Saturday, January 25, 2014

Viewpoint Mike

Before we begin this new posting, Glenn forgot to include a cute Katie picture from our last adventure in Brookings.  While Glenn was getting some snacks and drinks out of the ice chest in the back of the car, Katie gave him a cute look from the back seat and since she usually doesn't hold still for pictures, we consider ourselves lucky to have gotten this snapshot.

Anything in that ice chest for me???
Ok, enough of the "cute" puppy pictures (for now).  On to the current hike......

This past week in Southern Oregon has seen quite a change in weather.  In place of fog and high temps in the 30's, we now have blue skies, sunshine and record breaking temperatures!!  So we took advantage of all this sunshine and ventured out for a hike on a trail that we last did back in 2009 - Viewpoint Mike.

As the name implies, the trail leads to a viewpoint.  Which leads to this thought --- do the majority of trails to viewpoints go uphill or downhill???  The answer for Viewpoint Mike is on the uphill side of that equation.  Maybe that is why we haven't hiked this trail since 2009? Or could it be that near the beginning of the trail we found the bone remains of something or someone??

Not a good thing to find at the start of an uphill trail!
 Even though the trail is only a couple of miles, it is a steady uphill grade that climbs around 1,000  feet. There were also two very different types of trail segments as we hiked today. The open meadow segments with scattered oak trees, featured a very muddy trail and were extremely warm due to the 70 degree weather today,  Tall grass lined these portions and were loaded with some very friendly ticks just waiting for someone to pass by. The pine forested segments were shaded and featured a pine needle covered trail.  Some sections still had ice and frost on the ground.

The arrow points left, but the hiker is going to the right - which way do you go???

A  forested segment of the trail
After just over an hour of hiking, we arrived at Viewpoint Mike which provided us with a clear and beautiful view of Lost Creek Lake and the surrounding hills.  The lake is very low and there were exposed areas in the middle of the lake that we have not seen before.  It was still a beautiful view.
The view of Lost Creek Lake from viewpoint Mike

Katie taking in the view from Viewpoint Mike (notice the leash is still on!)

We enjoyed the viewpoint and took in the sunshine, quietness and beauty.  Even Katie liked the view (or wanted to go swim in the lake).  The trail back down was much easier and went by quickly.  We were all very tired and hungry after our hike so we made a stop at Phil's Frosty in Shady Cove.  We got a chocolate malt and a blackberry shake - delicious!  (If you ever drive through Shady Cove, just look for the pink building off Highway 62)   It was a nice way to cool off after another great hike.  Till next time....

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

P.S. Yes, Katie got left out at Phil's Frosty. So to make up for that, here is another "cute" puppy picture.  Yes, we were holding food out in front of her to get this pose and if you look close enough, you will see the reflection of Glenn's new fluorescent hiking shirt in Katie's eye.  This is not photo-shopped.
Cute puppy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Harris Beach - Arch Rock - Natural Bridges - Thunder Rock

With the weather being mostly in the 30's and foggy here is Southern Oregon, we decided to take a day trip to the coast where they say there is sunshine.  We are happy to report - IT IS TRUE!!
A shadow means SUNSHINE!!

When we left Medford, it was foggy and 29 degrees.  When we arrived at Harris Beach State Park, it was sunny and 54 degrees already and only 10:00 am!!!  We took a hike along the north beach after crossing a small stream near the day use area.  Katie enjoyed running and rolling in the sand, but is still not too sure about the ocean with the waves that chase you.  We also hiked along the Harris Beach Trail and South Beach segment of the park.

Our log bridge over the stream near the day use area

North Beach view

South Beach view

After two hours of enjoying and hiking Harris Beach SP, we drove north on Highway 101 to the Arch Rock Viewpoint parking area.  A short hike led us to various viewpoints of the Oregon Coast which of course included Arch Rock.

Arch Rock

 We then drove to the Natural Bridges Viewpoint parking area and hiked part of the Oregon Coast Trail to see the Natural Bridges.  We also hiked what we thought was a side trail, but ended up being a "shortcut" trail to viewpoints of coast.  This "narrow overgrown path" led to some views but was a very tough hike with lots of near-the-cliff-edge portions.  We retraced our steps (all uphill)  and eventually got back on the OCT and to the safety of the parking lot.

We also hiked north on the OCT to the Thunder Rock Cove loop trail.  This was a real trail. While hiking this portion of the OCT we suddenly saw someone that looked familiar hiking towards us. It was our hiking friend from Roseburg, Richard, who was  hiking a 5-mile segment of the OCT that day.  What a small world!!!!
Not all who wander are lost.......our hiking friend Richard.  What a small world!!!
Once we arrived at the top of Thunder Rock, the views of coast, Secret Beach and Thunder Rock Cove were amazing!!  Pictures do not do it justice.  We took some time to soak in the sun, sounds and sights. This spot would also make a great place for a picnic lunch someday.

View north from top of Thunder Rock (Secret Beach in foreground)

Another view from the top of Thunder Rock

We hiked the remainder of the loop trail back to our car and drove into Brookings to pick up a late lunch. Our picnic table at the day use area of Harris Beach SP provided us with an ocean view and more sunshine!! We were watched by a pair of crows and a group of seagulls who checked our eating area for cleanliness once we finished and left.

Our picnic table with sunshine and a view of the ocean

Our time at the coast went by quickly, but it sure was nice.  If you need a break from the cold and fog, Brookings is the place!

As we left and headed home, we were treated to the sight of an elk herd (at least 50) along Highway 101.  It was icing on the cake.

Trekking Together,
Glenn and Carol