks. Shame. Immature bald eagles were spotted in the bay along with the usual harbor seals. The local flora is really out in bloom and many varieties were spotted. Today's hike added 5 miles to our total. Anyone interested in a difficult hike is welcome to report to the usual gathering place on Wednesday, June 1.

May 23, 2011. An historic event in our group took place today, hike number 100, meaning we have accumulated some 400 miles, the distance from west to east across Oregon. We were joined by new member Stephanie, who joined John, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Beth, Bill, Maggie, Curtis, Jayne, Lyla and Jim at the Port Dock. We set off along the beach.

We had not gotten too far along when who should we discover but Linda, bringing our total population to 13.

All of us proceeded along the beach to the stairs leading up to Highway 101, which we took, and went along 101 to the Forest Service facility, up the trail to Norwood Heights and around the neighborhood, to Beth's house, where we found her beautiful gardening efforts, then up Pacific View drive where Beth earned her "Do Not Follow Me" pin by leading us down a dead end to a viewsight which did not materialize. When we returned to the Port we spent some time at the Salty Dawg for lunch and drinks and discussions about our activist future.

It was a very nice weather day and a very nice group to share time with. If you don't believe that, check us out in this group photo provided by Gillian:

No comment.

On May 16, John and Margaret returned to the group, and John was awarded his "Don't Follow Me" pin. Gillian, Mary, Jayne, Beth, George, Curtis and Jim joined them and set off for Legion Road. Legion resembled the Land of 10,000 lakes once again and it was drizzling. Mary reported that most hikers managed to accumulate 4.96 miles, but this web wimp turned arond early due to a doc appointment. Thank you Margaret for marking the spot on the trail to detour and avoid the BIG lake. If any of you read this, next week will mark hike number 100. Shall we celebrate? Why don't we adjourn to the Salty Dawg right after Monday's hike and have a celebratory adult beverage and/or lunch? Jayne, I split up the photos, so check the ones here: Photos from late March

For our 98th hike on May 9, Curtis, Vern, Gillian, Jim, Beth, Jayne, George and Mary met and decided to "close the loop" on Blodgett Road (5360) by driving up to the intersection of 1046 and 5360, and hiking to the berm where we parked way back on April 11th. The road was not a pleasant drive, but we made it just in time to get rained on, the opposite of our usual good luck. We set out anyway, and indeed the high point there is above 1400 feet elevation. The triliums seem to thrive at that elevation as they were everywhere. More small waterfalls were found and quite a few beer cans. No salamanders spotted this week. Wouldn't you know we found two more interesting side roads which will need future exploration, road 421 and 415. We need to get a Jeep to negotiate the road to the top. Pam Lamphear, my talented friend from church, had made some very inventive "Don't Follow Me" buttons, and two were awarded for after-the-fact leadership events to Mary and Gillian. They were well received, and we thank you Pam. Another 4.4 miles in the books.

Curtis' photo of our conquest, thanks Curt

At Keady Wayside, 9:30 AM, May 2, it was raining fairly hard. Some of our fair weather friends stopped by to indicate that other plans precluded them from joining the six of us who were prepared to walk in the rain. That would be Mary, Maggie, Jayne, Jim, Curtis and Bill. We were like a ship without a rudder due to the absence of John and Margaret. Nevertheless, we set out for the upper portion of Dick's Fork road and its side trails. The little salamanders were again very plentiful, and Jayne remarked that she first knew them as "water dogs." We parked at the "road closed" sign a few miles up the road and investigated a side trail to the north, where we found a lot of trash, including a couch and some perfectly good children's folding chairs, brand new sheets, lots of cans and really too much to carry out. We went on up to the intersection of all the roads just past the disused reservoir, and down the short dead end and back. In the process we filled another four or five bags with others' trash. For the most part we were free of rain, and when it did rain it was very light. 4.55 miles.

Another stormy night gave way to light drizzle at hike time on April 25, the day after Easter. Bill, Maggie, Vern, Margaret, John, Mary and Jim braved the elements and returned to our wind-shielded haven, Dick's Fork road. We hiked into the meadow formerly known as the foxglove meadow. The roads off Dick's Fork drain fast and it was not very wet. Many of the little salamanders were seen. They have been rare lately, do they hibernate? We then went off the beaten path to the north and found another seldom used road with some real old growth huge stumps, and another road that appears to have been groomed recently, along the power lines. On the way back to the cars we were rained upon, and Keady Wayside was very cold, wet and windy. This marks two straight hikes where the men outnumbered the women. Come on back, ladies, we miss you. Once again we policed the mess left by thoughtless people.

No one could believe that the sun was actually shining on April 18. For our 95th hike, John, Curtis, Vern (welcome back), George, Bill and Jim (6 men), were joined by Maggie, Margaret, Mary (I love doing that), Beth and Gillian (5 women). For the first time, men outnumbered the ladies. Apparently men do not make a big difference in the direction of the hike, as we wandered aimlessly once again, starting south on the very low tide beach until the wind came up, doubling back to Patterson Park, up and down streets and roads in Waldport, with an eventual return to Keady Wayside, 4.27 miles. Gillian sent this photo of us all aimless on the beach. Thanks, Gillian.

When we met at Keady Wayside on April 11, it was raining, following a few sunny days. Jim's daughter Laurie joined Bill, Maggie, John, Margaret, Curtis, Jayne, Jim and Mary and we headed up Blodgett Road and parked 4.3 miles up that road, past the quarry. It had stopped raining by the time we got there. Thanks to Mary and Bill for driving. The forest road, 1046, was quite scenic, with small waterfalls, lots of Trillium(s), and was a gentle upslope. We walked 2.12 miles beyond the parking place, and at times got rained and snowed upon. Yes, snow. Deep slopes on both sides of this road were obvious. The elevation at the end of our walk was 1400 feet, and that was beyond the intersection with Road 5360, the same road we were on to reach the site we hiked two weeks ago. We found a couple of signs that read 2/26 AOL, a mystery, and another road that we need to explore in the future. I measured distance on the topo maps when we got home and determined that we were about 1 1/2 miles from the spot where we parked two weeks ago. Another road that runs all the way from Highway 101 to Eckman Lake. The rain and snow stopped and we policed the beer cans, shotgun shells and other debris on the way back to the cars. Very interesting. Laurie enjoyed all of your company.

April 4 dawned with moisture-laden clouds as far as could be seen. Bill, Maggie, John, Margaret, Beth, Jayne, Gillian, Mary and Jim met at Keady wayside and stayed close to town by hiking south on the beach, where we saw a baby seal which had been stranded. John had been tracking the seal for a few days. The wind came up and we reversed course, heading across the Highway 101 bridge, down the road past the Seventh Day Adventist church, through the KOA grounds, down to the beach under the bridge and back to Keady, 4.27 miles. As I stopped at the mailbox at home, it started to rain.

As promised last week, we returned to Road 5361 over the disaster of a road, up to the berm where we were before. A good sized group participated this week, again with equal numbers of males and females. Margaret, Mary, Maggie, Gillian, Jayne, and Jane were joined by John, Curtis, George, Jim, Bill and Jim2. There were places where the trails were pretty muddy, but we discovered some beautiful grottos and meadows along the two "tee" trails beyond where we stopped last week. Marring the beauty was an old abandoned pickup truck that someone had pushed over a bank and left. Several of us took a bunch of photos, and later I will put some more on the second page, but for now just a couple. At the end of the second tee trail some obvious logging had taken place, again marring the beauty of the scenery.

Our Group at the "tee" and I don't remember the trees leaning.

The group heading up the second tee.

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On March 21, guess what? It had rained again during the early morning. John, Margaret, Bill, Maggie, Curtis (welcome back), Mary, Jim and Gillian met and set off for the roads beyond Eckman Lake, this time negotiating the huge potholes beyond our normal parking place. From there we hiked up the mountain to some seldom used old roads, road 5361 and 412 on the map below. We discovered several small but scenic waterfalls, and achieved Gillian's goal of reaching "the top." Look on the map and you can find the tee intersection where we turned around, and it is at Yachats Mountain, the top indeed. On the way up we heard a "one note" bird which sounded like squealing brakes. None of us could identify it. The roads we found were beautiful, and the plan for next week is to drive up to the intersection of roads 5360 and 5361 to investigate the two roads off the tee where we stopped. Look carefully at the map and you will find that the road we were on actually connects to the one off the Blodgett quarry that we had discussed today.

Our Group, photo by Curtis.

Another dark and stormy night, March 14. We seem to have a lot of them lately, and oh, an occasional tsunami. Optimists Bill, Maggie, Mary, John and Jim were re-joined by our traveler Jayne and we decided to go to Dick's Fork road to avoid mud. We set off on the lower dirt road that led north from the main one, and decided that it was one of the first ones we ventured out on, so many months ago, which led to Wakonda Beach road. It became pretty impassible short of Wakonda, so we backtracked and found a place where a massive washout occurred, and also a "dump" site which even contained a hot tub that someone tossed. We continued on up Dick's Fork and discovered a group of skunk cabbage just blossoming, and as Mary said, a sure sign of spring. I forgot to mention that the sun came out and we experienced no rain. We did pick up a lot of trash and managed over four miles. Did any of you happen to see the video of the Waldport Centennial on the South Lincoln County News website? Some of us were in it.

