Got Sand?

Paradise Point to the Mouth of the Elk River

Recently we hiked south from Cape Blanco to the mouth of the Elk River. So… today we decide to walk to Paradise Point and trek north along the beach to the mouth of the Elk River.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and the sky is so blue. The colorful spring flowers beg me to take their picture. We pass by Garrison Lake twice as we make our way to Paradise Point.

A little over a mile later we descend onto Agate Beach. The time is 11:02…

The sand is is so deep. The wind blasts us from the north. Tiny pebbles pummel us as we slowly slog our way toward the tributary of the Elk River.

A half hour later we are enjoying the view of sandy cliffs and driftwood washed ashore by high tides…

And we continue for another half hour, still amazed by the cliffs dripping with sand…

Meanwhile, the wind creates ripples of sand on the shore and the waves wash up pulverized pieces sea debris…

…stinging us in the face as we trudge forward. I can hear the sand hitting our jackets and sunglasses.

We slog, on tasting and smelling the sand as it flies by our noses and enters our mouths through gritted teeth.

The view of the carved cliffs along the shore keeps us happy and urges us forward.

The crashing waves entertain us.

Driftwood buried in drifts of sand intrigue us.

Finally we reach the place where the Elk River starts winding its way through the sand.

Free range cows from a neighboring farm mosey down to the beach.

We can’t be too far from the mouth of the Elk River now, can we?

Another half hour of slogging…

More driftwood buried in drifting sand…

I look back in the direction from where we started.

More driftwood ahead…

We’re both tired from the wind… But we have come too far to turn back. So we continue slogging north, hoping we are close.

Another half hour goes by…

The Elk River continues carving a channel to the sea.

…Until sand dunes block the view…

Here’s a good example of what the sand actually looks like. Notice how it is mixed with billions of tiny particles of shells and rocks ground down by the powerful forces of waves and wind.

In the distance is Cape Blanco, the landform jutting out into the ocean. Look closely and you can barely make out the Lighthouse sitting atop the green cliff to the right of the sandstone edge.

Directly in front of us is the litter of driftwood deposited by high tides.

Closer to shore this embedded piece of wood stands stoically while getting pounded by waves.

And we’re still not there yet!

But the river is visible again cutting through the sand along the cliffs. There’s more driftwood collections.

At last… Eureka, we find it! I zoom in and take a picture of the Elk River getting swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean.

Cape Blanco appears in the upper left of the photo below. Needle Rock rises proudly beneath it. The Lighthouse stands on the promontory to the left of Needle Rock.

We encounter 4 men with 2 ATVs. They passed us along the beach about an hour ago.

Three of them are catching surf perch and they let me take pictures.

As I watch and take pictures, they catch about 5 fish in a matter of several minutes.

Jeff and I walk up to the mouth of the river and sit on some driftwood, spill the sand out of our shoes, and shake out our socks.

As we head back to Paradise Point, the 4th man offers us a ride back to Paradise Point on his ATV. He is not fishing and knows how long it will take us to walk back along the beach. He has room for one passenger at a time and doesn’t mind driving us back in 2 trips.

Yes! Thank you! Really? Are you sure?

His ATV has a cargo bed so we spare him 2 trips. I sit in the passenger’s seat and Jeff rides in back.

Yes! Thank you!

As we ride back to Paradise Point I try to get a picture of Jeff in the cargo bed in the overhead mirrors, but I am not successful.

Here is our Good Samaritan, Larry Brown, dropping us off at Paradise Point!

Now it’s just a mile to home, sweet home…

Our catch of the day…

Oh, but what you cannot see is the sand we caught in our hair, ears, mouths, clothes, bodies, shoes, socks…

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