Tread Lightly: Walking the Lost Coast Trail

A Little Longer, Trips
Cramped Up Lost Coast 5
Lost Coast Trail – Mattole River to Black Sands Beach
North to South – 24.6 miles
Day 1 – 8.3 miles – Mattole River to Randall Creek
Day 2 – 9.7 miles – Randall Creek to Shipman Creek
Day 3 – 6.6 miles – Shipman Creek to Black Sands Beach
Slowly. Step, wait, step; balance, step.  Head down, eyes on your feet, step, look up to the hazy California coast dropping to the fury of the winter Pacific, step; the rock you’re on wobbles, slides, and down, propped up by a hand.  Struggle.  A push up with forty on your back, a knee that says no, an aching body that only wants a view; affirmation.
Sand. Soft dry sand, wet firm sand, granular sand, powdery sand, sand with rocks, sand with sticks, sand with seaweed.  Step, sink, step. Slow going on this section, tide is returning and your race to escape it takes on new urgency.  In a few hours violent waves mercilessly pummel rock into sand. Move along.
Blocked.  Stuck, knee deep and rushing; gallons upon gallons screaming for escape.  You gaze up and down the stream, hoping to see something different, a log, a series of rocks, nothing.  Pack off, bend down, laces untie, boots off; step.  Slowly, carefully, propped by a pole, still slipping; stub a toe, a curse.  Other side, trail in front, boots on, laced up, forty on your back; step.
A bluff; bright green, well fed grass, a worn trail of firm dirt to coast along.  Up and down, side to side, eyes ahead; take it in, and down.  Rocks.  A uniform groan and it begins.  Slowly. Step, wait, step; balance, step.  Head down, eyes on your feet, step.

Cramped Up Lost Coast 1

Cramped Up Lost Coast 4

Cramped Up Lost Coast 12

Cramped Up Lost Coast 2

Cramped Up Lost Coast 4

Cramped Up Lost Coast 3

Cramped Up Lost Coast 6

Cramped Up Lost Coast 7

Cramped Up Lost Coast 11

Cramped Up Lost Coast 13
Cramped Up Lost Coast 9
Cramped Up Lost Coast 10
Cramped Up Lost Coast 8
All photos taken with 35mm film on a Canon AE-1.

Lost Coast Patriotism

A Little Longer, Trips

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Happy 4th of July everyone, this year leave the BBQ to your neighbors and do the most patriotic thing you can – explore and treasure your protected lands. (Or just combine it all and break out the Dutch Oven BBQ ribs over the campfire).
Lost Coast 4th of July – Black Sands Beach to Mattole River
South to North – 24.4 miles
Day 1 – 8 miles – Black Sands Beach to Big Flat
Day 2 – 6 miles – Big Flat to Oat Creek
Day 3 – 7.2 miles – Oat Creek to Punta Gorda
Day 4 – 3.2 miles – Punta Gorda to Mattole River
More photos after the jump of last years 4th of July backpacking adventure along the northern half of California’s Lost Coast.