Mile 94 Report

June 19, 2013
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
West of Laurel Lake, Lost Lake
Conditions:
Wednesday 3:00 PM
Sunny
65° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the W
Humans / Pets:
People:
6
Dogs:
2
Activities:
Walking / Running:
6
Concerns:
Disturbances:
Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs
Vehicles:
Cars/Trucks parking:
0
ATVs/OHVs parking:
0
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
0
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
0
Activity Comments:
Very surprised to see four other people; normally we don't even see footprints. Beach Walk, Wednesday, June 19th, 2013. We three (wife Blaine, mostly Bassett LucieAnne, and myself) set out under warm and sunny skies at 2:35 pm. We walked down the BLM Path to the edge of the New River and then waded across. The water came nearly up to my crotch and to Blaine’s waist. Lucie, unlike other members of her breed, swam happily across alongside us. All three of us were bare foot. When we got to the west bank I was a little surprised to see vague footprints in the sand. We climbed over the dunes and walked down to the wet sand. Kip from the BLM had called a month or so ago to say there were some Snowy Plover installations across from our house, but we didn’t see any evidence of them at the point where we forded the River which was actually from the Logan property. The beach was wide and nearly flat with just a gentle slope and the waves were small, only two feet from trough to crest. Although they got a bit bigger as we approached the mouth of the New River as we walked north along first Mile 94 and then Mile 95, but never more than three feet trough to crest. Likely as a result, there was very little spindrift in the air and the views to the South (Cape Blanco, twelve miles away) and North (what we think is the backside of Face Rock, eight miles away) were the clearest we have ever seen. There was just a light breeze, less than ten miles an hour, perhaps less than five miles an hour, coming from the West. It was a gorgeous day. There were large fluffy clouds over the land to our east and some far out to sea but none overhead. The water in the River was quite warm, estimated in the mid-sixties. The ocean was colder, perhaps around fifty degrees. The beach was pretty clean. Occasional individual pieces of bull kelp and a very frilly seaweed, often covered with sand fleas, were scattered on the wet sand. We saw dozens of complete crab carapaces and occasional crab claws and legs and two nearly complete dead crabs. There were perhaps a half a dozen fragments of sand dollars but no whole ones. There were pebbles, all rounded, up to the size of a golf ball. There were many different colors and many around the size of peas. I saw perhaps a dozen clear jellies, none more than an inch and a half long. I also saw occasional small white pieces of bull kelp, just the little air chambers and a few inches of stem. I don’t recall seeing the white versions before. As we made our way north we saw a man and a dog headed our way. It turned out to be Tom Brown, our neighbor from up the Lane. We chatted for a bit. He too had waded the river. His dog was dragging two Styrofoam floats attached to his collar. His dog and ours played together. It is exceedingly rare to find anyone on our beach. Normally, there are not even footprints. He told us he has been coming there for twenty-seven years. We had seen a five gallon plastic bucket on the west bank on our way to the beach and one small white plastic bucket on the dry sand as we made our way north. That was pretty much the only flotsam or jetsam that we found except for a large wooden spool we saw on our way back. The large concrete pier was still near the dividing line between miles 94 and 95. It appeared to have been carried further up the dry sand than when we had last seen during the Fall of 2012. We saw no birds at all as we walked until we approached the mouth of the New River where we saw what we think was a lone Bald Eagle sitting on a small sandbar. It took flight when we were about seventy-five yards away and then flew nearly over us. As it flew we also saw one other bird, we think it was a hawk. On our way back a lone gull passed us flying south over where the water from the surf was running up onto the sand. We did find two dead birds. I took a photo of one. The other Blaine described as large and white, probably a gull. She said it was about the size of our smaller cat. I didn’t see it. As we entered what I think is mile 95 we noticed the European Beachgrass on the dunes went from green to brown, and we assumed it was the result of the teal-coloured herbicide sprayed on it last Fall.As we approached the mouth of the New River we noticed that there was a lot less driftwood on the dry sand. There used to be large numbers of big parts of trees, but there were few in evidence. We did find more when we returned south along the West Bank of the New River. Apparently, they had been carried there by waves overtopping the beach sometime in the past six months. The shape of the New River where it meets the sea was different than previously. Now, it has a big s-curve. The mouth is another couple of hundred yards north of where it was last Fall based on where the creek coming from the north empties into it. They used to meet directly east of the mouth, but now the subsidiary comes in a ways South from the mouth.Sadly, we saw no pinipeds on this visit. As we made our way south on the west bank of the New River, we found one set of deer tracks and ATV tracks, one set going in each direction. It was a narrow gauge ATV with a wheel span of not more than a yard. It appeared that the river had been several inches higher recently. The sand had dimples from the rain overnight, but close to the water it was smooth. I am guessing the rain caused the river to rise briefly.We crossed back over to the beach where the dunes started again. There were some posts here and there all facing the river prohibiting entry as there were Snowy Plover nesting areas. We saw no plovers or nests but did see a metal cage in the distance which we thought might be protecting a nest. On our way south along the beach, we did encounter a man and woman accompanied by a young child. It appeared they had also forded the river as one of them was carrying their shoes. When we crossed the river to go home, we couldn’t find the exact right spot, and the water came up to my waist. It was 5:40 pm. Fortunately, we were just five minutes from our house where we shared a hot shower.
Notable Wildlife:
One sea gull flying South over the water.
Dead Birds:
Total:
2
Species/names:
One apparently a gull and the other was a Sooty Shearwater.
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Dozens of crab carapaces, some claws and legs, two nearly complete dead crabs. Many sand fleas. Few pieces of sand dollar shells.
Driftline:
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Small rocks·Wood pieces
Some feathers, small clear jellies.
New Development:
Modifications:
None
Natural Changes:
Comments:
None
Summary:
Warm day, beach wide and fairly flat, pretty clean with occasional kelp, few jellies, dozens of crab carapaces, a few broken Sand Dollars, feathers, and some other crab parts. A Bald Eagle resting on a sand bar at the mouth of New River. Two dead birds, a Western Gull and a Sooty Shearwater. Four people and one dog on beach (very rare).
  • At the border of Mile 94 and 95.
    June 19, 2013
Other Mile 94 Reports (26)

