|Valsetz to the Beach 2012|
|Kellie, me and Steve in Falls City, last semi civilization.|
We stopped briefly in Falls City to take a few pictures, and then headed “into the hills”. The normal friendly chatter in the car was only interrupted a few times by comments like “where are you taking us?”
As planned, the four of us to walk the first mile together, from the locked gate into the ghost town of Valsetz. Valsetz was a company owned mill town in the Oregon Coastal Range. When Boise Cascade decided to close the mill in 1988 they literally erased the town of Valsetz too. It had once been home to nearly 1,200 people. In 1988, the mill and the entire town, houses, stores, the 2 lane bowling alley, everything, were bulldozed and burnt to nothing.
|This is the only thing resembles a structure left in Valsetz.|
|Uphill on gravel.|
|Downhill on gravel.|
|The view from Suncrest Point|
I felt my first serious fatigue around mile 17, mostly in my hips and lower back. As difficult as the uphills in loose gravel were, the downhills were even worse, and all that sliding around starting taking its toll. At some point I remember encouraging myself, “only a few more miles and then you get sweet smooth asphalt to run on”. Steve ran the first 21 miles with me, which was awesome, it left me just under 5 miles to Ichwhit Park on the Siletz River, where I was planning to take a small break, change to road shoes, have a little lunch and then have Kellie run with me for the next 6 miles.
I was so happy to come down the last gravel hill, happy with the thoughts of sitting down for a bit, getting some different shoes on, but as I came into the parking lot at Ichwhit, something seemed amiss. I wasn’t really expecting a heroes welcome, but I clearly wasn’t the most obvious concern. Everything from the Subaru was scattered about in the parking lot, because there was a screw in the back left tire, and they had just put the spare on. I tried to just relax, change my shoes and eat something, confident that everything else would be taken care of. I was relieved that this happened once we had reached “civilization” and not in the middle of the Coast Range. We had cell coverage now and Jeanne was busy finding the nearest Les Schwab location, one of the greatest customer service companies ever.
|That's road crew!|
|Kellie and me entering Taft|
|With the greatest crew ever|
I soaked my legs in the Siletz bay for a few minutes, took some pictures, drank some chocolate milk and Jeanne was off to get the car fixed. I can’t say enough about how much easier and fun these journeys are with good company. Steve and Kellie both running further than they originally planned was a treat. All of the planning and recon outings with Jeanne are what really make these trips fun.
|Steve and Kellie|
|Finished at the beach|