Pacific Northwest Part 9 of 9 – West Coast of Vancouver – Tidepools and Trees on Steroids May 6, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, British Columbia, Hiking, Knitting, Road Trip.
Tags: Botanical Bay, Botanical Beach, Juan de FucaProvincial Park, Pacific Northwest, Port Renfrew, Tidepool Ettiquette
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It’s wild out there, the west coast of Vancouver I refer to. Road #14 I took from Victoria, following the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Scant gravel roads cross the island to the west coast. Numerous Provincial Parks protect the island.
French Beach Prov. Park was my first campsite that portion of the trip. Let me tell ya, the Provincial Parks are carefully maintained, campsites are clean, fees are reasonable. It’s clear they invest in their parks and folks treat them well. Wish the US could be as such. Volunteering for CA state parks, lately, I see how badly they are abused. It’s a shame how people abuse the outdoors.
But that’s a soapbox for another time.
A rocky stretch of French Beach I explored that evening. Vastly different from the CA coast I’m used to, thick trees hug the coast.
Next day I played at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Hiking a loop that took me to a couple of beaches, thick, primeval-looking trees loomed over the trails. A grey, muggy, moody day I enjoyed the neon-green contrast of the plants with the water/sky and rocks.
Thick, lush vegetation and gigantic trees along the trail:
Water was everywhere! Such a contrast from CA this time of the year. (A dry winter we had.)
Entertaining tide-pools I found here at Botany Bay.
This educational sign made me smile. Tidepools are fragile! Some etiquette:
- LOOK only. Don’t touch! Putting your hands in the water spreads oils and sunscreen into oil slicks that hurt the ecosystems.
- Keep off mussel beds.
- Watch where you step. Those critters blend in with the rocks and can be hard to see.
- Don’t overturn rocks. The undersides protect sensitive critters from light.
- Please do not collect/remove shells from pools. Remember, these are animals homes.
Enjoyed a break from driving and worked on my Pinata Sock:
Asters of some sort:
A second beach to explore, Botanical Beach.
Of note: a 47 kilometer trail follows the coast, this area being its western end. I’d love to return and backpack it.
This area and marks the end of Road #14 at Port Renfrew.
A blurb from Wikipedia:
“Port Renfrew is also the southern end of the West Coast Trail, a world famous hiking trail built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island to save shipwrecked sailors. During the days of sail, 1830–1925, 137 major shipping tragedies occurred in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca…It became known as The Graveyard of The Pacific. Originally named Port San Juan, the settlers changed the name to honor Lord Renfrew who planned to settle crofters here. The name was changed due to mail being sent to the San Juan Islands instead of Port San Juan. Port Renfrew’s bay is still called Port San Juan. Like many coastal Vancouver Island communities, Port Renfrew has a rich history in forestry and fishing.”
Stopped at a bridge over the San Juan River, at Port Renfrew, to stretch and enjoy the sights. Heard a familiar sound that stirred excitement in my soul.
San Hill Cranes!
Couldn’t see them but undoubtedly heard them overhead. Also watched fish jumping below. Salmon heading up river to spawn? I hadn’t seen this since being in Juneau, Alaska.
This was a special, memorable part of my trip.
Tied to the ocean I’ve become. Can’t imagine being away. When I see communities (especially small ones) such as this I wonder how the residents feel about their proximity to the ocean. Is is a lifeline (mentally as well as physically/for sustenance?) Do they tire of its temperament?
A winding logging road took me past clear cuts (something new to me, thought-provoking) to Lake Cowichan and down to Duncan. A ferry ride back to Port Angeles, WA signaled the long drive home.
Still smiling when I think of this trip. A fine introduction to the Pacific Northwest, my appetite’s wet for more. I made new friends, explored new ecosystems and yearn for another long endeavor.
Pacific Northwest Part 6 of ? – Finally! Getting Above the Trees in Olympic Nat’l Park March 12, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking, Knitting, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Destruction Point Road, Hiking, Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park
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Nearest alpine environment is many hours away from my home. I miss getting above treeline. Some of the hills here in Marin are grassy, bald and open with stunning views.
But nothing puts a hectic, spinning life into its rightful, grounded place like standing high atop a mountain and seeing the lay of the land spread out in all directions.
I had a few hours before catching the Ferry from Port Angeles, WA over to Victoria, BC.
Wanting a quick alpine fix I drove up to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. Avoiding crowds I drove out Obstruction Point Road. Narrow and windy (just as I like ‘em) the drop offs made me glad I wasn’t a passenger.
