There’s Good Days & Bad Days

OCT Days 9 – 14

Road Walks

The first few miles past the 100-mile mark are gorgeous beach heading into the small town of Neskowin. The forested headlands come right up to the crashing waves. It is an incredible sight!

Neskowin has a small grocery store and bakery. A blueberry scone fuels me up for the next stretch. There seems to be an option for a bakery in most towns, a fun treat I am taking advantage of on some mornings! The trail up and over Cascade head is brushy with lots of blowdowns. I awkwardly navigate my way back to 101.

I enjoy almost every aspect of this trail, but 101 is tough. Unfortunately, in some cases, there’s no other way around. Into Lincoln City. Managing on and off ramps of an additional state Hwy is not enjoyable. Is it just me, or do road miles feel longer? Covering 15 miles on the beach or trail feels like nothing, 15 miles on the road, however, may as well be 30. I’m grateful it is daylight, thankful there is water at camp, and other little mantas keep me going. I try and blur out the passing RVs and find ways to make it suck a little less. The beach to camp is windy but beautiful. I can finally turn around and look back in appreciation of where I’ve come from. Unfortunately, the OCT bypasses the main Cascade Head trail and view. Oh well, another excuse to come back.

Mental Toughness

Like any respectable PNW native, I enjoy a misty, gloomy day. In this instance though, holy shit is it eerie to be out on a foggy beach by yourself at 6:00 a.m.! The constant emergence of objects from the dense fog keeps me on my toes. Are those rocks, people, logs, or seals?

Navigating this journey mostly solo is empowering, but there have been a few rough moments. I am not an outwardly emotional person and am feeling challenged. There is no option to ignore tough days, so much depends on being honest with myself. Lately, I have been getting into camp relatively early, even on long days. I find myself completing chores, resting, and then feeling like I am wasting the remaining daylight. It is not ruining my experience, just something I needed to be out here to work through. I have always been goal oriented and hard on myself. My husband jokes that being out here with only myself to compete against is worse than if I was in a real competition against others. He is not wrong, maybe this trip is when I’ll learn how to turn it off just a little

The Nero I Didn’t Know I Needed

I nero into Yachats for my first real bed and laundry! The Drift Inn is a funky hotel and cafe that has hostel-style Pedal Out rooms. I’m able to book one a couple of days in advance. While check-in isn’t until 3:00 p.m. I hurry into town to grab breakfast. I had been regretting the choice to take a Nero but a massive smoked salmon egg scramble and multiple cups of coffee quickly shifted my opinion. The sky clears, and I found a bench looking out over the bay and the ocean. Yachats is a beautiful town! I felt rejuvenated and am already planning a trip back to explore more. It is the perfect mix of mountains and ocean. It was heavenly. I splurge for fish and chips and a beer on the cafe’s outdoor patio for dinner. While I still feel the tug of the internal crap I have to deal with at some point, today is a good reset and a reminder to take days off.

Vistas for days

Carl arrives and spends about ten minutes laughing at the hiker trash I have so naturally morphed into. I spend the same ten minutes laughing at how much crap he has packed for a weekend. I also reminisce, seeing day one and two Kellie in him. The wide-eyed girl who didn’t know much she’d eat and over-packed on food. We set out over Cape Perpetua, confirming my desire to explore all the other area trails. The views are incredible! It makes up a bit for me throwing Carl into a huge headland climb on day one. Oops. Even the very windy and hilly road walk is stunning. Rocky shoreline, blue skies, and turquoise waters await us at every turn. We are blown in off the beach into Carl G. Washburn state park. My husband, Carl, basks in the luxury of a picnic table and a hot shower. The next two days are long water carries and dry camping, and we set out to finalize our plans. This stretch of coastline has quickly become a favorite. Maybe because it is all new to me now, or simply because it is ideal weather for incredible never-ending views. Either way, this is the spot to go if you have a weekend!

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