Friday, May 10, 2019

Try this itinerary--or riff off it

Walk the beach at Seaside, or walk the Prom? We'll decide when we get there.

Hey, I also just updated the 2019 campground list. Again.
And be sure to check out this 2019 boat shuttle list and my 2019 OCT update

Have I mentioned I’m planning to thru-hike the OCT again in June?

Yes, it’s time. I did it before in two halves, in 2008 and 2009; it’s time for an update. I’m really curious how many other thru-hikers I’ll encounter—lots, I suspect. (I think I met only three other OCT backpackers 10 years ago: 1 woman hiking alone and a pair of women.) A few other differences:
  • Last time I hiked solo. This time I’ll be walking with one friend as far as Florence, where we’ll be joined by another friend.
  • Last time I didn’t plan it out much (I was pretty familiar with the whole coast though); I tended to make plans a day at a time. This time we have every day scheduled. Because …
  • This time we plan to stay in lodging about 1/3 of the time camp 2/3 of the time. We have reservations for lodging, so we're pretty locked into a schedule. This camp/inn hybrid is kind of wasteful of pack weight (still need to carry tent, stove, sleeping bag), but sharing some of that gear weight with a companion will help. Plus there are off-trail lodgings I just want to check out. Plus it will be fun.
  • Have worked out a plan that sticks very close to an average of 15 miles a day. (Last time I had some 25-mile days; I know that’s an “easy day” on the PCT, but that is a thru-hike of another order of magnitude).
Given all the work I’ve put into planning this 15-miles-a day itinerary, I thought it would be helpful to share it with others. Note that some of my decisions are pretty idiosyncratic (like, I just want to experience camping atop Tillamook Head), so use it if it’s helpful but don’t be a slave to it. You have your own trade-offs to consider.

Just FYI, I’m figuring about $350 each for two of us on the north half for lodging, camping fees, and boat shuttles. On the south half, where there will be three of us, it looks about the same per person (not including stopover at Tu Tu Tun; see below). We plan to eat in restaurants/cafes pretty often and resupply in grocery stores along the way, which costs more $$ but saves pack weight/volume. I wouldn’t call it glamping, but it’s a pretty deluxe trip we have planned. I was probably influenced by the inn-to-inn walk I did across England last June.

Note that mileage figures are rough; probably pretty accurate to within a mile. Note that we’ve engineered in a couple of layover days. (The second one is just to luxuriate at Tu Tu Tun Lodge on the Rogue River; a friend is meeting us and driving us there from Gold Beach.)

Follow us, if you want; I plan to post updates on my "bzenderson" Instagram account. Naturally I'll share updates about trail conditions, etc., in this blog after I finish.

Average 15 miles/day, range from 11 to 18 miles/day

DAY 1: to Gearhart, 14 miles. Lodging. Remember to check to see of the range at Camp Rilea will be "hot" or "cold."

DAY 2: to Tillamook Head, 11 miles. Camp. CARRY IN WATER.

Day 3: to Arch Cape, 14 miles. Lodging. Will try to time it so we can get around Hug Point at low tide instead of walking around it on the highway.

I always love the view of Neahkahnie Mountain from Cape Falcon trail.

DAY 4: to Manzanita, 14 miles. Lodging. Boat shuttle across Nehalem Bay.

DAY 5: to Garibaldi, 16-17 miles. Camp.

DAY 6: to Cape Lookout State Park, 18 miles. Camp. Start day with boat shuttle across Tillamook Bay with Garibaldi Marina; also hoping to catch boat ride across Netarts Spit with recreational boater (otherwise walk Whiskey Creek Road to the state park).

DAY 7: to Cape Kiwanda/Pacific City, 11-12 miles. Lodging. Need to time our crossing of Sand Lake outlet to low tide.

DAY 8: to far side of Salmon River, 17 miles. Camp. We plan to camp on some private property I know about; sorry I can’t share that with you-all. First plan to hike up the back side of Cascade Head via Hart’s Cove on informal trail I describe in the book; no idea what condition it’s in these days. We’ll find out.

DAY 9: to Depoe Bay, about 18 miles. Lodging. Taking a secret back route (that might someday be the official route, but that I can’t share, yet) to get back to the beach at Lincoln City; you might use this route to cut a few miles off the highway slog into Lincoln City.

DAY 10: to South Beach State Park south of Newport, 16 miles. Camp.

DAY 11: to Beachside State Park south of Waldport, 17 miles. Camp.

DAY 12: to Rock Creek Campground, north of Yachats, 17-18 miles. Camp.

DAY 13: to Florence. Here we’ll either get picked up at Baker Beach (10 miles) or hike all the way to the north jetty (19 miles) or somewhere in-between. Staying with friends.


South portion
Average 14 miles/day, range from 8 to 17

DAY 15: to Threemile Lake in the Oregon Dunes, 12-13 miles. Primitive camp. We plan to get a ride to the south jetty in the morning and skip the highway walking from Florence. CARRY IN WATER.

DAY 16: to Winchester Bay, 10 miles. Lodging. Arranging boat shuttle from north Umpqua spit to Winchester Bay with Winchester Bay Charters.

DAY 17: to Sunset Bay State Park, 8 miles. Camp. Cross Coos Bay in the afternoon with ferry prearranged with Sharkey’s Charters.

DAY 18: to Bullards Beach State Park, 15-16 miles. Camp. We’ll probably walk the “secret” trail over the headland (see my book). Need to hit Fivemile Point at or below mid-tide.

DAY 19: to Floras Lake, 16 miles. Lodging. Ideally hit New River outlet at low tide.

DAY 20: to Port Orford, 15 miles. Lodging. Want to hit Sixes and Elk rivers as close to low tide as possible.

DAY 21: to Ophir, about 17 miles, much of it on road. Camp (at Honey Bear Campground, mainly for RVs, but has tent camping, perfect location).

DAY 22: To Gold Beach, 12 miles. Lodging.


July 2009: A passerby offered to snap my picture atop Cape Sebastian.

DAY 24: to Crook Point, 16 miles. Camp. Unknown where we’ll stealth camp. CARRY IN WATER. There are no other options here. (Although last time I did the OCT I called a cab at Pistol River, slept at Harris Beach State Park, took cab back the next day, and hiked back to Harris Beach.)

DAY 25: to Whaleshead Beach, 13 miles. Lodging at Whaleshead Beach Resort (the only near-trail lodging between Gold Beach and Brookings)

DAY 26: to California line at Crissy Field State Recreation Site, 16 miles, where we’re being picked up by a friend.