I tossed and turned during the night in my island of dry, and fortunately the damp clothes I wore inside my down bag ended up drying from my body heat over night. It’s a neat trick to go to bed damp and wake up dry, but it only works if things are damp, not wet.
When I heard Amber moving around I knew she had survived, and in fact she said it was the best night of sleep so far on the trip! Huh!
We knew the miles to the sea wouldn’t take all day to walk, so watched the sky lighten with our hot coffee in hand. Daylight had us laying all our gear out and shaking off the remaining puddles. Since we had no more sleeps we could hike in all our dry clothes…beds for all tonight!
We had arranged to meet Anne, Amber’s wife at Ona Beach this afternoon, and even though there was plenty of time, we moved at a steady pace through the chilly, and dry morning. We had a spot of cell reception last night and marvels of all marvels, found a day of no rain would see us to the ocean. How did we get so lucky?
I hobbled behind Amber, my pace starting to wane as the miles ticked by. My planter fasciitis had gone from uncomfortable to excruciating. This pain sucks.
We entered another beautiful section of trail through the last layer of coastal mountains before the sea, and we could smell the salt in the air. Much excite!
Now the C2C has alternates that hikers and bikers will need to follow depending on the season and logging schedule. We had already detoured a bit, adding some miles onto the trip, but since some of the trail goes through active logging areas and sensitive habitats, it’s really important to abide the closures. Have you ever seen an active logging area? Trust me when I say you don’t want to be anywhere near one. The massive hulk of the machines, the size of the trees, and the speed those trucks take when barreling down forest roads can be a terrifying for a hiker. Think of the ants you don’t see but squish while walking down the trail. You are the ant in an active logging operation. Anyway, the C2C has some of those. Please follow the detours around them!
We finally popped out on a paved road near the Beaver Creek Wildlife Area. I realized with delight that this was a place Kirk and I had paddled our sea kayaks before…the wetlands are a wildlife bonanza, and that fact was reinforced by our next unexpected encounter on the road walk.
A small red car sped by us, then whipped a u turn to come back, parking partially in the road. A loquacious local got out of the car and talked at us for a few minutes about trail, cougars, bears, and various other critters found near by. We smiled and nodded, and before we knew it she was back in the car speeding away. We looked at each other a bit confused by the encounter, but happy to be acknowledged at all.
Soon we were at the final carsonite posts on the side of the road that marked the end of the trail….but it wasn’t the end for us, we were going to finish at the ocean.
After another quarter mileish through the park we saw the sea. Packs down, shoes off, into the Pacific. Now we were done!!
We had some time before Anne would come to whisk us away to food, showers, and a warm dry bed, so made some hot drinks on the beach and soaked in the November sun.
Now walking to the ocean was fab, but we decided that walked to Corvallis might be a better way to go. Ona Beach didn’t have the delights we were craving: no celebratory beer, no clam chowder. If you walked to Corvallis you could end at a brewery or eatery of your choice. And because we all know one of the best things about hiking is eating, you might consider that for your hike of the C2C.
When Anne arrived, she sped us up to Newport for the clam chowder we had been talking about for days, and before we knew it were back in the land of walls and artificial light.
A short and sweet journey!