Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sacchi Beach

So my alarm rings early Saturday morning but instead of bounding up out of bed with unbridled enthusiasm, I dispiritedly slap at the alarm clock and go back to sleep. And when I woke up several hours later, I had missed a hike with the Friends of the Umpqua Hiking Club. D'oh! It's too bad, because they were hiking from the Seven Devils Wayside, north of Bandon, and I had never been hiking there. After a day of rest and chore-avoidance, I (and Maggie, our happy-to-be-out-hiking dog) drove out to Seven Devils Wayside and performed a solo reenactment of the hike.

Twomile Creek on Merchants Beach

Maggie sprints to Fivemile Point
It was a gorgeous spring day and Twomile Creek burbled merrily onto the beach. We too, burbled happily onto the beach and crossed Twomile Creek and headed south to Fivemile Point. Seven Devils, Twomile, Fivemile: lots of numbers in these parts! Maggie, with unbridled and simple canine enthusiasm, ran ahead and then ran back to make sure I was coming, she got the double mileage award as a result.

Fivemile Point

Fivemile Point is a fairly innocuous looking point that juts out into the sea. Rounding the point at any other time besides at low tide would be anything but innocuous, however. Fortunately, the tide was retreating and we had no issues. Well, Maggie did have an issue as she was getting used to wading through the ankle deep puddles in between all the rocks. Not paying attention, she blundered into a tidepool that was about 5 feet deep and she paddled frantically back to relatively dry land, much to my amusement.

Whiskey Run Beach stretched ahead of us when we rounded the point and there was a noticeable dearth of rocks. It was just miles and miles of sandy beach fading away into the misty yonder. We walked as far as Whiskey Run, a creek that flows through and from its namesake wayside and picnic area. Since it was another 7 miles or so further to Bandon and Bullards Beach and since there really weren't any major sights to see, we turned around and re-rounded Fivemile Point.

Whisky Run, full of!

Agate Beach rocks!

Heading north, we left the tidepools at Fivemile Point behind and continued north past the Seven Devils Wayside. Rounding a small point, we ambled onto Agate Beach. The beach is covered with rocks of every shape and color, most rounded to smoothness by centuries of wave-on-sand action.  I spent a lot of time prone on the ground, squinting through the camera viewfinder while Maggie plopped down on the sand, bored with the whole photography process. My grandchildren would have a field day on this beach, we'd never get them to leave! Plus, I'd have to carry the bucket of rocks back.

At the north end of Agate Beach was an unnamed point that also would be impassable at high tide, just like Fivemile Point. Rocks and tidepools abounded with starfish clinging to rocks covered with mussels and barnacles. Waiting for us as we rounded the point was the long and secluded cove of Sacchi Beach.

This hike was not pointless

Oceanic mayhem at the end of Sacchi Beach

Arago Peak, above Cape Arago, had been off in the distance when we began this hike but now it was kind of close in an indicator of just how far we had walked. There were some pretty fancy homes, castles really, perched on top of the massive cliffs above the sandy beach. These homes probably have a limited shelf life, judging by the amount of debris at the base of the inexorably crumbling cliffs. At any rate, we walked to the end of the beach which is bordered by a cliff at the north end and observed the waves crashing on the jagged rocks and pinnacles beyond the beach.

One small treasure
It seemed like the tide was beginning to rise so I put the camera away and walked really fast to the unnamed point, having no desire to get stranded at Sacchi Beach. They make horror movies about people who get stranded in remote areas. I need not have worried, for we had plenty of dry land at the point and the camera came out again.

Before we end this blog, a brief word about pelicans. We obviously were walking under a pelican flyway as squadrons of them flew silently and mysteriously above us. This was like an interstate freeway for the odd--looking birds as formation after formation flew north.  Needless to say, my picture collection now has lots of pelicans in it.

Strafe the hiker!

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