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The Oregon Coast (1), OR

I enter Oregon on a beautiful sunny day. Before anything, I need to do laundry and get some groceries. I have a camping reservation at Harris Beach State Park Campground in Brookings. I love that the days are longer now, which gives me time to go for a hike on the beach after I finish my chores. It is my first introduction to the Oregon Coast, so you might have heard me scream, "Oh my God, this is crazy beautiful!" I am only at the beginning of this wild landscape of the Oregon Coast!

Today, I plan to hike along the shore and see several iconic points. First, I drove to Arch Rock to hike down to the beach, but I can't find a trail down. It doesn't even look like there are any, so I tried my next stop, which is Spruce Island. Thankfully, there is a trail. It turns out, I can't access the beach from this trail either! I then drive to my next point, Thunder Rock Cove Viewpoint, to hike to Secret Beach. That hike has been on my AllTrails list for some time now, and I am looking forward to checking out the "secret." I start going down, and 20 minutes into my hike, a fallen branch on the trail covered with poison oak blocks my way. This is becoming a very frustrating morning. I took a deep breath and reminded myself to let life happen as it is meant to be. That means not fighting obstacles. Therefore, I drive to my next stop, Natural Bridges. It is gorgeous and so beautiful, the pictures cannot even do it justice. Here again, there is no access to the beach.

I can be stubborn sometimes, and as I continue driving, my phone is back online. I stop on the side of the road, and I'm doing what I forgot to do when I had service back at the campground. I download all the trails on my AllTrails list, so now, even without service, I can find my way.

I am heading back to Secret Beach. There is another trail that might be the path to discovering the secret.

Stubbornness can pay off sometimes. The hike is descending at a steep angle, and some sections at the bottom require rock scrambling. This is unbelievably beautiful! With the sound of the waves in the background, it is a picture-perfect moment. I have learned from talking to other hikers that I will discover more of the secret the further I go. Unfortunately, by the time I get to one of the points, the high tide is too high for me to cross. Therefore, tomorrow I will give it another try at low tide. There is another trail from this parking lot for a viewpoint, so I check it out. This trail will put you on top of Natural Bridges.

My next stop is to hike the Indian Sand Trail. It is quite a workout going down the trail, and of course, even more hiking up. You definitely want to have AllTrails showing you the way. However, if you attempt to do it on a windy day, please don't. That was not smart for me to hike with such strong winds; it almost blew me off the ridge. You will, however, discover another natural bridge. I also stop at Whaleshead Beach, but the wind this afternoon is so strong that it isn't pleasant to walk on the beach.

Good morning! I make sure to be at the parking lot of Secret Beach around 8:30. The low tide is at 9:50 today. It's nice and quiet with no one around. When you are the first on the trail, that means you are also the first to go through all the spider webs that form during the night. Sorry spiders! At the end of the trail, a beautiful waterfall flows into the ocean just before you get to the beach. It is so magical!

The wonderful thing is that I have the beach to myself. My footprints are the first ones to discover the secret. The low tide lets me discover the cave/tunnel. As I go in, the walls reveal all the sea creatures, starfish, and muscles that are usually covered by the sea at high tide. I continued until I couldn't pass any further, no matter how low the tide is. If I am not mistaken, I am standing at the bottom of the Natural Bridges; that is so cool!

The landscape in front of me reminds me of a scene from a movie where a handsome young lady is drifting to a deserted island. Would she survive?

I don't want to leave this magical place, but I need to keep a watch on the tide.

My next stop is Cape Sebastian. The trail is gorgeous; especially when you get closer to the beach. The sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks is a bonus, and the smell of the trees with the fresh air from the ocean, is so delicious. It is a skinny path lined up with many plants and flowers going through the dense forest. It is a 2-mile hike in one direction, and just as I come to the end of it, the trail is descending at a steep angle. There is a rope to help you down, but my concern is the coming up. From what I can see, I am missing a few inches to climb for the first step up.

I stopped at Otter Point at Gold Beach. It is a short and easy hike for a fantastic view. My next stop is Sisters Rock. Unfortunately, the path is hard to follow with all the overgrown plants. I can’t even take a picture to show you since the sun is right above the sisters. I’m a bit upset as this looks like a great place to explore. I wish I had a lawnmower!

I am heading to Hamburg State Park Campground. If you remember, I had Easter breakfast with my friend Juanita's family, where I met Lura. The brief meeting we had was enough to connect us. Lura is joining me with her van for a few days. I am looking forward to sharing the Oregon Coast with her!

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