A peek down to Port Angeles and at Mt. Baker:
I started up a trail. My CV system reminded me I wasn’t at sea level. : )
With just a short bit of time on hand I walked a ways out. Mt. Olympus standing tall:
Found a quiet spot to sit, eat lunch and make a few spins around my Pinata Socks.
Then, reluctantly walked out.
Olympic National Park, what a treasure! Mountains, rain forest beaches.
Pacific Northwest Part Three of ? – Hoh Rainforest – Technicolor Green February 17, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Hoh rain forest, nurse logs, Olympic National Park, temperate rain forest
The theme of this post is green. Perhaps it’s cold and snowy or brown and winter- dry where you are. Let your eyes linger here. Unfortunately, there I could not linger. An overnight and a half-day was all I had. Such a shame.
12-14′ of rain fall upon this temperate rain forest each winter. Coniferous and deciduous trees stretch for the sun including: Sitka spruce, Douglas-fir, Western hemlock, and Western redcedar.
The interpretive loop I walked near the visitors center. Small but informative, the center’s a good place to bone up on info before setting out.
A well trodden trail leads one around a loop:
Many pics from here did not turn out well. Dark at times, I just don’t have the photography knowledge to capture it correctly. Have you experienced a walk through such gentle giants? Cathedral like, noble, solid, the damp scent that accompanies them are unique. So fortunate I am to enjoy similar redwood groves here in Marin. Sometimes I seek them out and just sit and reconnect with being small.
Alright, on to some science:
Let’s talk about EPIPHYTES, or mosses, ferns and lichens that grow on other plants. 100 different types call Olympic National Park home. Some gather nutrients from air. I suspect one sitting still long enough would soon be festooned in green.
A drier, lighter-colored kind:
A small creek, the bed’s plants stretched in the current:
Light filters through the branches in places, spectacular!
Another process unique to the forest are NURSE LOGS. The forest floor being hostile to newly fallen seeds, ones that land on fallen, decaying logs are more successful.
Seedlings perched atop a decaying NURSE LOG:
There they grow upwards , roots forming buttresses around the nurse log which eventually decays away.
Big leaf maple share the forest in spots. True to the name, here you can see this fallen leaf dwarfs my hand. For scale, I have huge man-sized hands (nothing delicate about ‘em).
Next time I’ll backpack in, evade the crowds, with no sounds but those from the local critters and land. A fine introduction to the temperate rain forest this was. Can’t wait to revisit.
Pacific Northwest – “Ocian in view! O! The joy!” – Part One of ? – January 29, 2013Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking, Lighthouses, PNW, Road Trip.
Tags: Cape Disappointment State Park, columbia River, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Olympic Peninsula
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Back in September I took a Pacific Northwest trip. Two weeks I had to play. What a luxury! The route went something like this:
Drove north through CA and OR. Followed the north bank of the Columbia River west to Cape Disappointment State Park, which complements Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, across the river, in Astoria, OR. After this I contoured the Olympic Peninsula coast, dallied in the Hoh Rainforest, met up with a friend in Port Townsend, then ferried over to Vancouver Island. There I stayed in Victoria a spell, veered to the west coast, looped through the Cowichan Valley and returned home.
A long haul it was but SO worth it.
This was the road trip that convinced me to sell my gas-guzzling truck and buy a Prius.
Today’s blog focuses on Cape Disappointment.
This segment looked a little something like this on the map:
After 4,000 miles of arduous travel across the US, Lewis and Clark first spotted the Pacific Ocean standing above the Columbia River’s estuary. The group searched this park’s side of the River for a favorable winter encampment. Finding none, they crossed the Columbia and built a camp two miles up what is now called the Lewis and Clark River. We know this camp as Fort Clatsop.
Next visit to this part of the world I’ll visit the Oregon side.
Cape Disappointment has 27 miles of ocean beach, miles of hiking, remnants of a Civil War era fort, and one of the oldest functioning lighthouses on the West coast.
The visitor center impressed me. I get all nerdy over interpretive displays, movies and such. Maps, paintings, and artifacts from the Corps of Discovery’s expedition fill several levels. A healthy slew of maritime goodies (a lifeboat and its contents, for example) provided much entertainment.
This is the North Head Lighthouse. Arriving at dusk, a rosy glow (not sufficiently photographed) washed over all.
The coast looks different up here compared to where I live.
