Mile 95 Report

April 25, 2010
by John Hull

Location:
Coos
South end of Bandon State Park
Conditions:
Sunday 10:00 AM
Sunny
55° F
Wind:
Calm/Light from the N
Tide Level:
6.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
2
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
2
Concerns:
Apparent Violations:
None
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:
Today was the second beautiful day in a row. We woke up to calm but cool weather yet the New River was pretty much a mirror. We headed out at about fifteen minutes to nine with LucieAnne for a bye-bye-in-the-boat-trip to the beach. I emptied the rain water out of our dinghy, and we boarded, first Blaine, then I helped Lucie in, and then myself, and we set out down the creek in very calm conditions. Before we reached the far side of the New River (Is that Inverness or Far Rockaway?), I set down my oars and took pictures both upstream and down as it was so charmingly peaceful and bucolic. There was a little mist adding to the beauty of the scene. We beached at a little sandy spot on the western shore and made our way over the dunes. I noticed a single raccoon’s tracks with its distinctive five-toed marks, perhaps looking for Snowy Plover eggs? I took pictures as we crested the final dune before our view of the ocean, once again it was fabulously inviting with white waves against a green blue (aquamarine, Blaine said) sea. The waves were taller than they had been, perhaps five feet trough to crest. And Blaine noticed we could not see the rocks in front of Bandon nor the Cape Blanco Light due to the mist. I thought it might be because there was more spindrift, but she said there was more mist ashore in the valleys east of our house and probably was at the shore too. We walked north and I said that I would like us to reach the mouth of the New River. The beach was wide and gently sloping with very little gravel amongst the sand. There were about ten round fishing floats the size of a basket ball every mile, most of them black. There were also plastic bottles of various descriptions and more than ten glass bottles per mile, all with the their tops on but, alas, empty. Upon thinking about it, I realized glass bottles without tops would all sink and sailors, even if inebriated, weren’t about to lose bottles that still had liquor in them. There were new large pieces of drift wood in the first mile and even fragments of gorse plants in the surf. I’ve never seen that before. The driftline had lots of small pieces of wood, from the size of tooth picks on up. I don’t recall seeing that before either. The only birds we saw on the entire walk north were a little flock of birds about the size of sparrows (plovers?) flying in unison from the surf over toward the dry sand, chirping as they went. As we got into the second mile the sand dunes were overtopped more frequently and the terrain between the surf and the New River became flatter and the amount of large driftwood increased. At about the one mile point (where the Mermaid’s Chair driftwood piece is found on the west bank of the New River, Blaine found four colorful crab floats and we carried them across the isthmus to the west bank and left them there to be picked up during our return. We also found one of those large 500 watt light bulbs. Once again one of its filaments was intact although the screw-in metal base was missing. As we made our way towards the mouth of the New River the waves became smaller, perhaps limited to three foot trough to crest. As we approached the mouth we could make out the haystack rocks off of the town of Bandon. We kept an eye on the surf, looking for seals or otters but saw none. Near the mouth there were pieces of gorse plants over ten feet long on the wet sand. Big pieces of driftwood were everywhere on the dry sand. I have never seen anything like this on miles 93, 94 or 95. Big pieces of trees where lying within twenty feet of each other everywhere. As we rounded the corner at the mouth of the New River, Blaine spotted four seals on the west bank of the river and they eased themselves into the water. They surfaced not far away and appeared to be studying us for some time, especially two of them that stayed near for perhaps five minutes while the others swam north toward the mouth. As we walked south several individual white gulls with long slender wings flew north, cawing, perhaps at us or at nothing in particular. We heard water rushing behind us and turned to see a wave, which broke into a series of waves, making its way upstream. It was nearly a foot high and extended across the entire river. I quess it might have been the tide. I hadn’t seen that before, either. We passed two auto tires partially buried in the sand along the west bank. We also found one gorse bush, the first actual bush I have seen on the west bank. There were occasional duck or geese tracks in the sand but no other tracks. As we walked, LucieAnne entered the water to bath and drink occasionally and ran in front of us, apparently in quite good spirits. She would be a tired girl the rest of the day. As is usually the case we saw no evidence of recent human activity or any people save each other. Just before we reached the Mermaid’s chair, we retrieved our four crab floats. I was already carrying a round pink float encased in netting, the first of that type we had ever seen. All would be destined to festoon our fence. All told we spent two hours walking on the beach and the bank of the river. We got back to the boat with sore shoulders from carrying our treasures, and the three of us got in, and I rowed us back while Blaine navigated as I, of course, was facing backwards.
Notable Wildlife:
Little flock of shore birds flying in unison, about half a dozen sea gulls flying over New River
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Signs of oil:
0
Entanglement:
0
Stranded:
Total:
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
Few crab and shellfish shell parts
Driftline:
Kelp or Algae·Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)·Small rocks·Styrofoam·Wood pieces
Not other, but for the first time lots of wood, from the size of thooth picks up to and past the size of a pencil at the edge of
New Development:
Modifications:
Natural Changes:
Lots of new drift wood on beach
Comments:
We brought back four floats.
Summary:
No people save ourselves. Unusually large amount of driftwood on the dry sand. Lots of little pieces of wood at edge of the water (first time I've seen that). Kelp/algae, small rocks, Styrofoam and ocean-based debris in the driftline. Large pieces of gorse plants in surf and an actual gorse bush on the west bank of the New River (another first). Four seals on west bank of New River, one flock of small birds flying in unison (plovers?) and four to six gulls over New River (none at beach or over ocean). There were lots of floats, mostly round, perhaps ten per mile and an equal number of glass bottles.
Other Mile 95 Reports (16)

