Saturday, January 4, 2014

Logging in-roads

I spent the first weekend of the new year with family, in Manzanita on the Oregon coast. It was gorgeously sunny, with attendant cold temperatures. I had planned to run 15 miles on my own while Ann was up in Seattle, but once I knew I would be at the coast, that plan was sunk-- it's much more difficult there, for some reason, to find the time and trails to run more than about 10 miles at a time within an hour's drive.

"Do NOT take a picture of this."
I had resigned myself to Cape Falcon, the same lovely run I always do out here (poor me!) when Chris, my brother-in-law, suggested Neakahnie Mountain, which he, my husband and their dad were about to hike. It's a great trail and some nice uphill (see, Ann, I can enjoy elevation gain!) but pretty short, round-trip. I hemmed and hawed, and that's when he offered to take me on the endless logging roads.

Sign at the gate
We parked at a nondescript gravel pull-off along Highway 101, walked around a gate, and BOOM-- the network of hidden logging roads was before us. It was all climbing or downhill, and we saw lots of Roosevelt elk poop. Some of the roads were so long unused that tree saplings had grown up through the middle, and the branches delivered some painful, inescapable smacks.
Old growth, scarred
This clear, sunny day was perfect for the route. At the top we could see Neakahnie Mountain between us and the ocean, way south to Nehalem Spit, and north into Oswald West. It was absolutely breathtaking. And then we got to bomb back down to the car!
Up, up, up
So fun, beautiful, HARD, and full of possibilities. Thank you, Chris! Sorry I posted the photo of you in your suspendered running pants.

View of Neakahnie Mountain
PS
This is western Oregon in January. Please don't tell the rest of the country.

View to the north-- Oswald West

View to the south-- Nehalem Spit

Peak panorama-- south

Peak panorama-- north

Nike+ map of route

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