Saturday morning dawned wet, from some rainfall in the night. Birdy fixed french toast for breakfast, and head north to get cell reception. Some of Birdy’s relatives were joining us, and we were hoping to get in touch. We stopped at Devil’s Churn to send texts and get coffee. On our way back, we pulled over to check out a sight and Birdy’s relatives pulled in behind us! They followed us back to camp, where the ladies packed a picnic for the day.
I had told my family (via Facebook) that we were going to be at the Carl Washburne day use beach. However, our visitors had discovered a “way cooler” location. I only had one party voice interest, and summarily declined, but I cruised through the day use area to check (just in case). Finding no surprise visitors, we headed to Stonefield Beach. There was a strip of asphalt as a segway into the dunes, but very little room to park.
It was a very short walk through a grass-covered dune to access the beach. I found the “stony fields” handy in navigating to my spot, instead of sinking in loose sand the whole way. A calm river gently winded its way down to the ocean, leaving lots of ideal (safer) playing areas for the kids & their castles.
We went in phases, trading kids off with different adults. It was really nice having Birdy’s sister and niece along. They had brought their poles and ended up catching perch!
Birdy ended up catching baby crabs. North of the river were rock formations that were natural tide pools. Naturally, we gawked at the mussels, anemones, & baby crabs they were teaming with. (As the tide was going out, of course. Devil’s churn had an information booth posting tide times, and serving espresso!) We had to sneak past a group setting up for a wedding, but otherwise it wasn’t very hazardous.
Across the river, we also found some neat trails along the embankment, along with a large blackberry population. We decided to pick a bunch, and each of us filled a container. The kids were instructed on selection, and if they were ‘too squishy’ (rupturing in their fingers) they could just eat them. It was comical to hear them announcing “too squishy!” quite often…
Birdy’s relatives had to go at 5pm, before the blackberry-picking. After that, we went back to camp and grilled burgers for a quick dinner. While I was busy with that, Birdy had discovered a trail she liked. (For the record, she likes every trail on the coast, I think.)
Our campground has a ‘China Creek Trail’ which makes a nice little loop of 1.5 miles. We only went the .5 miles to the loop, but discovered it was also the Pacific Crest Trail! There was a neat old meadow that had a former concrete water source, and I could imagine all the folks that used to camp there. This also explains why the campground has a designated spot for hikers & bike riders to bed down in. On the way back, I took the opportunity to teach them a few carrying techniques for folks who may have “an owie.”
We decided to return to Heceta head to check messages, and catch a brilliant sunset too. Stay tuned for part 3 and/or enjoy the photo album!