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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lost Coast Trail Yo-Yo Part 1

Last year's Lost Coast adventure was so much fun we couldn't help ourselves but return for spring break once again. Read about the 2012 adventure here.

This year, the weather was forecasted to be absolutely spectacular and we weren't disappointed in the least. In fact, at times, the intense sun was too much; a rare occurrence on the Lost Coast. After seven hours of driving from the Central Coast of California, up to the shores of Humboldt County, we were more than ready to explore the seemingly ancient landscape of the Lost Coast.

My regular adventure buddy Fiona Maclean hiked with me for the full yo-yo and our friend Anthea Shore camped with us on our first night.  

It had been a year since I'd done any serious sand-walking and the footing took some getting used to. We were very happy to get up on the bluffs anytime the trail gave us the opportunity. It was good to see our old friend, the Punta Gorda Lighthouse. She had sheltered us on several blustery nights a year ago.

Tonight we were headed to Sea Lion Gulch to eat some dinner and wait out the high tide. The Sea Lions were their normal boisterous selves, roaring as they lounged on their sea-stack pedestals.

Once the tide had receded to a safe level, Anthea, Fiona and I made our way across a shoreline of boulder fields and a particular difficult pass just south of Sea Lion Gulch. The moon was bright and it was a perfect night for a night hike. Eventually, we made our way to Randall Creek, one of our favorites and bed down next to the calming sound of the cascade. That night we saw two river otters run amongst the shadows and into the water. I hoped that we would get a daytime viewing of these delightful creatures.

The next morning, we left Anthea at Randall creek and headed across the breathtaking Spanish Flat. Anthea was headed for King's Peak, where we had experienced quite the adventure last year.

This year, Spanish Flat was as splendid as ever. The Lupine, Poppy, Cow Parsnip and other wildflowers were at their peak. Fiona often remarked at the way the Lupine flowed down the hillside as if it were purple water.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day but we were both extremely exhausted by the time we reached Black Sands beach and Shelter Cove. The constant sand walking and the exposure from the sun had taken their toll. I was very grateful to have brought along my GoLite Chrome Dome. This reflective umbrella really took off some of the heat.

The pretzel on the back of my pack is a dried piece of Bull Kelp that I have fashioned into a Kelp Trumpet or "Kelpen Horn."

When we reached Shelter Cove we wandered up the hilly streets in search of our resupply at the general store. After feeling a bit hopeless in our search, we talked to some nice residents who were able to point us in the right direction. Unfortunately, the right direction was several miles up hill. We were beat and it was time to rest and regroup.

Our home for the night was a cozy little willow thicket next to a creek. It was quite a comfortable spot if it wasn't for the raging allergic responses that Fiona and I both experienced as a result of the willow pollen. While I lay down on the edge of dream land I couldn't help but think about the house we had passed earlier that day at Big Flat. It was the house of our dreams in the location of dreams.

Between the mountains and the sea, only accessible by plane or by foot, this property boasted a wood-fired hot tub, an orchard and other charming luxuries. "Anybody want to invite us over for dinner?" We'd be back in a few days on the second leg of the Yo-yo.

To be continued...


  1. looks like a great place for a walk. I live in Tasmania and love exploring coastal areas. How awesome is that house?

    Anyway have fun :)

    1. I hear that there is a really great Tasmanian coastal trail. Have you hiked it?

      Thanks for posting,