Lost Coast Trail – Day 5

Jones Beach Camp to Little Jackass Creek – 13 miles

Total trip thus far – 48.9 miles

First of all, I had a rough night sleep.  It was amazing going to bed on the ocean again.  It was really really windy though.  There was also a constant fear of a bear attack.  I woke up around 1:30 in the morning to a terrified person screaming.  Then another scream very close by.  Holy shit!  All of a sudden my tent was literally being pressed sideways, things were very loud, and it looked like 2 hands or paws pressing my tent inwards.   I screamed out loud OH HOLY SHIT!  Then it stopped, my tent was put upright, and everyone was shouting to eachother – What happened?!  Well, it turns out it got so windy, that a gust of wind had blown kamikazes tent pole into his tent, and pushed his tent over so he was almost flipped over.  He thought it was a bear attack so he screamed.  His screaming had woken me up, and in the dreamy daze I was in, noticed my tent going nuts and thought we were all under attack by a pack of bears.  (I didn’t realize a pack of bears wasn’t a thing).  It was friggin wind.  WIND.  So we ragged on Kamikaze for the rest of the trip.  AHHHHHHH AAAAAHHHHHHH!

So I started my day very early, with not a lot of sleep.  I had chosen to walk out by myself again.  I loved the mornings, and being alone for a short period of time during my favorite time of day is like heaven.  Also, my hip was bothering me again (IT band I believe) and I needed a longer time to go the same distance.  The first mile, as you can see above, was beautiful shoreline and cliff walking, gentle slopes, no real hard work at all.  And beautiful, did I say that?

I came to a visitor center which had free toilet paper, and spent some quality time there.  Apparently I was supposed to check in and pay, but I thought my visit was pretty productive.  The trail turned into a dirty road for a couple miles, and then into a very iffy trail, with lots of ups and downs!  Elevation GAINS!

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The views were beautiful!  Awe inspiring.  The scenery looked fake.  Roc Doc and Goat had caught up to me at one of the campsites.  There was a swimming hole, and we decided to wait for the others.  This was the first campsite we were supposed to stay at, but it was like noon.  We were flying.  Roc Doc set up his tarp to protect us from the sun (we were in the sun every day all day, and our laundry was dirty and there was no gym).  We took a very productive and long nap.  An hour later, Gandalf shows up, says the rest of them are just behind him.  It was HOT out.  DSCN1158 DSCN1159

We took off after a couple hours, and climbed the 1200 ft mountain that was in between us and our next campsite on the beach.  Stupid mountain.  Maybe it was because it was 90 degrees out, or maybe it was the sun that was bearing down on us, but that last climb was the most treacherous.  Blackberry plants just ripping your shins apart.  Burrs everywhere.  I managed to somehow lose the trail and went down a wicked steep mountain, with Roc Doc and Goat behind me.  They found the trail for me later on.  Sketchy.

We finally made it to the next campsite – which was literally called little jackass creek.  But it looked like THIS.  DSCN1163

I mean, holy shit right?  This trail is legit.  The camping at little jackass is very peculiar.  there are only enough spots for 5-6 people.  We were 5-6 people, and a group ahead of us had set up camp at like noon because they were selfish and lazy.  The only place to camp was on the beach, right about at high tide line.  We talked amongst ourselves about where the high tide could come, as you could see debris from it, and where a potential high tide COULD go.  Also, high tide wasn’t until 2-3 am.  So we set up camp and went to bed with the fear of God in us.  I must have woken up like 6 times when I heard waves crashing and looked outside.  The water came up and over the sand a couple times, but never hit our tents.


Also it got super windy again in the middle of the night and Gandalfs tent stakes flew out.  He was basically sleeping in the sand with a tarp over his face.  Haha.  Another good day on the Lost Coast!


Lost Coast Trail – Day 2

Spanish Flats Campsite  to Buck Creek – 12.8 miles

Total Trip thus far – 21.8 miles


Wow.  Falling asleep on the beach is just like you imagined it would be like.  Or just like you have done before.  Just like that time you spent in Mexico with your windows wide open, listening to the waves crash, softer and softer until…

6:30 am, and here I am!  It wasn’t a dream!  I am hiking the lost coast trail with some of my best friends from the Appalachian Trail northbound group from 2014.  I woke up early from habit, or the fact that I am doing something awesome and don’t want to sleep through it.  We lounged for about 3 hours, breaking down camp, having breakfast, just being on the beach.  It wasn’t windy today, the sun rose, the air had a slight breeze, it was beautiful.  We hiked for about 3 hours on the beach, real easy hiking, until we hit Millers Flat.  We decided that since the next mile was impassible at high tide, which was in a couple hours, that we would take a lunch nap.


Morning hike!


Stopping for some much needed water


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Stopping for some water


Lunch nap

As you notice, I am in the shade.  There is really no escaping the sun on the first part of the Lost Coast Trail.  While that’s not a bad thing, I was getting pretty red, and needed a nap in the shade.  We hung out here for about 2-3 hours, swimming in the small pond, combing the beach.  It was chill.

When we moved on, we came upon a bunch of hikers that were waiting for the high tide to roll out.  The waves were just crushing the cliffs and we would not be able to walk for another hour.  So we hung out some more on the beach…


Once the tide rolled out, we meandered on.  We left a little too early, and had to run between wave sets, sometimes having to climb up the cliff to get out of the way.  I could see how this could become hazardous (especially at night).