In contrast to last Monday, March 7 looked promising. Twelve of us met at Keady Wayside, and again men equalled the women, at least in numbers. Jeremy, Jim2 and Jane rejoined the group with Gillian, Mary, Margaret, Beth, Maggie, George, John, Bill and Jim. I'm not sure how to start, or finish, our tale of aimless wandering today. With gas prices at $3.69 and rising daily, we elected to leave the cars at Keady, and since the tide was low, start down the beach to the south. As usual, the TV weather guessers were wrong when it came to the coast, and the wind came up, joined with rain. George did not have any rain gear and elected to return to his car. The rest of us were not as smart, and continued down the beach to a trail leading back to the streets near John and Margaret's home. From there we went through the "holy ground" at St. Lukes church, and up the dirt road leading to Chad Drive. From there, "Don't Follow" Jim led the group down a city access road alongside a deep ravine. Coming back out of that road, "Don't Follow" Gillian suggested entering the maze of logging roads south of Range Drive, which we did, and Margaret told us that she had gotten lost in the many loops there while hiking alone last week, so we decided to become lost en masse with her, which we nearly did. On our way back out of the maze, John decided to show Margaret the short way home and we all followed him. Let us say that John has become the latest addition to the "Don't Follow" group, as he led us down a narrow overgrown stream bed and over logs to the top of Seabrook Road. From there we went down the power line access road along highway 101 and up the hill to Norwood Heights, and back to Keady. My pedometer said 5.04 miles. See you all at Waldport's Centennial celebration tomorrow.

Photo by Gillian from today

February 28--"It was a dark and stormy night." Sure was, thunderstorm just after 2AM. While making the morning coffee the wind and rain were pelting the windows. Undaunted, John, Bill, Maggie and Jim met at Keady. We decided to call off the hike. Tide was high and the bay was choppy. I drove to the gym, and as a real indicator of how bad the weather was, stalwarts Mary and Margaret were at the gym, not even checking in at Keady! Maybe next week.

Presidents Day, February 21, started cold but turned out to be a beautiful day. Ten of us met at Keady, and Maggie and Bill suggested our favorite road off Blodgett, as somehow they had not been there on our previous outings. They were joined by John, Margaret, George, Gillian, Beth, Mary, Linda and Jim. Big Creek was running strong and the falls was a sight to behold. The beauty of this particular hike must be experienced first hand, and Maggie and Bill did so today. We also went "down the hill" to the Big Creek crossing. On the way back up, Gillian and Jim investigated a side trail which came out at the Maintenance facility where we had parked. At this point some folks elected to call it a day and others went up Blodgett Road for another mile added to the trip. Another great day, and Presidents Day has replaced the former celebrations of President Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 12, and George Washington, Feb. 22. It now is celebrated on a convenient "in between" Monday, allowing our citizens to have another three day weekend. It also now includes all Presidents, even William Henry Harrison, our 9th, inaugurated in January 1841. He fell ill at the inauguration and died 31 days later. Your scribe was added to the "I'll not follow him/her again" list today. I have added more pictures on the second page.

Most of our crew at the falls view point

Maggie and Bill, and John, coming back up the hill from the Big Creek crossing.

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The weather for Monday, February 14, Valentine's Day, was again predicted to be rainy and windy. Seven brave souls met at Keady Wayside, and for the first time, our alliterative lot of ladies, Margaret, Maggie and Mary, were outnumbered by the males, Bill, Curtis, John and Jim. We motored to Cook's Chasm bridge and walked a short bit of the west Cape Perpetua trails, crossed the road via the tunnel, went south on the Oregon Coast Trail to the junction of Gwynn Creek. There was no way to go to Neptune beach as the surf and tide were high, so we hiked up Gwynn Creek trail. It was very scenic and the creek was really running. We welcomed Curtis and Mary back to the group, and Mary still wanted to go "just another five minutes" or "just around the next bend," which we did a few times. It started to rain, and as we returned to our starting point, the trail began to resemble a stream bed. Those who emailed Sunday night and begged off due to the forecast whould not have been pleased.

Hikers on the trail

Our happy and wet group. Both photos by Curtis.

I guess it was inevitable that our weather luck would one day run out. Today, February 7, was the day. 44 degrees with rain and wind made us all detour to other methods of excercise. Bill, Maggie, George, Gillian, John, Margaret and Jim did meet briefly at Keady Wayside. About an hour later your scribe braved the elements and investigated short side trails off the Woodland Corridor, the cart road on the golf course, and Crestline. Not the same.

The desperado has not been apprehended, so a decision was made on January 31 to avoid hiking north of town. For the first time since we have started, the ladies, Margaret, Linda, Maggie and Gillian, did not outnumber the men, John, Jim, Bill and George. The eight of us drove to the new cell tower near Dahl Disposal, and set off into the maze of old logging roads. It was quite muddy considering that there has not been significant rain since last Friday. We slogged on, at times entering the WAA (wandering around aimlessly) mode, or as Gillian stated, "rambling." The cell tower is a great and highly visible landmark, and we managed to find our way back to it after a little more than three miles. Many critter tracks were spotted on the trails. More new territory was found today.

Excitement in Waldport! January 24. Police presence everywhere. Late last night a man stopped for a traffic violation in Lincoln City shot a policeman and sped south on 101 pursued by many police vehicles. A spike strip stopped him north of Waldport, but he took off on foot, toward Bayshore. We hikers, Gillian, Maggie, George, Linda, Margaret, John and Jim, observing the SWAT team across the bay, tactfully decided to hike south of Waldport. Gerdemann Botanical Preserve was chosen, and off we went, past the lighted highway advisory sign which read: Police Activity. Do not pick up hitchhikers. We obeyed the sign. Passing the Hilltop market we observed that one of the houses next to the market had suffered a fire last night. The gardens were a much more tranquil sight and we discovered that even though the rain had stopped a few days ago, the trail had turned into a stream bed in places. Very muddy. We hiked up to the reservoir and noted that the little stream alongside the trail was running pretty strongly. The sun came out and was welcome. We had not seen blue sky in days. Would you believe that one of the rhodies in the garden was blooming in January? As far as we know, the desperado is still on the loose, and apparently had taken some shots at a fisherman in a boat on Alsea Bay. We will be locking up tonight.

January 17. It has been raining torrents for days. John reported his rain gauge showed 6.1 inches in the last two days. John, Margaret, Mary, Jayne, Gillian, Bill, Maggie and Jim met at Keady Wayside and it was windy. Mary reported that her roof was leaking and returned home. To celebrate MLK day, the rest of us went to Dick's Fork road and parked at the junction of the Foxglove Meadow road. This is getting very strange, as once again the rain stopped. We hiked to road 414 and along that road past the South Lincoln Water district tank. It was muddy and a large number of salamanders were spotted. They probably got washed out of their shelters. When the hike was completed, Margaret demonstrated her power by proclaiming "let it rain," and guess what, the rain started again.

Photo By Gillian

On January 10, Linda suggested that we revisit the fish ladder road, Road 417, so John, Margaret, Curtis, Mary, Gillian, Bill, Maggie, Beth, Jayne and Jim joined her and drove to the intersection of Road 5360, which just seems to be calling us back, and Road 1045, Dick's Fork. From there we hiked to and up Road 417 to the fish ladder. The alder trees had lost their leaves, making it a little brighter in the forest. Unfortunately there was a lot of refuse along the road and we picked up most of it. The last mile to the fish ladder continues to impress us with it's beauty. Small waterfalls on Dick's Fork creek were evident, and the moss on the trees makes it quite a wonderland. Gillian and Curtis recorded a lot of it on film. Good choice, Linda.

It would appear that many folks made New Year's resolutions to resume hiking, as we had a turnout of 14 hikers for the first hike of 2011. Bill and Maggie, Jim2 and Jane, and Diana were welcomed back by Curtis, John, Margaret, Mary,Jayne, Linda, Beth, Jim and Gillian, and we set off for road 5360 off Eckman Lake road, hopefully to escape the cold winds. It was cold but very sunny! Evidence of hunters and loggers was present in the forms of beer cans, an elk carcass, and obvious mowing and trimming of the roadside. A lot of our conversation centered on new computers and problems with them, as that is what their purpose is. Gillian and Curtis brought cameras and photographed the "Saguaro Cactus Tree" off Gillian's Fork. Hopefully they will send me one to attach to this.

The tree, now known as "Jim's Tree" Photo by Curtis

Most of our hikers had family visitors for the Christmas weekend, but Gillian, George, Mary and Jim met at Keady Wayside on December 27th. George and Gillian decided to excercise on the indoor track in Newport, as it was raining lightly. Mary and Jim were the only two hikers, so we decided to stay close and went down along the beach to the path to Corona Court, across 101 and up the dirt road to Chad Avenue, crossed to Norwood Heights and came back down the trail to the Forest Service headquarters, back to the beach and to Keady, 3.37 miles.

We met at the gazebo at Keady on December 20 for our Christmas photo. Curtis brought his son Nathan and his girlfriend Cassie, and daughter Lily. They joined Jayne, Gillian, George, Jan, Gary, the puppy, John, Margaret, Beth, and Jim for the photo (below) and then we split up, Gillian, George and Jayne opting for indoor excercise (we had been experiencing showers and it didn't look promising), and eight of us revisiting the idyllic rain forest road off Blodgett, to show our visiting guests. Big Creek was running hard and the waterfall was impressive. All the youngsters are college students and were intrigued by our little salamanders. We hope they enjoyed hiking with us seniors. We were concerned that Mary did not show up, so stopped to visit her on the way, learning that she was suffering from a flu-like illness. We missed you, Mary.

And look at the falls.

Curtis, Mary, Jim, Gillian, John and Margaret met and the weather was not promising. We decided to accomplish the thought we came up with at the end of last week's hike and investigate the side roads off Dick's Fork. I know that readers will not believe this, but it stopped raining for us once again and it turned out to be a glorious hike. Everyone was shedding coats at the end, and we were all warm. The sun tried to come out. The trail discovered last week turned out to be Road 412 (John, I was off by a whole lot on my road numbers). It was about 6/10 mile in length and quite muddy. After exiting this trail, we continued on up Dick's Fork to the "intersection" where the Fish Ladder road starts. This time we took the other road slightly west of that one, and it was nearly a mile long, recently rehabilitated with crushed stone and had evidence of truck travel. We assumed something must be at the end of it. Not so, just a wide spot to turn around and evidence of dirt dumping. There was a Prudential "For Sale" sign there. We hiked 4.7 miles.

