Hike 34 – Sandlake-Cape Kiwanda


Spring Break in Oregon is generally a rainy affair. Starting tomorrow it will be, but we got four days straight of glorious, beautiful sunshine. You gotta take advantage. Besides Ecola on hike number 3, we haven’t done any beach hikes. There are a ton. We decided to go for distance so that we could spend the whole day in the sun and salt. I am actually quite sunburned this morning…and I love it. The Sandlake-Cape Kiwanda hike is 8.2 miles total. It is entirely on sand, most of it on the flat of the beach. There is 250 feet of elevation gain, but ALL of that elevation is climbing “The Great Dune” that separates Tierra Del Mar (the beach community where you park) from Pacific City. The dune is a heck of a workout.

We started out early. My sister got to my house at 8am. I made her cinnamon roll waffles. I saw it on the Failblog (under wins). You put four Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in your waffle iron and squish ’em down. Warning: they cook super fast, way faster than waffles. Then you have super fantastic cinnamon roll waffles and you put the frosting on them instead of syrup. I can’t have Pillsbury stuff, so I was really stoked to make them for her. She didn’t seem disappointed.

After breakfast we headed to Subway so we didn’t make the same mistake we made last time we went to the beach. Refer to the Ecola post. It involves far too much Mexican food and our inability to function. Then we headed out. Our grandparents retired to Bay City. My papa was even the mayor! Highway 6 is very familiar to us and it brought out a lot of memories. My mom used to sing to us on road trips. You better believe we sang a few of her songs.

Once we were through Tillamook we started talking about how beach towns are just a little bit “different” than other towns. Not Fantastic Mr. Fox different either, because that’s a good different. We were searching for an adjective when I hit on it and then it fit for the rest of the trip. The towns we passed through were just a little bit “methy.” Everything looks a little bit rundown, dirty, unkempt, drug-addled. You get the point. The beach is methy.

Once we hit Tierra Del Mar, our starting point, we immediately wanted to stay there. It’s delightful. We will definitely be back probably to rent a beach house. It’s sandwiched by Sandlake and Pacific City, but it’s a world of its own. It’s quite lovely. We found the parking lot easily and hit the beach. We immediately took off our shoes, of course, and headed north. We walked about three miles until we hit a river and couldn’t go any further then we turned back. We made up a whole story about how Sharock and our parents were staying in one of the houses on Tierra Del Mar and they had spaghetti and meatballs and beers waiting for us. It was a bit disappointing to camp out on a log and eat our Subway. A bit, but really we were on a beautiful beach so not really.

We continued heading south past our parking spot and toward The Great Dune. There were a ton of cars on the beach and people were paragliding off the dune, which by the way looks awesome. After a couple miles it was time to climb the dune. It took us a while and some climbing with our hands on the steepest parts, but we reached the top. Success!

After a about five minutes of taking in the amazing view and snapping a few model shots, we headed back down and back to the car. It was a nearly perfect day. I say nearly perfect because my sister got HUGE blisters on her feet. She was pretending to be a giant and smashing her “denizens” as we walked. We decided they had formed a rebellion and were poking her feet with pitchforks. How else does one get blisters when they are barefoot? Damn denizens. They can be so needy.

For information about the Sandlake-Cape Kiwanda hike click here.


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