EDITOR’S NOTE: As we celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving, and Native American Heritage and history, Don Backman explores a hike that has many meaningful messages about the plight of our local tribes. Many continue to fight for recognition, reclaiming ancient lands and rebuilding cultures. The more we know about this history, the more we learn about our natural environments, and living as one with the earth.By Don Backman
We could feel the crashing waves through the ground. The oce…….
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EDITOR’S NOTE: As we celebrate the meaning of Thanksgiving, and Native American Heritage and history, Don Backman explores a hike that has many meaningful messages about the plight of our local tribes. Many continue to fight for recognition, reclaiming ancient lands and rebuilding cultures. The more we know about this history, the more we learn about our natural environments, and living as one with the earth.
By Don Backman
We could feel the crashing waves through the ground. The ocean, kicking up some from a recent weather system, roared just yards away. Mike pointed at a bench situated close to the waves. “That looks like a good place to get wet in a storm,” he commented.
What are we doing on the beach? Isn’t this article about hiking? It was early on October 14th, 2021, we were in Yachats, Oregon, and we were gearing up to hike Amanda’s Trail. Only a short section of grass and rocks separates the parking area at Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site trailhead from the waves.
Amanda’s trail, a simple hiking trail that runs between the town of Yachats and Cape Perpetua’s stone shelter, is more than just a hiking trail. It has a soul and a story. It is good exercise, a nice day hike roughly paralleling highway 101 from Yachats to the stone viewpoint and shelter on Cape Perpetua, and it is a big step back into history and the story of one of Oregon’s many trails of tears.
On October 14th, with our planned hike along Tam McArthur Rim in the Three Sisters Wilderness near Sisters, Oregon snowed out, we had to quickly make a change. My friend Mike suggested Amanda’s Trail down by Yachats, and I agreed. While we wouldn’t have snow, we could have a short period of rain which doesn’t require post-holing or snowshoes. Besides, it was someplace I’d been wanting to scout for winter storm photos. All that, plus being a much shorter distance to drive, and this trail sounded like a good trade.
Yachats Ocean Road State Natural Site is bordered by houses on one side, and the ocean on the other. This is a very different type of trailhead than we are used to. Normally we are way up in the hills, not in a residential neighborhood. There were no bathrooms, and no bushes or trees to hide behind. Normally, trailheads have limited to no views. Here, the ocean was gorgeous, and the waves were stellar.
The first quarter-mile or so follows the road, then we came to the trail itself. A dirt trail paralleled the western side of Highway 101 for a short distance, then crossed to the eastern side and climbed up the bank.
It was raining slightly still, but it was no big deal. We had raincoats, waterproof shoes, and high-tech quick-drying clothing. Our packs held light-weight high-calorie hiking snacks along with the emergency …….