Gillian, John, Mary, Curtis, Beth, Linda, Margaret, Jeremy, George, Jayne and Jim met on December 6 and headed for the intersection of the Foxglove Meadow and Dick's Fork Road. Again, the lack of rain on Mondays was evident. The meadow looked as it did in October, having been mowed down. We examined some of the power line access roads, cleaned up some litter, and found a promising road that we have apparently somehow overlooked. This is to be our destination next week. We managed to hike 4.00 miles according to my pedometer. On the way back down to highway 101 we spotted a gutted elk carcass.

On November 29, we revisited the old logging roads off Range Drive, continuing on to the new development at the golf course. We being John, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Linda, Lyla, Curtis, George and Jim. We were unable to locate "Jim's former residence," and John decided it must be a mobile home. It did not rain.

Will it ever stop raining? The morning of November 22 dawned warmer than the previous stormy day, but the showers reappeared. Most of us were ready to give up, but looking at the forecast for the rest of the week, hardy souls Beth, Linda, Curtis, Margaret, John, Mary, Gillian and Jim set out for the forest service roads south and east of Eckman Lake. We should have gotten a clue as a guy in a four wheel drive unit tailgated us up the road. We parked at the intersection of roads 5360 and 1045. It actually stopped raining, once again, as we started up 5360. Gillian, recovering from a flu-like illness, had obviously regained her health, as she left the rest of us far behind. As we reached the road we have named "Gillian's Fork," she was exiting said road after exploring it. It is actually road 413. Mary, Margaret, Jim, Gillian and Curtis decided to explore 413 and we went further than we did the last time, up to a point that pretty much became unnavigable (is that a word?). We did discover a small meadow which from this day forth shall be known as "Margaret's Meadow. As we started back, we heard several gunshots. John, Linda and Beth had continued up road 5360, and as we returned to the point where we had split up, they, too were returning, having heard more gunshots. The hunters were apparently out, and the rain returned. A deer leaped across the road, seen only by Linda as the rest of us were looking down at the road. When we reached the cars, we had only covered about 3 miles, much to Mary's dismay. We need to explore road 413 when it gets a little dryer, as it is another beautiful place.

On Monday, November 15, Jim2 and Jane joined Gillian, John, Mary, Curtis, Beth, George, Jayne, Jim and Margaret for a return to the Gerdemann Botannical Preserve, in the misty rain. There are all manner of mushrooms and other fungi growing along the trail to the South Lincoln Water district reservoir. We found a trail beyond the reservoir that invites investigation once it becomes dryer. George, Gillian, Jayne and Jim visited Bob Keller's photo gallery--beautiful work.

The South Lincoln County Committe on Trails (SOLCCOT) will convene at the Waldport Community Center on November 16 at 2 PM. Presentations will be made by the Oregon Parks, City of Yachats, US Forest Service, Port of Alsea, City of Waldport, and the Oregon Coast Trail groups. Many of our members will be involved. Please attend if you are able.

Another stormy night on November 7-8 led to the usual clearing, for us, on Monday morning. Laimons and Vicki were newcomers to our group, joining John, Margaret, George, Mary, Beth, Lyla, Jane, Jeremy and Jim. It had been raining a lot, so we decided to go to Cape Perpetua and enjoy the cleared trails there. We parked at Captain Cook's bridge, and the spouting horn was wildly blowing, at times overwhelmed by the monster surf. We covered our usual entry to the Oregon Coast Trail, and instead of diverting to Neptune Beach, we continued on the Coast trail. Actually there was no Neptune Beach to walk on, as the tide and surf would have prevented it. We turned left at Cummins Creek trail and went a very short distance along the trail, admiring the river that Cummins Creek had become. There is new gravel on the Cummins Creek access road. The scenery was beautiful.

November blew in like a lion, with rain and high winds. Seven undaunted hikers met at Keady Wayside. I was ready to go to the gym and the treadmill, but the others' enthusiasm was too much. Off went Curtis, Mary, Beth, Margaret, John, Lyla and Jim to our favorite rain forest road alongside Big Creek off Blodgett Road. It turned out to be delightful in the shelter of the forest. Three little gnome statues have appeared at the reservoir area. We went down to the creek but didn't attempt a crossing. Then the other six hikers mistakenly took my advice to try to find the remnants of an old logging railbed that started near the quarry up Blodgett road. That's when the weather turned sour again and we got soaked, causing internal thoughts of our own sanity. The road that we found and hiked was not the one I was looking for, consulting topo maps after the fact. That road starts right at the quarry. Curtis's van got soaked inside and out.

"It was a dark and stormy night......." on October 24-25, and it continued on into the early morning. Six of us met at Keady Wayside in the rain. Gillian, smarter than most, opted to drive to Newport and walk inside in the shelter of the Recreation Center. George and Lyla, also smarter, elected to return home. Mary insisted that we could hike up Dick's Fork Road and be sheltered. Where have we heard that line before? She convinced Curtis and Jim to join her, and folks, you won't believe this, it again stopped raining. We parked right off 101 and started up the road. We turned into the Foxglove Meadow road after 1.35 miles and walked all the way in to the meadow. Several trees had been cut down alongside the road, and recently. Much to our surprise, when we reached the meadow, it had been completely cleared of the tall growth we had all seen before, making the irrigation sprinklers more obvious. Another mystery, and the sun came out. The pedometer showed 2.16 miles at the shed that housed the pumps. We retraced our steps and about 1/4 of a mile from the cars it began to sprinkle. We really didn't get wet at all, and the rest of you missed a good hike. How long will these Monday miracles last?

Lyla's daughter Shelly, and Jeremy, of the bakery group, joined Curtis, Diana, Linda, Margaret, John, Gillian, Mary, George, Jim and Lyla on October 18. Because of hunting season, we elected to return to the Beaver Creek Natural Area (no hunting) to explore trails that we had not experienced on previous visits. We decided to split into groups, one to stay low around the Beaver Creek Loop trail, and the rest of us to find an "easier" way to get up to Snaggy Point. We split up at the barn, Curtis, Margaret, Linda and Diana staying on the low path. The rest of us ventured up South Beaver Meadow Trail, through the meadow formerly identified as Fairway. The grass was very wet and our feet were soon soaked. We turned left at Antler Overlook Trail, right on Cougar Ridge Trail, left on Snaggy Ridge Loop and on to Snaggy Ridge where the view is breathtaking. We met a couple from Berkeley, CA who were enjoying the trails. After a brief rest we backtracked to Snaggy Point Trail for the downhill leg. John and Jeremy left us at North Fork Trail to join the others and inform them that we would miss our appointed rendezvous time. We intended to come down North Beaver Trail but somehow missed it and ended up on the Beaver Creek Loop. We visited the proposed kayak pullout site and returned to the parking area. Conclusion: There is NO easy way to get up to Snaggy Point. It was another lovely day and a very enjoyable hike.

On October 11, Diana rejoined us and George, Beth, Linda, Jim, Mary, Curtis, Margaret, Jayne, John and Lyla walked from Keady Wayside across the bridge, down the KOA trail to the beach, along the beach and streets of Bayshore to the jaws of the Alsea River. Jan and Gary opted to go fishing, and from what we witnessed, the fishing was good. Not a sign of rain after a very wet weekend. Can you believe this is 70 straight Mondays? On our return we talked to a couple who had caught about a 20 pound Coho Salmon. George has taken another group photo.

On October 4, Jim2 and Jane rejoined the group, and along with George, Margaret, John, Beth, Linda, Curtis, Mary, Gillian, Jan, Gary, Jayne and Jim, headed for the 804 trail starting at Perch Street in Yachats. We really need to get a bus, as the parking is getting to be a problem. George shared a high resolution print of last week's group photo with us. Very nice. The surf was really putting on a spectacular display and pelicans were exhibiting great flying skill. Once we got off the trail at the State Park, we morphed from the Waldport Walkers to the Waldport Ramblers, wandering around Yachats streets past such scenery as the water treatment plant. Curtis is enjoying the photo opportunities on these hikes, and there are many. George has provided another shot from today showing all 14 of us.

A special event, the dedication of the Beaver Creek State Natural Area, took place on Friday, 0ctober 1, and many of us were in attendance. To see what transpired, click here.CLICK

Dennis, a new hiker, joined Mary, John, Lyla, Jim, Beth, George, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Vern, Linda, Curtis, Susan2, and (welcome back) Jayne--wow! Fifteen hikers, a new record on this 27th of September. Since Vern is returning to California this week, we decided to reprise the "farewell to Vern" hike from last fall, parking at the Captain Cook's Chasm bridge at Cape Perpetua and walking the west-of-101 trails along the middens, through the tunnel under 101 and south along the Oregon Coast trail to Neptune Beach. It was beautiful, partly foggy, which caused those shafts of sunlight to pour down through the trees creating great photo opportunities. Curtis took a bunch of photos. George used the magic of Photoshop to provide this photo of all 15 of us, raising the question, who took it?

And another from Cook's Chasm bridge catching us walking.

More of George's photos from today are found on our page 2, as are a couple of great sunray shots from Curtis. CLICK

Since we have all been invited to the Beaver Creek State Natural Area Grand Opening ceremony on Friday, October 1, let's meet as usual at Keady Wayside at 9:45 and carpool to the Ona Beach parking area. After the ceremony is over, depending on how much of the "light refreshments" we have consumed, let's plan on hiking in the Natural Area, you know, Cougar Ridge.