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Pretty soon I stumbled upon this group of birds, and the smell was.. well, ominous.  I feared something dead.

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Yarrr, t’was a beached whale!  We found out from talking to people later in shelter cove, that it had been a floater for a couple months and then had been beached on the Lost Coast.

We arrived at another one of the BEST CAMPSITES EVER, seriously.  Camping on the beach is awesome.  I set up my tent, took pictures of my tent set up to prove that I had indeed set up my tent, and then murdered my dinner.  The whale far from my mind, my mind soaking in the view.  We all hung out til around 9 (sun sets at 8:40pm up there) and it got a little chilly.  Another perfect sunset.  More beautiful stars to look up at.  Who’s idea was this?!  Mine.


Watching the sunset with the gangDSCN1079

I think I’ll pitch a tentDSCN1080

And then take a pictureDSCN1087


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My favorite picture


I eventually fell asleep just staring out at that sky, feeling so blessed to be able to do something this amazing.

Lost Coast Trail – Final Countdown

I leave for the trail tomorrow morning.  I have crossed every T and dotted every i, and by that, I mean I waited until the last minute, had a couple beers, and tried to stuff everything into a backpack.

I am using my ULA Circuit backpack that I used on my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail last year.  Yes, it has holes in it, and the frame is broken, but no big deal.  I figure, this is a 60 mile hike, what is the worst that can happen?  The plan is to drive to San Diego tomorrow morning, arriving as early as possible to allow myself amazing beach access, and day drinking.  I am staying the night at a friends house downtown at the Gaslamp district (uh oh).  The next morning I will be heading to San Fransisco where yet another friend has offered to host myself, for a little more drinking and sightseeing.  The next morning I head out at 9 am to Usal Beach, In the Sinkyone wilderness, which happens to be the southern terminus of the Lost Coast Trail.  I have never heard of this place, so I googled it, and this has some great information about the place I know nothing about.

Usal Beach

I will hopefully find this place, and I am meeting 4 other thru-hikers and some friends at the campground.  Gandalf, Kamikaze, GOAT, and Roc Doc are all partaking.  As well as Gandalfs friends Bob and Jeff.  Bob had made some appearances on my blog when I hiked the Appalachian Trail.  He had provided us with great trail magic, and the best trail ending party EVER.  So I am pretty excited to have them all come around.

By far the most informative information I found on the Lost Coast Trail was written by a previous Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker the Badger, who has an amazing blog about hiking etc.  Appalachian Trials Lost Coast Trail

One more addition to this hike that I had not encountered before was locating a bear canister.  A bear canister is necessary to hike the Lost Coast Trail, and without one you can get a huge fine.  I bought the bear vault from REI and it is BULKY.  So now I have an ultralight backpack (ULA) crammed together with my gear and a bear canister.  I do not have much room for fun in there!


Looks cool huh?  Try putting it in your backpack.  I also went grocery shopping here in AZ because groceries in California are outrageous.  I am back on “the diet”.


Now that IS fun!  A whole weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner right there.

SO, once arriving at the campground, finding my long lost friends, and drinking, we will be shuttled the next morning to the trail 4 hours north, and hike back to our cars.  I am PRETTY sure we used this one.  http://www.lostcoastshuttle.com/

But Gandalf did all the leg work on this one, so I get to sit back and just pay it.  The shuttle will drop us off up North, ALSO resupply us when we get halfway done, and something about picking us up at the end.  This will all cost $500, which ends up being about $75 a person.  Doable.

I am VERY excited, and am excited to share this experience with you.


Lost Coast Trail – July 18 2015

The Lost Coast photoIt’s a new summer and time for a new adventure!  The plan is to hike the entire Lost Coast Trail in northern California.  This section includes both the beautiful Mendocino and Humboldt counties.  From my understanding, the Pacific Coast Highway (US 1) travels the entire length of the West Coast.  However, when developers encountered the King Range they decided the land far too unstable to develop a highway.  This resulted in 80 or so miles of untouched and almost inaccessible coastline in Northern California.  The nearest highway (101) is about 35 miles from the coast.  The result, one of the most remote wilderness areas in the state, and I am going to hike it!


Hiking, relaxing, going to bed, and waking up on the beach every day for about a week!  I’m so excited.  If you guys have followed any blogs of 2014 Appalachian Thru Hikers, there are a couple coming with me.  Gandalf, Goat, Roc Doc, and Kamikaze are all fellow thru hikers last year, and are coming with me on this journey.

197867Once again, I invite you to join me on this adventure.  I will create a daily blog, and publish once I have service.  (There is almost no service in the area).  There will be TONS of pictures, and I will have one more blog up about preparation before I go.  Preparation includes getting a map of the area, bear canister, shuttle info, etc.  This will be helpful if any of you are planning a hike of the Lost Coast Trail in the future!

d34db711d2e8e65cd00533f9d6f47e36Departure date is set for July 18.  I will be driving to San Diego, and up the Cali Coast, hitting LA and SF on the way, and camping with Gandalf, Goat, Roc Doc, and Kamikaze on the 17th, the shuttle taking us to our remote location on the 18th.

Afterwards, the plan is to go up to the Del Norte Redwoods, and take our time driving the entire Pacific Coast Highway on the way back to San Diego.  I look forward to the trip, and sharing it with you!



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