2016

May 1, 2016 - John Hull
Accessed mile by rowing down Fourmile Creek and beaching on west side of New River. Saw no gorse on this side. Human activities included five fishermen and a person flying a kite. Sandy beach gently...

2014

March 13, 2014 - Volunteer Trainer
Dead lamb and salmon on the beach.Photos by Rod Cink
  • Thursday, 3-13, ~10:00am43.07.04.49 N124.25.57.53 W - (both of them)

2013

November 23, 2013 - John Hull
More people than we have ever seen on a beach walk before, two fishermen in small powered boat on new River, one fisherman walking, and what appeared to be a family of three walking South along the...

2012

November 4, 2012 - John Hull
Saw pelican with injured wing walking on beach and a dead baby sealion and three dead birds (just partial carcasses). Only we and our dog were on the beach with no signs of anyone else and no foot...
  • What looked to me like a dead little seal, possibly entangled.
April 5, 2012 - John Hull
Once again no people nor signs of people. Wet sand and sand below driftline quite clean and relatively narrow (fifty to one hundred yards wide). One large dead sea mammal, too decomposed to see if...

2011

October 18, 2011 - John Hull
Beach sand and wet sand very clean. One nine by twelve by three foot concrete dock or pier on dry sand. Flock of over a hundred gulls of two species together on wet sand. Flock of about thirty...
September 19, 2011 - H Witschi
Beach was very clean. Shells and animal casings in the driftline. One dead Steller's Sea Lion. One Great White Egret, flocks of Sanderlings and sea gulls. Five people on the beach - two walking and...
July 7, 2011 - H Witschi
Shells, animal casings and small rocks in the driftline. Practically no trash. No human impact. ATV tracks going north and south on the beach. The mouth of New River is quite narrow (10-20 feet) and...
May 22, 2011 - John Hull
Animals were three Sanderlings, seven cormorants, less than ten pelicans, and one bald eagle over the New River. Four people on beach with one dog (our party). Beach and driftline very clean, no...
April 3, 2011 - John Hull
There were only three of us, my wife and I and our dog on the beach. Very clean driftline. We saw three flocks of small shore birds foraging in the wet send, chasing the receding waves- Sanderlings...