September 20--the weather was predicted to be rain. Never happen to the Waldport Walkers. We met at Keady Wayside and were introduced to the newest member of Gary and Jan's family, a tiny pug puppy. Mary and Vern did not show up, so rumors were started. Curtis, Lyla, Linda, George, Margaret, John, Beth, Jim, Gillian, Jan and Gary headed for "the intersection" (that would be the FIRST intersection) on Eckman Lake Road. We parked at the same spot that we did last week, but took the "other" fork in the road, which maps show as road 5360. We rediscovered "Gillian's Fork" which we found back in January, but Jim and Gillian were the only two who explored it. It is another wonderland with a very strange tree covered with moss and a deep ravine to view. Maps show that to be road 413. The two of us finally caught the rest of the hikers on road 5360. This road is very well maintained and a fun place to hike. Linda and Jim started back before the others, after too many uphill climbs. The rest of the crew arrived in two groups, Curtis, Margaret, Beth, Gillian and Lyla, followed by John, George, Jan and Gary who had investigated another road. Another great day of over four miles.

If anyone got together last Thursday for a hike, please let me know about it.

re last Thursday...I did not get the word that there would not be a hike...so I arrived at 9:30 and waited and finally called John and was filled in on the cancellation...so I walked across the bridge and back by myself....got back to my car just as a light mist started falling....Cheers...George

Monday, September 13 found two new hikers joining the group, Curtis and Susan. With George, Mary, Gillian, Beth, Linda, Vern, Jim, Lyla, Margaret and John, we twelve boarded two vans for transport to "the fork in the road" above Eckman Lake. From there we ventured along the road to the fish ladder, one of our most beautiful venues. Whoever maintains that road, either Fish and Game or the Forest Service, had graded it and it was a very pleasant walk. When we reached the fish ladder we noted that the "throne," stump where we posed for photos in the past, had disappeared. A group photo below, thanks to George. Welcome to the group, Susan and Curtis.

Two more photos, thanks to George, on the second page.

On Labor Day, September 6, laborers Vern, Gillian, Beth, Gary, Jan, John, Margaret, Mary, George, Linda and Jim gathered at Keady Way. John suggested trying a network of trails which were shown on a topo map on the north side of the river off Bayview Road. We drove to the end of the road and hiked in past a house where two yellow labs barked at us. We continued on into uncharted territory and found a deer or bear hunting stand in a tree. It was getting creepy so we decided to exit the area. On our way back past the house, a young woman came out, with the labs and another dog to ask if we were with someone in the area and to warn us that bow hunting season is open and we were trespassing on private property. She was very diplomatic (outnumbered 11 to 1) and meanwhile the as usual friendly labs made friends with all of us. We returned to our vehicles, four of us in Gary's four wheel drive pickup and seven in George's van and headed for Legion road. We decided to drive further up Legion to start, and went through some serious rough puddles. When it became obvious that George's van was not right behind those of us in the truck, we reversed course and found the magnificent seven walking. George's sacraficial van had bottomed out in the puddles and he wisely decided to park it and walk. Everything turned out all right, we covered 4.1 miles, and survived the wilderness. God rest your soul, Bob Clapp, deceased September 4.

John's report from Thursday, September 2:

On this sunny, windless, perfect day Gillian, Mary, Beth, Margaret and John decided to cross Alsea Bay Bridge and explore the new route for the Oregon Coast Trail. We discussed where to place the wayfinders to help Coast Trail explorers find their way without having to hug Highway 101. The trail beside the KOA was in good condition, the beach was very passable, and we worked our way to the Bayshore Beach Club beach from where we retraced our way to Keady Wayside. The wayfinders will be placed in the near future.

Monday, August 30 found what the TV weather-guessers referred to as "showers" to be an absolute downpour at meeting time. Undaunted, intrepid hikers Margaret, Mary, Lyla, Jan, Gary, John, Vern and Jim set off for Smelt Sands State Park and the 804 Trail. I still find it hard to believe, but when we got out of the cars, the rain stopped, once again. Soon after we started north on the 804, pointing out to Vern all of the interesting stuff like the weird buildings and the controversial arbor, whales were spotted spouting not far off shore. We hiked north to the beginning of the beach, reversed course and came back to the Adobe. On the northbound path, Lyla turned an ankle and decided to take care of it and return to the cars. Southbound, we found her resting on a bench, and Jan and Gary took her back to town. We hope you will heal fast, Lyla. Continuing south on the (well marked, by John) 804, now part of the Oregon Coast Trail, we went into the Yachats wetlands trail and through a short section of forest before returning to Smelt Sands. A very interesting hike.

John's report from Thursday:

As planned, our Thursday Village Walk started with the cleanup of the garbage which we had discovered last week in the forest just east of the Waldport Forest Service Ranger Station. Beth, Lyla, Gillian, Mary, Margaret and John hiked from the Ranger Station armed with trash bags and rubber gloves provided by the Forest Service. After cleaning up the mess and depositing the bags in a dumpster, we explored a trail just south of the Ranger Station. We found ourselves at the end of Forest Park drive, worked our way west to Norwood Drive, and discovered an abandoned trail into the forest. We found this trail overgrown and in need of clearing, returned to Norwood Drive and through the forest back to the Ranger Station. By mutual consent we extended our hike by walking to Governor Patterson State Park, exploring the forest loop, and returning to the Ranger Station. A very satisfactory hike with a meaningful public service component.

Monday, August 23, we were joined by new hikers Jim2 and Jane2, so designated because we have another Jim and another Jane (just my convoluted thinking). Jim and Jane proved to be veteran hikers, having no problems keeping up with the rest of us, and actually probably could lead us. Vern returned to the group, and John, George, Jim, Gary (all guys listed first, Chauvinist pig!) and Margaret, Mary, Linda, Jan, and Gillian ventured back to the Oregon State Park at Beaver Creek. We agreed to avoid the mountain climb to Craggy Point, and stayed on the perimeter road for about two miles, and returned to the starting point. We were impressed with how much work the Rangers have done since our last visit (Way to go, Mike and Dennis!), mowing meadows, and defining the road, placing grass in the tire tracks and marking the trails, thankfully re-naming some as all were once called Cougar Ridge. We definitely have to return to this place and investigate the many trails leading up the hills.

John's report from August 19th:

On Thursday, Lyla, Gillian, Mary, Margaret and John hiked a route suggested by Gillian. We walked south on the beach, watched the pigeon guillemots on the bay and saw their nest burrows in the sandstone cliff near Yaquina John Point. We left the beach via a public access just north of Bunker Creek, crossed the highway, walked through the St. Luke's Episcopal Church grounds and along the old railroad right-of-way to the Waldport Forest Service Ranger Station. From there we took the forest trail where we found a trashy campsite which we decided to clean up on our village walk next Thursday. We ascended to Norwood Drive and via a circuitous route worked our way back to Keady Wayside. A very pleasant one-hour hike.

On Monday, August 16, Gillian, Lyla, Linda, Beth, Mary, Jane, Margaret, John, George and Jim met at Keady wayside and proceeded to the dump at Dahl Disposal Service, the site of a newly constructed microwave relay tower and started off on the old logging roads which lie between Crestline on the east, Highway 101 on the west, Dahl's site on the south and Range Drive on the north. There are many of them and they form quite a maze where one could easily get lost. We found the old tower (Jim's former residence) which had not fallen down as suspected, it was concealed from view by new growth. There were a lot of deer and a few cougar tracks along the roads. Just about four miles and 1 1/2 hours later, we were finished. Photo by George of the old tower and all of us.

A report from Mary on the Thursday, August 12 hike:

On Thursday, August 12, Jane, John, Mary, Lyla and her grandson Ross from the Portland area drove up Waldport Heights Road and hiked along the water line trails to the reservoir. We stopped to admire the view of the Alsea River before setting out on our one-hour trek. As usual, our three horse friends came to greet us before returning to frolic in their field. We hope Ross will return to accompany us again; from his high school environmental science class, he has a wealth of information to share on that subject.

On Monday, August 9, Sharron brought a visitor, Whitney, who traveled from Las Vegas to hike with George, Mary, Diana, Jane, Gary, Jan, Beth, Jim, Gillian, Virgil and Barbara. As usual we couldn't decide where to go, but finally settled on what the ladies say has become our "signature hike," the beautiful rain forest alongside Big Creek off Blodgett Road. As we passed the waterfall, the conversation once again went to "When are we going to bring a rope and descend down to the falls?" We did find a slight diversion just off the beaten path. Returning from the reservoir, we ventured down the power line road to Big Creek, where Sharron, Whitney and Diana crossed the creek and started up the steep hill on the other side. The rest of us returned to the parking area. From there, George, Beth, Mary, Gillian and Jim went further up Blodgett Road, while Virgil, Barbara, Jan, Gary, and Jane returned to Keady Wayside. Once again we had split into groups. See what you missed, John and Margaret? Beth brought a book of flowers and we were able to identify a few including the little Centauri.

Here is John's report from the hike on Thursday, August 5th:

Gilly, Susan, Jane, Lyla, Margaret and John walked the beach from Keady Wayside, under the bridge, over the ghost shrimp and clam beds to Robinson Park at the Port of Alsea. We viewed the kyak and crabbing docks and then made our way south along Lint Slough. We again explored the possible route for a new trail along the west bank of the slough. This time we didn't lose anyone in the forest! We then walked back to Keady Wayside via the ballfields.

