Monday, July 3, 2017

Fivemile Point

Man, things are really heating up in the Umpqua Valley. It's been hotter than a Chuck Prophet guitar solo at Sam Bond's Garage on a Saturday night. Hotter than my Green Death salsa slathered on homemade tamales. Hotter than me in tight jeans. OK, that last one might be subjective, and not necessarily an opinion held by many. The point is, in early July, summer was beginning to make its oppressive and stultifying presence felt. In hindsight, though, the really hot weather had not arrived, that would be an August experience. Also in hindsight, I probably should not use the word "hindsight" after that remark about my tight jeans.

Not so easy to do what Grandpa does
Anyway, since the valley was heating up, Issiah and I decided to head for the coast in search of cooler environs in which to hike in. And since Luna observed us loading up the Jeep with our hiking boots and backpacks, she whimpered and begged, her beseeching, doggie eyes entreating us to take her along. Powerless to resist her heart-rendering pleas, we opened up the rear deck and she joyfully hopped in.

Issiah wades across Twomile Creek
Well, sometimes you get what you ask for, and then some. At Seven Devils Wayside, near Bandon, a brisk and chilly wind sweeping up the coast had us shivering in no time. Our puny little sweatshirts were no match for the breeze cutting right through the useless fabric, so we walked fast to generate some internal heat.

Luna, of course, had no such problem and everybody should hike like Luna. Letting out canine yips of joy, she was running and cavorting on the wide stretch of beach, the wind blowing her ears back as she sprinted to and fro. Twomile Creek fanned out across the beach and since Luna could not decide between splashing in the shallow creek or the roaring surf, she did both. Plus, there was a steady supply of seagulls to chase and scatter into the sky. All life should be like her enjoyment of the beach.

Look Grandpa, I'm floating!
We humans, of course, were somewhat more restrained and decorous, leaning into the wind as we trudged steadily south along Merchant's Beach. A large tree was partially buried in the sand, the dead leaves on its branches testifying to the tree's very recent demise. Dog and boy both enjoyed scrambling in the twiggy limbs and branches.

View south, from Fivemile Point
Like a weightlifting bouncer at a posh nightclub, Fivemile Point blocked the way south to Whiskey Run Beach . At high tide, it is impossible to walk around the point and we were just on the receding side of high tide. No problem for a half-monkey half-boy feral grandson to scramble over the rocky point with the agility and balance of the young. Some problem, but still doable, for an incredibly handsome grandfather using the wisdom and prudence learned from all the bruises, scrapes, and injuries accrued in a lifetime of overestimating the agility and balance of the young. Ah, but for an eager and frisky dog: rock climbing was not in her skill set. Issiah and I guided her gently, placing her feet on the rocks and pushing and pulling her upward. Uncharacteristically, Luna was accepting and restrained during this process, even her little dog brain recognized the danger in doing otherwise.

Where Fivemile Point starts
We didn't go all the way over the point, settling instead for the crest. From a barnacle-encrusted rocky perch, we enjoyed the view south, which consisted of Whiskey Run Beach curving all the way to the Coquille River. To the north was Merchant's Beach with Sacchi Beach beyond. Waves crashed on rocky islands while resting seagulls "painted" them white. Cape Arago and Arago Peak loomed at the end of Sacchi Beach and it looked like the morning overcast was clearing. It still was windy and cold, though.

No Issiah, you can't do what I'm thinking you want to do
So we climbed back down off of Fivemile Point, the two of us helping our less agile canine friend descramble back down to the beach, where she re-engaged in the more familiar and mindless activity of running around just to be running around. On Merchant's Beach, a large needle shaped rock pointed up to the sky and I had to use all my grandfatherly skills to cajole, persuade, and ultimately threaten Issiah not to climb up to the top. 

View north, to Cape Arago
Our plan was to continue north all the way to the terminus of Sacchi Beach but Issiah looked at me and said "my heart's not in it today". Now, Issiah is a hiker's hiker, he's no shirker when it comes to mileage and challenging trails, so when he says he's not into it, that must be honored. To do otherwise, would make hiking a chore instead of a recreational activity. So no problem, we hopped in the car and headed back to Roseburg, where the weather was as warm as a Texas Burrito at the Coquille Valley Produce and Deli.

Rocks, speeding across the sands
For more photos of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

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