A short walk I took to a promontory thought to be the initial Pacific Ocean viewpoint for the party. On November 18, 1805 Clark noted, “Towards evening we arived at the Cape disappointment on the Sea Shore. went over a bald hill where we had a handsom view of the seashore.” Clark described the headland as a “bald hill, covered with long corse grass.”
This map shows that headland as “You Are Here” on the lower portion of the map.
Looking south a jetty stretches off the mouth of the Columbia River.
A wide beach below formed (mostly) after the jetty’s installation (if memory serves). The view’s changed since the Corps of Discovery stood atop.
Next day I made for that jetty and walked its length. Cool fog coated all. Folks were fishing from the jetty. Made a fine spot to sit a spell and watch the pelicans fishing.
Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:
A pretty little park, OR and WA are a chock-full of parkland I’ve noted. This was my first stop along the Olympic Peninsula.
A Diverse Hike – Kent Trail to Rocky Ridge Trail January 21, 2013Posted by Heather in Hiking.
Tags: Bon Temope Lake, Hiking, Kent Lake Trail, Mount Tam, Mt. Tam, Rocky Ridge Trail, Stocking Trail
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My backyard does not lack in variety. Want thick, moody, pre-historic feeling redwood forest? Check. Open, dry, chaparral covered hillsides? Check. Gnarled groves of oak? Check. Maybe a lake or two?
How about all in one hike?
Lakes around here are really reservoirs. Having grown up in the land of 10,000 lakes (MN – and there has to be more than 10,000) reservoirs don’t really seem lakes to me.
But they can be pretty in their own way.
Case in point:
Bon Tempe Lake, the starting point of this hike, covered in mid-AM fog. Mt Tam’s a suggestion’s in the background. Cormorant line the pipe in the middle, none here stretching their wings to dry.
A friend and I began this five mile loop from the dam that divides Bon Tempe Lake from Alpine Lake. A fine stand of gnarled, moss-covered oaks greet you at the foot of the dam and follow you along awhile. The trail winds around the shore of Alpine Lake. With water on our right the trail passed interesting rock slides, giant moss-blanketed boulders, wee creeks, and young and old Douglas Fir and Redwood groves.
A “tree-hugger” I am, this giant Douglas Fir begged for my attention.
About half- way along Alpine Lake’s southern shore Kent Trail marches uphill providing a fine cardio workout.
One memorable spot showcased Redwoods’ branches reaching for an opening in the canopy. A small wetland housed numerous croaking frogs.
After a left on the “Stocking” trail the scenery changed dramatically Tall trees fell behind and Madrone/thick Toyon and other shrubs I can’t yet ID hugged the trail. Then, poof! Out we stepped onto a rocky trail, a fire road really, with knee high chaparral revealing views all the way to Pine Mountain.
The sun strong, these photos are quite washed out. Still can’t figure out this scenario when taking pics.
Panoramics did not turn out well. You’ll have to take my word for it that the hills rolled on and on. The bay was covered in a thick fog.
A Turkey Vulture perched not far from the trail. Wondered if this one was ill? It tolerated up walking past a close distance. Seemed unusual.
These birds get a bad rap. But I dig ‘em. Sure they are odd looking but watching them fly is something. Ever see one on a thermal above a sea cliff, just hovering in place? In the air they embody grace.
The walk down Rocky Ridge Trail is steep. Descending from 1230 feet to 700 in 1.4 miles made for sore knees the next day and that’s with two poles! These knees…sigh…
Most of my hiking time I spend on the coast. Winter’s the perfect time to explore Mt. Tam, though. Her flanks are revealing such diversity to me.
Salt Point State Park Again, Part Two of Two – Beach-combing Supreme December 28, 2012Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking, Sonoma County.
Tags: Beach-combing, Fisk Mill cove, Hiking, Horseshoe Cove, Salt Point State Park California, Sonoma County Beaches
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Salt Point State Park has plenty to explore.
This July trip I focused on the Pygmy Forest/Rhododendrons and the stretch of beach from Fisk Mill Cove to Horseshoe Cove. After a day in the trees I ventured down to the beach. Six miles of coast the park protects. I’d explored all but these (aprox.) two.
Parking off Hwy One I headed across the bluff top to the water’s edge. Scant trails move through the north end of the park.
This park was part of a huge Mexican Land Grant ranch that eventually split into smaller parcels. The local economy changed to lumber. Several lumber mills sprung up along the Sonoma Coast in the mid 1800′s. Tanoak, Redwoods and other hardwoods were cut, milled, and shipped out via schooners. Once the sawmills shut down (by the 1870′s) grazing livestock returned.