Two new hikers, Virgil and Barbara, joined Gary, Jan, George, Mary, Gillian, John, Margaret, Jim, Jane and Sharron for our August 2nd journey to Seal Rock. Starting at George's house and beautiful yard, we hiked to Fern Ridge Cemetary with the intention of connecting to the Legion Road route taken on July 26. It turned out to be quite an uphill climb. The cemetary is located 400 feet above sea level. After touring the cemetary and a few short power line access roads, we returned to George's. I have attached a map showing where we were last week, and today, both shaded in orange. The gap between the two is what remains for us to find. Barbara is a real trouper, hiking four miles with a broken toe.

John's report from the Thursday hike on July 29 follows: With the Woodland Corridor Trail now funded and construction imminent we decided to explore future access points to the new trail from Range and Crestline Drives. Linda, Jane, Gillian, Margaret and John explored the area starting at the future Park Street Trailhead. We found several options for future trail extensions to Double Eagle, Masters, Forest park and Crestline Drive. We also did a lot of litter collection, the most notable item being a large black bra (unoccupied1). It was a very enjoyable and productive hike of just under an hour.

Our group was joined by JoAnn, a friend of Gillian's, who traveled all the way from Minnesota to participate in the July 26 hike, along with Jane, Jim, Beth, Linda, George, Margaret, John, Mary, Gillian and Sharron. We drove up Legion Road to the place where we started there back in April. What a difference. It was much drier than the last time, though the one "lake" still had water in it. A mower/trimmer has been up there cutting away the brush (and everything else in its way) on both sides. We thought it might be possible to reach Fern Ridge cemetary. Mary, Sharron, Gillian and JoAnn got pretty far ahead of the rest of us, and in our "debriefing" session we figured they were just about a mile short of the cemetary. In the future we plan to start at the cemetary and go south, probably meeting the place we reversed course today. The four speeders walked about five miles, and the rest of us compiled 4.5. John probably did about seven, running back and forth between the two groups. This is another one of those places that might be fun to park cars at both ends and hike the entire route one way. The only down item was that the mosquitoes were out in force.

Here is John's report from the Thursday hike on July 22:

Our hike on Thursday was delightful. On a dry sunny morning Margaret, Linda and I hiked the Giant Spruce Trail at Cape Perpetua, sidetracking to a small hidden beach on Cape Creek. This is a swimming hole we have used in the past when camping at the Cape.

On July 19, Jim suggested the rain forest-like road 417, off the Eckman Lake road, to the fish ladder, which we originally found in May. Jane, John, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Linda, Sharron and Jim drove to one of the "intersections" of the forest roads to make it a little shorter. It still turned out to be five miles, but that last mile to the fish ladder is a truly beautiful area, with the sound of Dick's Fork creek and the sights of moss growing on the trees and a proliferation of foxgloves and other flora. You all seemed to enjoy the photo last week of all of us just sitting around, so we staged another at the fish ladder, seen below. Many suggestions for next week were discussed with no firm decision made. Among them were the long hike from Carl Washburn Park to Heceta Head, or part of it, the near vertical trail up to the viewpoint at Cape Perpetua. On Thursday the group will venture to Cape Perpetua for the trail to the Giant Spruce.

More photos will be found on the second page, link below.

A report from Margaret on the Thursday, July 15 hike

Thursday was a delightful day for hiking the Cummins Creek Trail. We had one new hiker (Jane MacMillan), who joined Sharron, Diana, Mary, Beth and Margaret for the walk through the woods. See you tomorrow

Ten of us gathered on Monday, July 12. Mary suggested the Gerdemann Botanical Preserve in Yachats, so Jim, Vern, John, George, Margaret, Mary, Diana, Sharron, Beth and Gillian headed out. I had missed this the first time and it is a truly pretty area and a great hike. We did find a very nice picnic area, and as you can see from the photo below, we don't really hike, we just sit around and talk. From there we made it to the Yachats reservoir and around some of the streets, Starr Creek and others. The little stream that runs along the garden is neat and the rhodies are impressive, as were the "wild lilacs?" we found. Sharron gathered a whole bouquet. Everyone enjoyed this one, and thank you Mary for suggesting it.

Many more photos from this hike are on the second page,

Click here to see them

Here is John's report from the second Thursday hike on July 8.

We gathered at Keady Wayside in the chilly wind and fog for our Thursday Village Walk. After a short drive to Range Drive we hiked in the forest south of Range Drive, well sheltered from the wind. We were glad to have Jan and Gary back with us, which with Gilly, Beth, Mary, Margaret and John made us a merry band of seven. After circling through the forest past many elk and deer tracks, we emerged at the south perimeter of the golf course, headed north and re-entered the forest to return to our staging area. It was a very pleasant and dry 55-minute walk.

Monday, July 5, when the holiday was celebrated, found new hikers Doyle and Barbara joining John, Margaret, Sharron, Jane, Jim, George, Mary and Diana for an attempt to find all the neat paths north of Alsea Highlands. We drove to the intersection of Bayview Drive and 101 and started out. After passing the Cell Tower we encountered construction equipment clearing lots, and a new road which had been cut in since our last trip there. The area has basically been destroyed for hiking. We walked around on what remaining trails were to be found, most ending in dead ends. I refer to it as being lost. We decided to go to the north wayside of the bridge and we walked down the KOA trail to the beach. Several hikers left us, going back across the bridge. This part is now referred to as "wandering aimlessly," but we did do a lot of beach cleanup from the fireworks crowd, picking up fireworks remnants, beer bottles and cans, and other debris.

Here is a report from John concerning the first Thursday walk. Very encouraging!

Hello Jim, As you saw we had a good turnout, 10 walkers. They were: Bill, Maggie, Valerie, Paul, Beth, Monika, Lyla, Jane, Margaret and me. We walked up the Woodland Corridor Trail, and when we got to the steep (and muddy) section, Paul and I went ahead with one end of a long rope which I had brought along. When we reached the top of the steep section we stood together anchoring the rope, while the other eight pulled themselves up. It worked well. When we reached the gate at Park Street a neighbor came down to us to warn us about two bears which were regularly raiding his garbage and garden. We thanked him and nonchalantly proceeded on our walk, returning via Norwood Drive, past the Pacific View mirror, and down to Starr Street. A very successful hike of just under an hour. Sorry you missed it. Have a great weekend. John.

I guess we are getting notorious. Four new members arrived at Keady Wayside on June 28. We welcomed George, Monica, Heather and Betsy. Lyla, Diana, Jane, Mary, Gillian, Sharron, John, Margaret, Jim, Beth combined with our newcomers totalled fourteen, our largest group so far. With the recent full moon and subsequent very high and very low tides, John suggested we try the beach again, as the tide was -1.2 at 8:46. We started at Keady and walked the beach around Yaquina John Point to Gov. Patterson Park, where we went ashore. Now, the speeders, Mary, Sharron and Gillian apparently did not hear John's directions to leave the beach. They were so far ahead of everyone else that they missed the turn. I think they walked to Yachats. The rest of us hiked the short trails around Patterson Park, then walked Highway 101 to Range Drive (John checked his mail as we passed by the Alicia Lane mailbox.) We cut across the road to the storage place, arriving at the Forest Service Ranger station, where we embarked on the hidden trail up to Norwood Heights. Found garbage dumped on that trail. People are senseless. We walked around the Pacific View Drive and back to Keady. Our total was just over 3.5 miles. George took a photo of us at the Pacific View mirror. I'm looking forward to posting it here. Good group. Join John for the SECOND DAY hike on Thursday, at Keady Wayside. It will be a short hike in town, not to last more than one hour.

We are getting fewer suggestions for where to hike. Today, June 21, we finally decided on Cummins Creek at Cape Perpetua. Jane, Linda, Jim, Mary, Gillian, Beth, Sharron and Bill found the trail to be quite muddy. It must have rained a lot more down at the cape than in Waldport. We did not attempt the loop trail which is so steep. On the way back down the trail Gillian, Bill and Jim found the trail to the stream which we visited last summer and went part way down, but it turned out to be longer than anticipated and we thought the rest of the folks might be worried about us, so we returned to the parking place. It must be tourist season as we encountered at least eight other hikers on the trail.

It has been brought to our attention that we may hike too far and over terrain that some of our potential members may not wish to do. What do you think about a second day, Thursday, hiking "Village Walks" in town for no longer than an hour? Please give me some feedback at MAIL ME.

Two new hikers joined us on Flag Day, June 14 for a highly anticipated visit to the Foxglove Meadow. Trisha, Diana's sister, visiting from Texas, and Jane joined Bill, Maggie (2), Mary, Gillian, Diana, John, Sharron, Lyla and Jim. Some of our members had other commitments and wanted to trek a little less than normal, so we drove up Dick's Fork road to the gate leading to the Foxglove Meadow and hiked in. What a disappointment, as there were perhaps 10 foxgloves sighted. We then went further up Dick's Fork and took a forest service road that we thought we had hiked before. It came out in a meadow where a Southwest Lincoln County Water District facility was located, and this was new to us. We continued on and came to another meadow under the power lines, and a little further on came to another road which exhibited civilization. A house and a real estate sale sign were visible. Mary, Bill and Maggie went on further, and I await a report from them. John, Sharon, Diana, Trisha and Jim returned to the starting point. New territory discovered today.

Dylan McDowell sent me the photos that he took on the day he interviewed us. Thank you, Dylan, for all of the publicity you provided us in the South Lincoln County News and the Newport News-Times. Here is the one at the gazebo on our meeting site, Keady Wayside.

Gary, John, Margaret, Jan, Jim, Vern, Gillian and Shirley. Photo by Dylan McDowell.

The other photos I have put on the second, photo album page.

