Ski Mountaineering

Oregon's Pacific Coast in the Fall

Oct 22-26, 2021

Reiner Stenzel

The weather forecast predicted a strong wind to 60 mph, surf up to 30 feet, and heavy rain like an "atmospheric river". The camping permit was canceled, a fancy home was rented, and we were ready for the adventure. Our group of 8 (plus 2 pets) drove 8 hrs from the Bay area and one from Seattle which takes more than 10 hrs. Well, it was worth while. It turns out that the weather forecast was exaggerated, although it was amazing. We decided to climb a mountain on the first day, then exploring the coast on the second day.

On Sat, Oct 24, we hiked Humbug Mtn, a 6 mi rt, 1765' climb. It rained persistently, we were wet at the summit, were in the cloud and became cold from the wind. A small doggy was carried down, our beagle mix led the pace down, and we made it back after lunch. Well, this is the introduction for the upcoming winter. Driving back a tree blocked the road, a local man had a chain saw and we helped clearing the road to get home. What a treat was a dry and warm home. A reward was also an elk buck while driving along the Elk River Road. Back at home our 5 ladies prepared a delicious dinner. Later we played games and enjoyed the warmth of a fire stove.

On Sun, Oct 25, our plan was to explore the beach. We headed to Cape Blanco where there is a functioning Lighthouse. We parked at a road end, located on a bluff, where the wind from the ocean formed a wind channel with occasional 60 mi/hr gusts, measured with my anemometer. One could barely stand straight but had to lean against the wind. We hiked down the bluffs but kept respectfully from the shore. The best part was that there was no rain. Next we drove to Floras Lake trail head and hiked along the lake to the shore. Wind and huge waves greeted us. Sand dunes are covered with grass. We returned to drive along the Elk River Rd which had prime Fall colors. Watched a salmon fish hatchery, a waterfall, nice campsites, took many pictures, but everyone stayed away from the swift cold river. After 5pm it got dark and we returned "home".

Mon, Oct 26, we returned home at 10pm and were lucky to have only occasional showers. Thus, it was an adventurous trip which indicates of stronger winter storms. Our group was great. Look at the pictures below.

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