Found this marker (a headstone?) of Andrew Fisk, who died at age 42, and his daughter Clara Belle Fisk who died as an infant. I’ve been hunting for online info on him to no avail. Nest time I’m up there I’ll sleuth Fort Ross Park’s extensive bookstore for a book on Sonoma Coast history.
The day’s journey started down below this vantage and poked along the coastline, past the farthest point of land viewable, with a couple trips up top to avoid impassable sections of beach.
Catching low tide there were pools to scout:
Beaches yield much treasure:
Unfortunately, much trash litters them as well. I wonder how old this wheel is?
This point was impassable by beach so I found a safe scramble to the top. Of note, there’s a wee bit of climbing to be had here via bouldering and a few short, bolted routes I’ve read about. Rock’s friable. Looks scary to me.
Speaking of bolts, remnants from the lumber mills and quarrying can be spotted:
Though the water tempers hot summer temps, it’s still dry up top in July. Hardy flowers add color to the bluff tops:
I think this may be called Horseshoe Cove. Upon closer inspection, I found a group of seals hauled out on the rocks and swimming the protected water.
Just a few of many:
I watched from a distance, making sure I didn’t alarm them or change their behavior. Since then I’ve added binoculars to my hiking gear. Wish I’d had one then. Abalone shells littered the rocks. They flourish in this area and must feed many seals.
Scrambling north along the wave-worn beach’s sandstone rocks, with no coves to protect, the waves became more animated and dramatic. I made it around that point and had to exit back to the top.
Wove my way through the grassy bluff top back to the car. Surprisingly, no ticks found me through here.
I like it up here. The grass sways in the wind, rhythmical, sometimes I just sit and meld in a spell.
Winter’s in full swing and now’s the quiet time to visit this park. Weather’s more harsh, windy, rainy but that’s just a part of learning the land. I’ve a four-day off stretch coming up. Just might return and venture farther north.
Drakes beach hike, my new favorite beach. December 19, 2012Posted by Heather in Beaches, Hiking.
Tags: Drakes Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore
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There’s a wealth of landscapes to choose from when it comes to hiking in Marin. Sometimes I crave beach time. A walk to the Sir Francis Drake memorial was long overdue.
Drake’s Beach, in Point Reyes National Seashore, lines Drake’s Bay’s crescent. Having a southwestern exposure, guarded by the end of the Peninsula, it’s often a refuge from the wind.
Scholars believe Sir Francis Drake harbored here in June and July of 1579 while fixing a leak in his ship the Golden Hinde. He made trips inland writing:
“Farre diferent from the shoare, a goodly country.”
A goodly country I agree! So beautiful out here. Apparently a brass monument he left here, claiming the land for Queen Elizabeth I, naming it Nova Albion for the white cliffs “which lie toward the sea.” This plaque’s never surfaced. Some contest the idea. Some compare the pale-colored cliffs here to the White Cliffs of Dover.
A deluge of rain a couple weeks ago coupled with the New Moons exceptionally low tide made for unique beach sights. Rock formations, usually buried, were uncovered by the scouring waves.
For reference, the mouth of Drake’s Estero empties into Drake’s Bay after the second cliff in this photo:
A ring of rock:
Almost took this box-like formation of rocks to be man-made. Nope. Reminds me of the fin-like boxwork one finds on cave ceilings.
Soothing to think of water repeatedly washing through the same little channels in this rock, wearing it away.
Half way down the cliffs part, a creek drains through, a wide expanse of sand unrolls.
Looking back over my shoulder. See the wee farm house on far-right top of the bluff?
After a mile and a half or so a huge expanse of dunes and sand open up, the wind races through, empties mouth of Drake’s Estero. A basin between Inverness Ridge and the PR Headlands, the Estero has 4 bays (Barries, Creamery, Schooner and Home). Schooners once passed through and up to pick up cargo (mostly famed PR butter).
A controversial decision to boot out Drakes Bay Oyster Company was just made based on biased and (some charge) inaccurate studies by the NPS. This farm’s been a part of local, sustainable, clean farming for 80 years. Cows roam the Peninsula They, too are a part of the historical fabric of the area. They’re not being evicted. I and 90% of surveyed locals are outraged at this.
But this is another post entirely.
A sweeping expanse of dunes at the mouth:
Limantour beach is across the way, Inverness Ridge in the background.