On Monday, June 7, the occasion of our 52nd hike, four new members, Bill, Diana, Lila and Sharron joined Maggie (2), Gillian, Mary, Beth, Penny, John, Linda and Jim. Again it had been raining all day Sunday, and we wanted to avoid mud if possible. We decided to return to Waldport Heights and revisit the water line and power line access roads on the east side of Lint Slough. The trail had accumulated quite a bit of growth since the last time we ventured out here (Perhaps it has been raining, ya think?). We took our new members to the overlook for the view of the Alsea River, then ventured along the access roads, a little beyond the green water tank. We were still unable to find the large building which is visible from the road to Dahl Disposal. This is a mystery. We did see our friendly horses including the miniature, which had a friend this time, an eagle, and a garter snake. One whole year has passed by. This was our largest group, twelve. We missed you Margaret and hope you are recovering.

May 31, Memorial Day, dawned misty. Mary, John, Margaret, Beth and Jim met at Keady Wayside. Jim proposed hiking up Cedar Street to Crestline, and on to the small Cemetary at the corner of Salmon St. and Crestline, to plant a couple of small flags in honor of our fallen veterans. All of us had seen Gillian's car parked near the bakery, so we decided to walk past there and harrass her. She decided to join us and the six of us hiked to the cemetary. Evidently a veteran's organization beat us to it, as there were flags on the graves of all veterans interred there. From the cemetary we backtracked on Crestline and took it all the way to Lint Slough, and down Mill Street to the port, where we got on the beach. A minus .9 tide occurred at 0948, and it was almost possible to walk across the bay. Several folks were digging clams, and John gave us a lesson in identifying clam locations. I apologize for taking us all on so much pavement, but the beach section made up for it, I hope. After last week on the beach I realized how much I miss hiking on the beach. We are blessed with so much of it here. Next week we will have been at this madness for an entire year.

On the occasion of our FIFTIETH hike, on May 24, we were interviewed by Dylan, a reporter for the South Lincoln County News and a volunteer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. John had interesting news of a series of seal, whale and other sea creature appearances at Beachside State Park, so we elected to go with John to investigate these creatures. Dylan joined John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Shirley, Gillian, Mary, Vern and Jim and we headed for Beachside. The first creature we came upon was a young Fur Seal (sea lion), which was close to death on the beach. John, wearing his animal protection hat, had placed signs warning people to leave the creatures alone. The Grey Whale was quite obvious due to its size, further north on the beach. It, too was apparently young, and deceased. We then located a rare and live Elephant Seal, much further north on the coast than normally found. It had moulted and John explained that they come ashore, do not eat, moult, and recover before returning to the sea. There was a report of an "eel" which we found, and it turned out to be a Sturgeon. We then hiked south to Big Creek and back to the entrance of the park, picking up trash enroute. Almost everyone had business to attend to, so we broke up. We had hiked slightly less than three miles, so of course Mary wanted to continue. Vern, Jim and Gillian have not yet learned to avoid following Mary, so the four of us hiked up Dick's Fork road, successfully locating the trail that veers off to the left and ends up on Wakonda Beach road. We kept following Mary's promise of a grand vista, which we finally found, a clear cut with trash and stacked tree branches. Breathtaking. It did get us to five miles, though. Next week we are going to give Mary a one half hour head start. Thanks to Gary and Jan for the photo of the elephant seal below.

For once, on Monday, May 17, the predicted rain was nowhere in sight. A new hiker, our second Maggie, joined Linda, Beth, Mary, Gillian, Jan, Margaret, Gary, John, Vern and Jim for a trek back to the new Oregon State Parks site off Beaver Creek Road. We're going to have to obtain a bus for transportation soon. For some insane reason, we decided to start off by climbing the mountain to Snaggy Point. (See map below). After resting for a few minutes and enjoying the view from "the top," we started back down. Gillian found another UP road which led to a meadow, and backtracking from there we finally found the elusive Canyon Loop trail and walked it. It is sorely in need of some clearing, and the meadows are in need of mowing. Are you reading this, Mike? Back down the hill, where another insane thought made us hike up the road in search of the bridge and proposed kayak launch site. More up and down. Many critter tracks, including cougar, deer, elk, dog, raccoon, and bear. We deposited some human tracks in the mix. When we got back to the entry gate, my pedometer read 5.55 miles and we were beat. Next week will mark our FIFTIETH hike. By the way, the photo below has nothing to do with today, but shows the terrain I hiked over at the Sumpter Valley railway last Saturday. Those piles of rocks are gold dredge tailings and are murder to walk on.

On Monday, May 10, Gillian had a dental appointment and requested that we visit our favorite little rain forest road off Blodgett Road, so we did, we being Vern, Linda, Beth, Jim, Gillian, Mary, John and Margaret. On the way up Blodgett a deer crossed the road in front of us and put on a leaping display in the forest. The road was muddy, as it poured last night, but we remained dry. The falls were quite visible and Big Creek was running furiously. Margaret found a bottle, and as we are prone to do, she picked it up to dispose of it, only to find one deceased mouse in it. The bottle at one time contained "211 Steel somethingorother" beer, wow 8.1% alcohol. Either that mouse got in there and got too fat to get out, or he got drunk and died happy. We hiked to the reservoir and back, and Gillian left for her appointment. The rest of us continued up Blodgett Road for quite a while and my pedometer recorded about 4 1/2 miles total. Would you believe, (and this is getting creepy) that as we turned onto Highway 101 headed for Waldport, it began to rain? Once again we beat the weather.

Monday, May 3 was stormy. That didn't stop Vern, Mary, John, Margaret, Beth, Jim, Gillian and Linda from hiking. Mary suggested inland along Eckman Lake road. Some of us were dubious, but this turned out to be an excellent choice, free from wind and rain, and along a road which we had done before, but had not gone as far due to Beth's boot failure, remember? This road contained some real beauty, alongside a swift stream, which after the fact map reading disclosed to be Dick's Fork, of all things. It came to a dead end where we found what appears to be a fish ladder in a cleared meadow. Small waterfalls were seen along the way and a few side roads which warrant future investigation. One pedometer showed a total of 5.47 miles, which may be a distance record for us.

Monday, April 26 was supposed to be nice in the morning, so John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Vern, Mary, Beth, Jim, Gillian and Linda met at the dock and boat launch area. We tried to convince Maggie to join us. We started for the beach but the cold wind turned us around. We hiked around town, Mill Street, Lint Slough, Crestline, Cedar, Starr, partway up the Woodland Corridor, Keady wayside, the beach, where the wind had died down, and back to the streets again. John showed us where the City planned to install bridges for the Woodland trail. We are looking forward to the development of this, our first, finding for the City of Waldport trail map. It started to rain as our hike ended.

On Monday, April 19, Jim's daughter Laurie joined John, Margaret, Mary, Vern, Beth, Jim and Penny for a repeat of our earlier hike starting at Cook's Chasm bridge, along the paved trails on the sea side, under highway 101 to the Oregon Coast Trail, to Neptune beach. We were sprinkled upon, but it was a great day for a hike and Laurie got to see quite a variety of our scenic area, forest, beach, Cape Perpetua, the Pacific surf, mussels, starfish, driftwood, creeks, and mainly the cameraderie of our hikers.

The Group

John pointing out scenery of interest

More photos have been added to the second page .

Monday, April 12. The return of Vern. Jan rejoined the Clan (Gary, too)--welcome back. Along with Linda, Beth, Gillian, Mary, John, Margaret, Penny and Jim, all set out for Fox Creek, north of Waldport. We eleven drove up Fox Creek road and found nothing but private driveways, so headed south for Legion Road. About a mile up Legion we parked and hiked along the road and along some of the side trails, one of which leads to "the deck" and a ravine of wild rhododendrons, not yet in bloom. Legion road could be renamed "Minnesota," as it appeared to be the "land of lakes," many of which we had to skirt around carefully. Among other things we found a thoroughly cleaned elk skeleton. After returning to the cars we hiked along the power line road south until we encountered barking dogs, so turned around. The weather was beautiful once again.

Monday, April 5, the day after Easter. Coastal weather has been beastly and this morning was no exception. Our intelligent members, John and Margaret, opted for indoor gym activity instead of hiking, as did Gillian, Vern, Jan, Gary and Linda. On the other hand, Beth, Penny and Jim followed Mary and travelled to Dick's Fork road, "to hike in the shelter of the forest." We aren't going to fall for that line again, are we? What's a little hail, rain, wind and lightning/thunder among us intrepid hikers? We hiked for an hour and covered about 3 1/4 miles in very interesting conditions. When we returned to Keady Wayside, the sun came out, the wind died down and it was quite pleasant. As you all know, this was not to last very long. I cannot believe how much hail falls on this coastal location. We had decent weather all winter, and now that spring is here it's getting tough.

The weather looked "iffy" on Monday, March 29, but that did not stop Penny, Mary, Beth, Linda, Margaret, John and Jim from heading to the Cummins Creek trail at Cape Perpetua. One who shall not be named (apology to J.K. Rowling) drove by at Keady Wayside and wimped out. I promised I will not insult anyone again in this blog. The trail was pretty muddy at the bottom. Who would have guessed, after a week of rain and an all night torrent? It actually was quite navigable, and it is obviously the season for Trillium to bloom. They were everywhere. John and Jim diverted off the main path to the Cummins Creek Loop, which is quite a climb. We all met on the return trip at the trail junction, and soon after we were safe and dry in our cars, the rain really came down. Again, our timing was perfect and we stayed dry.

Joined by a new member, Linda, John, Jim, Beth, Gillian, Mary and Penny started out at Keady Wayside and walked the beach to Patterson Park, from there across 101 to Seabrook Lane, through the old logging roads to Range Drive, down Forest Park into Norwood Heights, and down the trail to the Forest Ranger center, across 101 again, down to the beach and return to Keady. We missed you, Margaret. Went past John and Margaret's house, Penny's house, greeted the Howells passing their house. Gillian found the largest piece of styrofoam we had ever seen and insisted on removing it from the beach. Wasn't the great beach cleanup last Saturday? Some things were missed. Jim and Beth were glad they had the yellow raincoats on as we were rained on for part of the trip. It was quite interesting.

