2010-08-31 45 -124
On a hilltop near the ocean in the Siuslaw National Forest.
When we checked the hashpoints in the morning, we saw that this was a once-in-a-decade chance to take a swipe at the North Lincoln City graticule. Michael got the afternoon off from work and we set out for the coast through increasingly dodgy weather.
This was not an easy Expedition. The obvious approaches into the area were blocked by private property, so we determined to climb up into the National Forest land from the beach. What I expected to be moderate slopes, however, turned out to be fairly sheer cliffs. Our only option was to crawl up through thick vegetation along a small watercourse. This was very rough and very slow going, and the rain began in earnest as we pulled our way up. After nearly a half hour of cliffside bushwhacking, we reached a flat spot with... a house.
The house turned out to be deserted, but from its access road we found a good trail leading more or less in the direction of the hashpoint. Since this clearly led onto public land, we took it and made great progress to within a quarter mile of ground zero. Here, the trail petered out, but we could keep climbing up through a meadow, scattering deer, for another few hundred feet. From there, it was back to slow bushwhacking, as the rain bucketed down. The visibility at this point was very limited, and despite the roar of the surf neither of us was at all sure we would be able to find our way back out without the GPS gadget. Stupidly? Courageously? -- you make the call! -- we pressed onward and upward through a thick belt of forest before emerging into a hilltop meadow. Probably on a clear day, it would have a spectacular 180 degree ocean view, but today we were in a very small world of trees, brush, water, and cloud. But we reached the hashpoint and felt unreasonably euphoric.
What was meant to be an easier route down turned out to be no easier, but with the trusty GPS gadget we were able to get back to our trail. For safety's sake we took the driveway out from the empty house, rather than scaling backwards down to the beach. Soaked to the core, we changed into what dry clothes we could find -- finally some payoff for years of keeping extra clothes in the truck, just in case! -- and headed to a restaurant for hot food, hot drinks, and dryness. The silly exhilaration of hashing an unhashable graticule lasted all the way back home to Portland.
|Michael5000 and Mrs.5000 earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|