Looking up the Estero:
I combed the sand for goodies. Check out this critter:
Walking up the left side of the Estero looking toward the mouth:
Found a treasure chest of Ochre Sea Stars. They feed mostly on mussels, pulling apart the shells with their suctioning feet. Tolerant of air, they can be exposed at low tide for up to 6 hours.
They come in purple:
On the edge of the dunes (my distance pic of this area didn’t turn out) sits a little pond, full of sweet little birds I’ll add, and a monument to Drake’s landing here. An old anchor sits at the base. Two Ravens sat atop the post, sharing an intimate session of grooming each other an interesting babble of noises. What a treat! A trail heads up the back of the bluff meeting with the beach. I followed the beach back.
Storms wash up all sorts of goodies. I found four fishing floats, beach trash really, and a milk crate. I’ve been looking for one for my bike rack. Score!
Ate a late lunch, knit a few rounds on my Pinata Sock, headed back, stopping for oysters at the Oyster Company on the way back.
Yep…my new favorite beach.
Tags: Kruse Rhododendron Preserve, Pygmy Forest, Salt Point State Park California
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Before I take you up to the Pacific Northwest, I’d like to share July’s trip to my favorite (relatively close) road-trip spot, Salt Point State Park. I frequent it. Just a couple hours away, solitude can often be found, especially mid-week. My third time there (?) it still feels fresh. Here’s why:
The Cazadero Hwy. forks north off the Russian River, making for a pretty departure off Hwy 116. There’s a sweet little stop in Cazadero I recommend called Raymond’s Bakery. Shortly after this landmark, King’s Ridge Road departs to the right and the Cazadero Hwy becomes Fort Ross Rd. to the left. Santa Rosa Cycling Club describes a loop ride involving King’s Ridge Rd I aspire to. It’s burly…I’m not. They call it the “crown jewel of North Bay cycling roads.” There are some remote places out here, huge ranches, 2200′ peaks. Obscure enough, Googlemaps wouldn’t map this route for me to link to.
A happy girl I was as I lolly-gagged along the twisty roads, through tunnels of oaks:
Past summer’s crispy, yellow hills:
Fort Ross Rd. eventually bisects Meyer Grade Rd/Seaview Rd. Here it slopes steeply to the sea, passing land once used by the Russian settlers of Fort Ross for farming. I’ve walked through their orchard with you in a past post. This visit the old trees bore fruit.
Made it to the shore in time for sunset. A must. Woke the next day with two goals in mind: The Rhododendron Preserve and the Pygmy Forest.
The Kruse Rhododendron Preserve is just up the road from SPSP. Five miles of hiking trails wind through second-growth redwoods, Douglas fir, tanoaks and oodles of rhododendrons (in spring). It’s lush, quiet, and peaceful, almost eerily so. Greens of every hue flood the eyes. The park service has pruned the under story extensively to allow the profusion of rhododendrons. Unable to make it this spring, with held breath I entered the preserve.
Cathedrals of Redwoods loomed above:
The best of the three (yep..three…I was thankful for them) blooms I spotted:
Not sure of this plant but I’ve seen it around. So delicate, so pretty!
I must return in April or May next year.
Next adventure of the day took me through SPSP’s PYGMY FOREST. Much of Northern CA’s coast marches up in steps called Marine Terraces. Uplift and changes in sea level formed an “ecological staircase.” Each terrace is about 100,000 years older than the one below it. Distinctly varied soils, plants, microbes and animals inhabit the different terraces. Some have clay and iron-rich, thin layers of soil which starve plants of nutrients, stunting growth. Add in poor drainage, resulting in pooling tannins from the trees, and you have a recipe for wee-trees.
The 5 mile loop I chose heads uphill through damp redwoods, ferns and a pungent litter. That all changes. Seemingly suddenly I stepped into a bonsai shop filled with dry, stunted trees. Mostly bishop pine and cypress, the forest appears barely attached to the thin, rock-hard buff colored soil.
Miniature Bishop Pine:
Further up the trail/hill, the terraces become more familiar, with thick undergrowth and tall trees.
Looping downhill, the trail a former road, one can see how the road slices through deposition of sands, forming some of the terraces.
Salt Point State Park’s Pygmy forest is a fascinating walk through layers of time. Being my favorite local road trip, a winter’s foray will surely happen soon.
The following day, the water’s edge I explored. More on that next post.
A Fall Walk In Tennessee Valley November 28, 2012Posted by Heather in Hiking.