John, Margaret, Jim, Penny, Mary, Beth and Gillian ventured to Waldport Heights, after ruling out our choice of Drift Creek. March 15, the Ides of March, was once again dry for our hike. We investigated the road which was put in for the clear-cutting of the forest in the last few years. It turned out to be very steep. We also ruled out the trip down to Lint Slough and kept hiking to the south, finding a miniature horse in a yard, and some full sized horses which seemed to be interested in us. Upon returning to our parking area, a Rhodesian Ridgeback ran to us, but he turned out to be pretty friendly for a lion hunter. John identified him for us.

On Monday, March 8 we journeyed a little over 4 miles out Bayview Drive to the trails we last walked in November. This time we "turned right" up the hill into previously unexplored territory. There was a lot of up and down hill, many little streams, not too much mud, and we seemed to be going pretty much west. Hikers were John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Penny, Mary, Beth and Jim. Next week we will venture further out Bayview to the Drift Creek bridge and go from there.

How long will this Monday weather continue? March 1 arrived like a lamb, and Gary, Jan, John, Margaret, Jim, Mary, Gillian and Beth couldn't decide where to go. We finally decided on Gillian's suggestion from last week and drove up Dick's Fork road to the junction of the foxglove meadow road. We hiked to the meadow, and foxgloves were evident, in their infancy state. The network of sprinklers was obvious, and the building door was unlocked. We checked it and it contains valves, probably to operate the sprinklers. We returned to the main road after checking one power line road. At this point it became a "wandering aimlessly" adventure, and we found some previously missed power line roads. We picked up a lot of trash and saw a lot of those slow moving salamanders. Next week we will go out Bayview Drive north of the river and revisit trails discovered last Fall, and hopefully find some new ones.

The Sunday parish bulletin made no mention of last week's adventure. Yet again the weather was wonderful for our Monday, February 22 hike. The Mares had more visiting family members, and son Carl, daughter-in-law Lori and grandson Peter joined their John and Margaret, accompanied by Mary, Gillian, Sue and Jim. We thought that our visitors might enjoy the portion of the Oregon Coast trail from the visitor center at Cape Perpetua south to Gwynn Creek. (Vern's Trail). Off we went, parking at Captain Cook's Chasm bridge. We crossed highway 101 using the tunnel and walked the Oregon Trail. We detoured to Neptune Beach, which was quite pristine. John found a blue bucket and we picked up trash (not much to be found), leaving the beach even more pristine than we found it. We then retraced our steps to the cars, and four of us continued to the tide pools to complete our target four miles. Mary's new pedometer and Jim's agreed with each other almost exactly. Gillian suggested Dick's Fork with a side trip to the foxglove meadow for next week.

Our Monday weather continued to cooperate on February 15. John and Margaret had family visitors, son Andre, daughter-in-law Teresa, and their three children. John and Margaret wanted the family to experience part of the new State of Oregon Beaver Creek Park, so the dozen of us, including Mary, Gillian, Beth, Sue and Jim, set off for the park. We opted to begin at the very steep hill leading to Snaggy Point. (Elevation about 360 feet). It was a tough climb, but well worth it for the view from the top. Another lady and her dog were up there when we arrived. We then backtracked to the origin of the Canyon Loop trail, where all of the Mare family left to return to various commitments. The remaining five of us hiked down what we thought was Canyon Loop, but it came to a dead end. Back to the top, we started down one of the other trails. If you look at the map below, I have outlined in yellow where I think we ended up going, to Bear Meadow and then back to the main road and all the way around the road counterclockwise, including the short stretch of private property. The road was very muddy, but it was an invigorating hike, covering 4.92 miles according to my pedometer. I hope Gillian can get the mud out of her car. The couple with the dog we met when nearly finished are members of my church. No doubt they are wondering about me, travelling with four women. I look forward to Sunday's parish bulletin.

On another wonderful weather day, February 8, Jan, Gary, John, Margaret, Mary, Jim, Gillian, Beth and Sue ventured back to Blodgett Road, determined to find the elusive road to "the top." This time we succeeded in finding the seldom used trail to the peak, but sadly found debris from hunters there on the peak, and no real good view from there due to the forestation. The forest service road had been recently plowed and had evidence of quite a water flow from the January rains. John gave us a report of his meeting in Salem concerning the trails in the state. Waxing philosophically, I would just like to say that this group is very compatible and congenial, we have been blessed with great weather, and it is just a very enjoyable experience to look forward to on Mondays. Thank you all for your comeraderie.

Monday, February 1, found Mary, John, Margaret, Jan, Gary, Beth and Jim braving threatening weather. Gillian stopped by to wish us well, then departed for a warm indoor track in Newport. The weather wasn't that bad, and we checked out the "missing link" in the Oregon Coast trail between the KOA campgrounds and the Bayshore Beach Club. Sue also drove by and wished us well. John managed to find a "high tide" return after we found the "low tide" route along the beach on the north side of Alsea Bay. He can now present this to the Oregon Coast trail folks, and we have closure on the long awaited checkout of this trail.

On Monday, January 25, we met at Keady as usual. After discussing options, we decided to go across the river and hike north of Alsea Highlands. Wow, we discovered new trails and many of them. We found the tall cell phone tower, approaching it from the wrong side during the "unnecessary" portion of the hike. This portion took John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Mary, Gillian, Sue, Beth and Jim through some serious blackberry bushes. Sue and Jan were the responsible leaders. It was nice to find new territory. Beth and Jim expressed a desire to explore the trail to the back of Heceta Head lighthouse next week, but on our return, the veteran hikers decided that this would not be a good idea during the winter. We are open to suggestions for next week.

Don't forget the Trails meeting at Waldport City Hall next Tuesday at 2 PM.

Jan, Gary, John, Margaret, Beth, Mary, Gillian and Jim ventured back to Eckman Lake on Monday, January 18, taking the "other" fork in the road, I think road 5860. Beth was sporting a new pair of hiking boots which served her well on this trip. She did not need to resort to her package of repair supplies which she carried along. We explored some side trails leading to a hunter's camp strewn with animal parts and shotgun shells. Further up the road, Gillian led us up what will forever be known as "Gillian's Fork," which turned out to be a beautiful forest trail. It did not rain a drop on us once again. How long can this go on? Gary, Jan, Jim and Gillian owe an apology to Mary for not appearing at the "farmers market" on Keady Wayside. We drove on up the road to see how far it might be to the "top," which we never found. Upon our late return to Keady, Jim discovered where all of those pelicans are hiding, on the rockpile at the south side of the bridge, west. See the other page.

Monday, January 11. When we arrived at our meeting spot, Keady Wayside, several pelicans were present diving for their lunch. They should have migrated by now but apparently have found plentiful food here in Alsea Bay. We decided to return to the roads east of Eckman Lake, which we did, but parked far short of where we had intended to start out. We ended up at the same spot where we terminated last week's hike, though arriving from the opposite direction. Beth suffered a "double boot failure," and no one had any duct tape. Scraps of weedwhacker string and trail marking tape were used to patch Beth's boots for the return to the parking spot. Jan took the above group portrait. Participants were John, Margaret, Jan, Gary, Gillian, Jim, Mary and Beth. Next week the plan is to return to this venue, but drive further in and examine a different fork in the road. John, the topo map shows this fork going to Desolation Saddle. Does that jive with your earlier bike adventures there? There are two more of Jan's photos on the other page, click on the link. Boot repair and a big stump.

Monday, January 4, brought light rain which later turned to heavy stuff. We abandoned John's original plan to investigate the "missing link" in the Oregon Coast trail between the KOA and Bayshore Beach Club. John, Margaret, Mary, Gillian, Beth and Jim revisited Dick's Fork road. This was our first hike of the new year 2010, and the 30th since we started. When I got home, my wife inquired "Are you crazy?" I guess we are.

On Monday, December 28, Waldport Walkers Jan, Gary, Margaret, John, Beth, Gillian and Mary met for our final hike of 2009. At John and Margaret's suggestion, we explored the Gerdemann Botanical Preserve, a protected conservation area located on private property in north Yachats. The forest trails are marked by several broadwalks and small bridges along a creek and through wetlands. A truly idyllic spot. We ventured on to some water district trails along Starr Creek and concluded our trek by crossing 101 to the 804 trail. We were blessed with a bright and sunny day. HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Thanks to Mary.

On Monday, December 21, John, Margaret, Beth and Mary drove to Blodgett Road where we revisited Our waterfall on the road to the reservoir. We were amazed at the force of the creek and the roar of the waterfall. Obviously, winter has arrived. The path was saturated and the rain continued to fall; however, we were comfortable out of the wind. There were no warnings from hunters this time. We tentatively plan to drive up Dick's Fork Road next Monday (across from the red house) and hike along the forest road. Thanks to Mary for this report.