2013

November 23, 2013 - John Hull
Unusual number of people, saw what we took to be a family of three walking south along the west bank of the New River and a fisherman, first seen walking north, then in the water at the mouth of the...
June 19, 2013 - John Hull
Beach fairly clean, occasional pieces of bull kelp and a frilly kelp on the wet sand. The European Beachgrass on the dunes was dead, apparently the result of being sprayed with teal-colored...

2012

November 4, 2012 - John Hull
Saw a large pelican with an injured wing and at least three (but probably more) pinnipeds in the New River near where it joins the sea. Beach was pertty clean. There was less driftwood than in the...

2011

September 18, 2011 - John Hull
Saw one pinniped in the surf and found a dead Steller's Sea Lion about eight feet long on the dry sand. Shells, animal casings, jellies and pieces of jellies, piles of Bull Kelp, small rocks and...
May 22, 2011 - John Hull
Saw what appeared to be perhaps a dozen Harbor Seals in the surf at the mouth of the New River and several solitary ones and one pair we took to be a mother and pup further south. A minimum driftline...
April 3, 2011 - John Hull
Driftline very clean, no jellies, less than a dozen pieces of mussel and crab shells, some small wood pieces, virtually no seaweed. At least five pinnipeds swimming in New River near its mouth. New...

2010

October 29, 2010 - John Hull
Two guys with two fishing rods on ATV. I thought that beach was off limits to ATVs. Some jellies, mussel shells and crab parts. Large clumps of Bull Kelp. Two types of gulls as well as two flocks...

2009

September 15, 2009 - [email protected]
Animal casings, kelp/algae and ocean-based debris in the driftline. About 30 Snowy Plover feeding with Sanderlings near surfline. Low human impact (1)-BLM ATV carrying Snowy Plover exclosures to...
September 3, 2009 - [email protected]
Animal casings, kelp/algae and ocean-based debris in driftline. About 40 Sanderlings foraging by water's edge. One dead sea lion reported to Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Low human...

2008

September 22, 2008 - [email protected]
The European Beachgrass is moving north and building sand dunes with the progression. BLM had bulldozed the dunes in 2002 and pushed the beach grass into the ocean. It's back and doing quite well. My...
  • Birds at Two Mile Creek and New River ocean mouth
July 2, 2008 - [email protected]
I crossed New River at the Lower Four Mile trail end. The water was about 18 inches deep; the river must be breached south of Lower Four Mile Creek. The mud was soft, but the water was fairly clear....

2007

November 2, 2007 - [email protected]
I accessed the beach from the north end of Roaring Surf Lane trail. New River was about 8 inches deep, walked south along New River to the end of Bandon State Park and crossed the dunes to the ocean...
  • New River and Two Mile Creek convergance looking north from Mile 95
  • Beached Northern Elephant Seal, south end of Mile 95 at the high tide line
  • Northern Elephant Seal
October 2, 2007 - [email protected]
I crossed New River at Four Mile Creek Trail, the water was 29" deep. The river bottom was hard sand. I walked North along mile 94 to access mile 95. There were a lot of shore birds (gulls and...
May 19, 2007 - [email protected]
The trail to New River was dry. The New River water level was lower than I have seen it in 5 years, my socks didn't even get wet on the crossing. Last weeks winds had pushed waves topping the dune on...
March 11, 2007 - [email protected]
I accessed mile 95 from the Lower Four Mile trail Sunday 3/11/07. One-third of the trail to New River was under water from runoff. The depth was as deep as 18" in a couple places. The water level in...
  • 12 foot 4x4
  • Tracks identified as Red Fox
March 4, 2007 - [email protected]
I attempted access from the Lower Four Mile access Saturday 3/3/07. One-third of the trail to New River was under flowing water from runoff. The depth was as deep as 18" in a couple places. The water...