2010

September 25, 2010 - John Hull
One set of human footprints (besides mine) and one set of dog tracks. Lots of small feathers at water's edge for first time. Unusual number of jellies on wet sand, very few shells or crab parts....
June 8, 2010 - John Hull
No signs of recent human activity. Lots of plastic shards on the dry sand. Two jellies, nearly a dozen whole sand dollars and many pieces of crab shell in driftline. Ten or more floats per mile....

2009

October 9, 2009 - John Hull
Except for one old set of boot prints no signs of people or their debris. One dead male California Sea Lion,and a few birds. Little jetsam except for shells, small rocks, a few sand dollars and two...
  • It appears that this carcass was male as the head has a sagittal crest that is prominent in male California Sea Lions.
September 15, 2009 - [email protected]
Accessed Mile 95 From the North end of Mile 94. I had a beautiful day on my mile. Animal casings and kelp/algae in the driftline. One dead California Sea Lion (reported to Marine Mammal Stranding...
  • Found dead on the North quarter mile of Mile 94.
September 8, 2009 - H Witschi
Very quiet, very clean beach; Snowy Plover crew quickly passing through. Shells and animal casings in driftline on a remarkably clean beach. One dead California Sea Lion reported to Diane and Dave...
September 3, 2009 - [email protected]
Parked at the Lower Four Mile BLM parking area and took the trail to New River. There were about a dozen geese and a couple of swans feeding in the river. Waded the river, there must be a breech down...
June 2, 2009 - H Witschi
Practically no human impact; vehicles tracks/footprints most likely from Snowy Plover observers/predator control.Along miles 94 and 95 dry sand (dunes) marked and declared Snowy Plover nesting...
January 12, 2009 - H Witschi
No human activities, except for a few old footprints along New River, no noteable wildlife, no noticeable physical changes to shoreline - looks as it always did for the last few years. Kelp/algae and...

2008

November 14, 2008 - John Hull
Lots of kelp but very little else. Several types of shore birds on sand, flying, or in water. Only other visible animals were sand fleas. Very little in terms of shells or crab parts.Limited...
September 9, 2008 - H Witschi
Untouched beach - only a few (old) human footprints. Remarkably clean beach, practically no litter. Dead birds were 2 Common Murre, 1 large immature gull and 2 unidentified birds. Low human impact (...
August 22, 2008 - John Hull
Large clumps of Bull Kelp at beginning of mile. More kelp than June, also birds this time (gulls and Sanderlings?), one dead bird (small gull?), very little litter. Jellies found along mile but also...
June 27, 2008 - H Witschi
Easy crossing of New River at access point; river not even knee deep. No human impact. Beach remarkably clean, but massive sand build-up. A few snowy plovers seen, one blue heron flying along east...
June 2, 2008 - John Hull
Looked good to me, clean and unoccupied. Thought it odd that there were no small shore birds. Shells, mole crab casings, 2 black fishing floats, one crab float with line but no seaweed in driftline...

2007

July 7, 2007 - [email protected]
I crossed New River from the BLM trail at the end of Lower Four Mile Lane. New River seems to still be flowing south at Four Mile Creek. There was a little mud, but not bad, not even knee deep. I saw...
May 21, 2007 - [email protected]
I waded the New River mud at the BLM Trail north of Lower Four Mile Road. Shells, animal casings and small rocks in driftline. Low human impact (0).
March 11, 2007 - [email protected]
As long as I was in the area, I walked Mile 94. Shells, animal casings, small rocks, wood pieces, ocean-based debris in driftline. shore birds foraging in surfline. I took a picture of some tracks...