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Mile 204 Report
October 16, 2020
The woman ahead of me on the path down to the beach from the Driftwood Wayside parking lot cried out "Yes!
The woman ahead of me on the path down to the beach from the Driftwood Wayside parking lot cried out "Yes! Yes! The beach!!!" I don't know where she was from, but that's how beautiful it was today. I walked in the dunes looking at some of the driftwood for which the beach is named, old stumps and logs that have been deposited in the beach grass at the base of the cliffs. I counted tree rings ranging up to 110 years old, and these old logs were obviously not new to the beach. Driftwood Beach is very wide, and it's hard to visualize the kind of storm surges that must occur here. Where Buckley Creek flows onto the beach, in addition to the petroglyphs inscribed in the sand cliff, people have left little memorials to departed loved ones on a driftwood log next to the creek. For when the wind blows, someone has reconstructed the nearby lean-to and added an entranceway. Despite the human traces, you'll almost certainly be alone here.
Temperature: 60 F. Tide Level: 7.0 feet.
Number of people: 25. Number of dogs: 5. Walking or running: 20. Sitting: 4. Fishing: 1.
Cars/trucks parking: 15.
None, just a few gulls and crows.
Small rocks, Animal casings (e.g., crab, shrimp molt). Very little driftline content.
No activity seen for OSU's PacWave wave energy project (see my previous reports).
Not new, but a couple of houses are close to the edge of a sand cliff.
All Mile 204 Reports
Today marked my latest sighting of the old growth driftwood log that I've admired and whose comings and goings from Driftwood Beach I've documented since June 2020, when I first photographed it high on the beach south of Buckley Creek.
I had read that the 265-foot vessel Seacor Lee would be anchoring a mile off Driftwood Beach in support of OSU's PacWave South wave energy testing project, positioned so that divers from the ship could perform work on previously installed seafloor conduits.
I haven't walked Driftwood Beach regularly since the PacWave South wave energy project completed work underground in the Driftwood parking lot.
By the time I got to Driftwood Wayside, a lot of people had already arrived for their New Years Day beach walks, some 30 vehicles in the parking lot and 30 - 40 people down on the beach, accompanied by at least half as many dogs, almost all leashed.
This was probably the last dependably dry Mile 204 walk before the rains begin in earnest.
After the morning fog lifted and before the marine layer moved in, I walked from Seal Rock on Mile 205 to Beach Access 66C on Mile 203.
Driftwood Wayside is open again after PacWave's departure, but I was the only visitor on this breezy, drizzly day.
The PacWave South wave energy project hosted a BBQ today at Driftwood Wayside for staff and neighbors to celebrate the completion of construction work here and the reopening of the Wayside later this month.