South to Seaside and Tillamook Head

We awoke to more rain but that meant we got Peter Iredale to ourselves. It was a lot of beachwalking today and it did finally clear up. It was even nice by the time we reached our hostel.

PCO Julie

It was good to get out of town the next day. We had a lovely walk to Tillamook Head. Not all of the Oregon Coast Trail is flat or easy! We often have to ascend heads jutting out into the water. Here, gentle switchbacks slowly turned into epic mud.

It was simultaneously glorious with spring flowers, draping moss, and an occasional overlook… and heartbreaking to be in mud pits which would take years or decades to rehabilitate. At least half the trail to the summit is located violently unsustainably. Boardwalks were once constructed but have rotted and are now causing more harm than good. None of this is written to shame Ecola State Park, which is surely underfunded, or the Oregon Coast Trail Foundation, which is merely piggybacking their trail onto existing trails. Hopefully these organizations can partner to help solve the mess.

The top of Tillamook Head is magic – a WWII missile bunker is hidden under decades of lush growth. And the view of the lighthouse isn’t bad either.

There we met Casey, a northbound hiker, and Leslie who was southbound. We all opted not to camp in the shelters as they are no longer waterproof and host rodents of unusual size.

It was a day filled with pretty places and meeting interesting people.