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Mile 109 Report
June 15, 2008
This is a follow up to my mile 110 6-8-08 report regarding the moving of the Coast Trail and access on Tokyo Ln.
This is a follow up to my mile 110 6-8-08 report regarding the moving of the Coast Trail and access on Tokyo Ln. on the border line of miles 109 and 110. Today I returned to take photos, as per the request of our Coos County Coordinator, Diane Bilderback. I also wanted to discover what has become of the trail from Tokyo Ln. to Whiskey Run Beach. I’ve added 5 photos to the June 8th report, and 8 to this one. Please see "General Comments" for a detailed report.
Cloud Cover: Sunny. Wind Velocity: Moderate. Wind Direction: NW.
Number of people: 10. Windsurfing: 5. Other Activities: driving on beach.
Apparent violations: Coast Trail Rerouted (See "General Comments").
Cars/trucks parking: 2. Cars/trucks on beach, allowed: 4.
Actions & Comments
This is a follow up to my mile 110 6-8-08 report regarding the moving of the Coast Trail and access on Tokyo Ln. on the border line of miles 109 and 110. Today I returned to take photos, as per the request of our Coos County Coordinator, Diane Bilderback. I also wanted to discover what has become of the trail from Tokyo Ln. to Whiskey Run Beach. I’ve added 5 photos to the June 8th report, and 8 to this one. I started by searching for access to the trail going north from Whiskey Run beach. I discovered the new access point was on Whiskey Run Ln. about a mile from the beach. (.9 to be precise)(see photos) The access used to be near the parking lot to Whiskey Run Beach on the road that descends the bluff there, which has been gated for the past few years. That road used to be public access, too, which led to spectacular views overlooking the bluffs above Five Mile Point. There was also a covered interpretive kiosk telling, on one side, about the Native Americans who lived here and, on the other, the story of how Whiskey Run beach got its name. From the kiosk you would look down the sloping hills, on which sat several electric generation windmills, and on out to the ocean. (This is where the private golf course is now located.) I then drove around to the opposite end of the trail on Tokyo Ln., the new access point I had discovered on June 8th, about a half mile off of Seven Devils Rd. The only place to park was in front of the locked gate going across the road, but, because it was Sunday, I felt pretty safe doing that. (see mile 110 6-8-08 report for photo) There was purposeful access for hikers built to one side of the gate, with posts strategically positioned presumably to keep horses and atv's out. The other two new accesses points further north on Tokyo Ln. and on Whiskey Run Ln. had similar entries. Once inside, the trail was well marked and easy to follow. (see photo) As a matter of fact, there was a post pointing the right direction whenever even the slightest chance that a wrong turn could be made. I got the impression that outside the property the signs pointing to and from the access points were minimalized to the greatest degree, but once someone finds their way onto the private property great strides were made to curtail whereabouts. The other new path further north on Tokyo Ln. that I had hiked on June 8th felt like going through a cattle chute, a narrow path with a high fence on either side with a single-file entryway at the north end. The new “trail” consisted of a service road cut through the brush, mostly gorse, from one end to the other (Tokyo Ln. to Whiskey Run Ln.). I was a little concerned about possible fire danger because there was a lot of dry brush around as well as all the gorse. I got to the end and was depressed because there was not even a hint of the ocean the whole way, let alone a view. At times, I could not even hear the ocean because it was so far away. I was somewhat comforted with the hope that the golf course was going to be responsible for the upkeep of this “trail”, because keeping the gorse at bay is a challenging, and probably expensive, task – one that they are very good at.(see photo) They have been able to successfully eradicate the gorse fields where the golf course is now, quite to everyone’s amazement. When I came out on Whiskey Run Ln., I was glad I had visited the site before, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue as to where I was or which way to go. There was no sign or post pointing the way. At the entrance to the beach at Whiskey Run, I found one of the new, small posts but it was laying in the brush with its sign plate removed. (see photo) The small amount of cement used to “plant” it was insufficient. I also found one other post about a half mile from the beach on Whiskey Run Ln. which appeared to be heading for a similar fate. (see photo) I turned around to hike the trail back to my car, which was parked at the access point on Tokyo Ln., I was a little more adventuresome on the return hike, and I found two roads that led into the golf course. There were no barriers or signs of any kind signifying private property or saying no trespassing, so I did not think I was breaking any laws. I also did not venture past seeing I was headed for the golf course. The first road (southern most) was just like the “trail” road – just an access road cut through the gorse. The second (nearer to the entrance on Tokyo Ln.) was different though. It was a bit grown over, but was a beautiful trail leading through a birded forest area. (Finally - a pleasant, hiking-trail experience!) This ended up being part of the old access trail and eventually led to the covered kiosk mentioned earlier, which overlooks the golf course now. (see photo) At last, it was so good to see the incredible view! I couldn’t enjoy it though, because I felt very uncomfortable and unwelcome. There was a party playing the course, and I narrowly escaped the attention of the caretaker. It remined me of my wife's concern earlier as I was leaving the house. I laughed when she wanted me to assure her I wasn't going to be "shot or something", but now I suddenly felt like a criminal who might be caught at any moment. With the realization that this would probably be the last time I would ever get to see this view again, I took one last look and headed back to my car. I will be very surprised if these two roads are not gated and/or fenced in the very near future, as a continued effort to issolate the golf course from public access. It's quite understandable why the golf course wants to have private access. The general public is sometimes disrespectful, and even distructive, of private property, and I have heard there is a concern about people disturbing the privacy of famous celebrities who come to golf. I’m speculating that as the property is further developed, there’s likely to be a fence built the full length of the “trail” arond the course, wherever the natural gorse barrier will not suffice. I discovered several test wells along the trail, too. This is obviously a major operation backed by some serious money, or, at least, that is what I have been repeatedly told. When it comes to moving the trail, it appears as though these folks have done their homework and gone through “appropriate” channels, dotting all the i's and crossing all the t’s. But I, for one, will miss the old trail. The new trail adds more than a mile of hiking, and it is mostly along the paved road. It's just not nearly as nice a trail as the old one, nor as pleasant a hiking experience. I can’t believe I’m old enough to long for the good old days, but I guess I am! It appears that public access to this part of the coast, and the incredible panoramic views that it contains, is gone. The only way to experience it now would be through a round of golf on this exclusive, and to my understanding, very expensive, private golf course. And, the fact remains that, to those who can afford it, they will most assuradly feel it is well worth the price. I believe this golf course is now considered one of the most spectacular in the world.
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A lady running her dogs along side her vehicle and a Great Blue Heron fishing were the highlights.