On Monday, December 14, it was a little warmer than it had been, though the forecast was not good. As we met at Keady Wayside it began to sprinkle. John suggested that we investigate the trails to the west of Highway 101 at Cape Perpetua. Beth, a new member, joined Mary, Gillian, John, Margaret, Gary, Jan and Jim. Some of us had been on short sections of these trails in the past, but were amazed at how many and how good they really are. Most have been paved for wheelchair access. The spouting horn at Captain Cook's Chasm was really spectacular, with an 8.7 foot high tide and lots of surf. Pelicans and sea lions were seen heading south. We saw some Killdeer, too. This entire area is truly beautiful. John regularly conducts tours along these trails as a volunteer at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center, and graciously explained the history of the shell middens and the trails. Next week we will return to Blodgett Road, meeting at Keady Wayside as usual. Jim will be enroute to Christmas with the family in CA and AZ. Someone please take notes for inclusion here. All of you have a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 7 (Remember Pearl Harbor!) found us in the midst of one of those pesky freezing east wind situations, so most folks decided not to participate in the hike. It was 27 degrees a bit earlier. Gillian, who chose this weeks site, cruised by to bid us good hiking, on her way home. John, Jim, Margaret and Mary then decided to repeat the very early summer hike along the water and power line access roads leading from Waldport Heights. This is really a very nice hike, but in the winter it proved to be different. We trudged along "crunchy" terrain, frozen, but not slippery. Those of you who participated in the summer one, where we had to cut our way through the brush at the bottom of the power line trail, will be interested to learn, as we were, that there is now a road down through there. Also, the dam, which we never really saw but crossed over, has been removed, and when we reached the bottom of the trail there was a flowing waterway about 20 feet across. We did not savor swimming, so returned up the hill and just had a peak at a few other trails that lead to Peterson Park, or maybe Grandma's Feed store. Jan, we could not find the Eagle tree, but the view across the slough was excellent, out to sea under blue sky. Those pesky ankle grabbers struck once again.

Monday, November 30, six of us headed for Cummins Creek Trail at Cape Perpetua. Reviewing our list of hikes, it's hard to believe that, as a group, we had not done this one, though many of us had, prior to the organization of the Waldport Walkers. It's a great trail. John, Margaret, Gillian, Mary, Jim and our new member Penny managed to get in a little over 5 miles. This being our 25th hike, we must have passed the 100 mile mark. Party time! Gillian suggested a return to the Oregon State Park land at Beaver Creek for next week. If it hasn't rained a lot, that may be a good trip. We may finally get to hike that loop, or what was it? I forgot. Meet same time, same place.

Monday, November 23, was cold but dry, so we headed off to Blodgett Road. This time we went up the main road, not off on the idyllic rainforest trail. It was a continuous uphill hike for Gary, Jan, Mary, John, Gillian, Sue and Jim. We reached the quarry at the top of hill (and it was the top, PAST the peak. I realized my goal.) There was evidence that the quarry had been used as a target practice range for hunters, with many shotgun shells around. While returning downhill, a truck with a couple of hunters came up the road and they told us we should not be up there, as elk season was still open. We decided that we should hike in non-hunter territory next week, such as Cape Perpetua. The post-hike map review revealed that we had actually gone beyond Blodgett Peak. That road that went off to the left before we reached the quarry would have taken us to the peak.

On Monday, November 16, despite high winds, we hiked on Dick's Fork road once again, thinking that we would get out of the wind as we traveled inland. The forest kept us from getting buffeted and there was very little rain. We saw more vehicle traffic on this secondary road than ever, and a (South County Water?) crew actually recognized us as the Waldport Walkers. The driver was present at last Thursday's City Council meeting. This crew passed us twice and called out "You guys are fast" the second time. Compared to last Monday, it was pretty uneventful, but fun, as always. Hikers were John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Jim and Mary. The additional 4.5 miles today puts us close to 100 miles since we started.

On Thursday, November 12, our mentor, John, was honored at the Waldport City Council meeting, receiving a commendation from Governor Ted Kulongoski for his leadership in promoting physical fitness, which John certainly does, and does well. The award was presented by Waldport Mayor Herman Welch. In the photo, Councilwoman Sue Woodruff, in the background, is one of us walkers. Following the ceremony, some of the Walkers and John's Green Bike helpers adjourned to the Salty Dawg for a libation. Congratulations to you, John.

On Monday, November 9, John and Margaret were tired from a difficult hike that they took the day before, and besides, the weather was awful, rain and wind, and had been that way for three days. Jan and Gary, Mary and Jim decided to stay in town and cross the bridge. The rain let up a bit and off we went. Partway across the bridge, as happens so often, the wind came up, at our backs, portending a tough return trip. We walked into the Seventh Day Adventist area and beyond, then started back. On the bridge, a squall came up and it was difficult to walk at all. Did I mention we all failed the daily IQ test this morning? Yes, Gillian, we saw you crossing the bridge northbound in the dry comfort of your car. We managed to walk 2.86 miles but were soaked for the trouble. No discussion was held about next week, so just meet at Keady, unless the weather is similar to yesterday.

On Monday, November 2, John and Margaret, Gary and Jan, Jo, Mary, Gillian, Sue and Jim investigated the trails that Mary and Margaret found last week off Bayview Drive. Those confounded ankle-snatchers caused two human falls on this hike. The terrain was undulating, downhill, and a lot of uphill. We ran into two dead ends, and found a second trail which we may investigate further next Monday. That, or, if John can find out where another group who investigated trails near Drift Creek were, last week, we may try to find a link between these two trails to aid in establishment of the "C to C" (Corvallis to the Coast) trail. Standby for further info. In any event we will continue to meet at Keady Wayside.

Another rainout on October 25, EXCEPT that Mary and Margaret not only walked around town in the rain, they explored a forest road off of Bayview Drive here in Waldport. I think that is where we will attempt to go next Monday, meeting at Keady Wayside as usual. Perhaps we should bring kayaks and canoes with us?

After three days of heavy rain and commitments of many of our hikers, we called off the Monday, October 19 hike. John had some good news about a preliminary input for a grant to make the red ditch trail and others improved to the point where tourists and local residents could use them. We will meet again next Monday, October 26, at Keady Wayside, and discuss whre we might go. Cummins Creek is still a goal.

On Monday, October 12, Shirley and Sue returned to the trails, joining Jan, Gary, Margaret, John, Mary, Gillian, Jim and Jo for a return to the new Oregon State Park area off Beaver Creek Road. As we approached the gate, someone suggested that we needed leashes on some of the members. Darned if there wasn't a new sign on the gate, "Leashes Required." The trail guide of the day (me) had a plan for exploring the Canyon Loop and then Snaggy Point. As we started up the hill it was obvious that it was more like a mountain. Plans changed, and I lost complete control of the group. Canyon Loop was bypassed. We went directly to Snaggy Point, a great overlook area, and judging from the "evidence" of elk in the area, we had spooked a large herd of them. They obviously can read, and noted that this area is posted "No Hunting," and probably all elk in the local area had gathered there. From there we descended on several trails, many of which were labeled "Cougar Ridge." I think there are several Cougar Ridge trails. It was another adventure, and incredibly, the nineteenth in a row without a rainout. The leash law did not work, as John found a different Cougar Ridge trail and beat the rest of back to the parking area. Hasn't this been fun? Next Monday we will again meet at Keady Wayside and return to the Cummins Creek trail south of Cape Perpetua. After a week of rain it will be interesting, but then all of them have been so.

Monday, October 5, John, Margaret, Gary, Jan, Jim, Gillian and Mary repeated the first of our hikes, up the red ditch or wash from the LCSD baseball fields and associated trails which are in the City of Waldport. There is a short stretch of that trail that will certainly require some work such as a stairway, as it is steep and slippery. Many hikers would be turned around by this, but not our intrepid group. We found some very interesting natural wonders, fallen trees, snags and things that created interesting sculptures. Rhododendrons growing up on the trees. Many trails near the city park would require very little work to make them appealing.

I gave some of you copies of the photo below. I took two, and the other isn't as good. Somehow I gave that other one to one of you. In it, Gary is looking down. I will be glad to give whoever got that one, the better one. Please let me know. Jo, we missed you.

Next Monday, October 12, we will meet at Keady Wayside and carpool to the Beaver Creek Oregon State Park site, which is posted against hunting, and continue to explore that area.

I will continue to leave the September 21 discussion below, as you all seemed to enjoy it.

Alas! Our Vern has gone away, now who will keep the bears at bay?


Taken on hike September 28.

Link to a photo album of our adventures Click Here


On Monday, September 21, another new guest, John Beauchamp, joined Vern, Margaret, John, Mary, Jillian, Jo, Gary, Jan and Jim for a hike to explore alternate routes to the former trail along Lint Slough. Jo's 13 year old dog, Pepper, also came along and really enjoyed getting into the mud along the way. There are some real possibilties along the west side of the slough, as John suggested, some viewing stands for birders and naturalists. There are also some really tough trails along there that we had some difficulty negotiating. Eventually we separated into three groups. Vern had shoe problems and Jo wanted to get Pepper home, so they left us. John M, Gary and Jan took off on some sort of Lewis and Clark excursion, leaving Jim, Mary, Margaret, John B and Gillian behind. Undaunted, those folks tried to follow the trailblazers, unsuccessfully. They backtracked to the starting point and contemplated sending out a bulletin to find the "lost" hikers. Gillian cruised up and down Crestline Drive trying to locate them. Did you three ever come out of the woods? If so, please email us about your adventure. I also apologize for not putting out the word to bring clippers, machetes, chain saws and bulldozers for today's hike.

Jim took his daughter Lisa and son-in-law John B to our favorite rainforest off Blodgett Road after lunch. They really enjoyed the tranquility of that place, as we all experienced when discovering it.

Next Monday, as it was Vern's choice on his last hike with us this season, we will meet at Keady Wayside and carpool to Cape Perpetua, to hike the Oregon Coast trail which runs south of the parking lot there. Vern wants to have a view of the coast, as he and Marlene will be returning to California.

Jan and Gary sent this update: I guess Gary and I are the Meriweather Lewis half (since he is a Lewis decendant). However, we did not find the old road nor the trail back down, which John M. did! We finally came out of the underbrush somewhere up near the head of the slough. Our apologies to all of you for the inconvenience!! We definitely over-did and we're glad you all had the good sense not to follow us! See you next week!

Jan & Gary