Tags: Hiking, Marin Headlands, Tennessee Valley, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
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I hike in Tennessee Valley, a part of Marin Headlands of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, quite a bit.
Almost always windy, scents of the sea and herbaceous shrubs stir my senses. Along a popular path one can explore the floor of the valley. A trip atop the north side of the valley yields a panorama of the ocean with views to Muir Beach and Mt. Tam.
Choose the walk up the south side of the valley and the gently winding Old Springs trail climbs among blackberry brambles and scrub. This joins the heavier-vegetated Wolf Ridge Trail which links to the Coastal Trail, weaving among the old bunker sites above Rodeo Beach.
My ticker needs hills these days so I took the Fox trail up the north side of the valley. It’s steep!
On the way up, you can just make out the valley’s trail faintly following the trees.
A damp, wet wind greeted me up top necessitating a wool hat. I carried on:
Tennessee Beach sits below the left-of-center of this photo:
The beach and lagoon weren’t a stop on this hike. An old steamer ship sank here. Part of the (?engine?) can be seen at very low tide, I hear.
Heading down. Hills roll on. I never tire of this.
California quail make quite a racket when approached. These guys swarmed and bobbled nervously along the valley trail’s edge, rushing into the thicket when I passed.
A few blackberries left:
Layers of ancient seabeds, I believe the green rock is serpentine, tilted up, evidence of Earth’s plates and the way they shape the land. Pretty neat, eh?
Eucalyptus. Divinely scented.
I’ve typed this before and I’ll type it again. This is my backyard! I am a fortunate woman…
Point Reyes Backpacking Trip – Yah Mule! September 12, 2012Posted by Heather in Backpacking, Hiking.
Tags: backpacking, Point Reyes National Seashore, sky camp, Wildcat Beach, Wildcat Camp
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Squeezing in a last post before I leave on vacation. Yippee!
This summer I went backpacking with some co-workers. Not backpacking since college (some 20 years ago) I had to prepare myself for schlepping my goods on my back. Car camping makes you lazy. 3″ Thermarest, sure! Marinated steaks, sure! Full-sized pillow, check. Not while backpacking.
Not having a scale, I figure my pack weighed around 30 pounds. Only being out 2 nights kept it light. The fit and quality of your pack makes or breaks it. I was measured and fit into a new pack at REI. Having a mutant body (minuscule torso, wide shoulders) made it a challenge but I thought it fit well.
Point Reyes National Seashore has several backpacker camp sites with water and toilets. (Plush!) Here are two helpful maps for planning:
I entered at Bear Valley Visitor Center and met my friends at Sky Camp, a short 3 mile walk through damp, thick woods.
Banana Slugs I passed:
The trail skirts under the Mt. Wittenberg Summit. Things open up a bit. Such a beautiful park!
At the high point Drakes Bay comes into view. Sky Camp sits a little lower than here. Our site, on the end, had a great view of the water (when the fog parted.)
After a raucous game of UNO and dinner of salty dehydrated food we hit the sack and woke to continue the journey. From L-R it’s me, Theresa, Kurt and Maynard.
Night number two was spent at Wildcat Camp. This leg was 7 miles long and mostly downhill or level to the coast through woods:
Dappled sunlight filtered through every shade of green:
Wildcat Camp is perched on a bluff above Wildcat Beach. Here, brush/sage/grasses house lovely singing birds. It can be windy here but wasn’t too bad for us.
We camped on the edge of the bluff. Maynard’s tent was RIGHT on the edge, crazy man.
Theresa and I headed down the beach a mile for Alamere Falls. Slender from summer dryness it still made a pretty sight.
And a fun play-stop to cool our feet in:
Removed the boots and sat a spell, working on my Multnomah shawl. Beach knitting. Can’t beat it!
Loads of flowers gave the air an herbal scent.
Next AM we walked along the Coast Trail. Me having to work the next day, I split off for Bear Valley Trail, reluctantly, and headed back. Coast Trail lives up to its name, hugging the coast. Mysterious, foggy, the trail was lined with bush lupine, blackberry and loads of poison oak.
Bear Valley Trail follows Coast Creek. Lush and damp some flowers still hold out. I’ll bet a spring stroll would reveal many more.
I learned some things on this trip:
- Surprising myself I accomplished the walk with less knee pain than expected. 19 miles in three days was do-able.
- Waddled around from aches and pains the next few days. But I expected that.
- I can camp without my full-sized pillow.
- Can’t wait to go again!