:: Lost Coast Backpacking Trip (May 25 - May 27 2003) ::

This is the record of a journey on the Lost Coast.
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A view of the Mattole River running into the Pacific Ocean.
The Punta Gorda Lighthouse in the mist.
A view of the coastline along the Lost Coast.
A part of the trail that goes inland a bit.
A collection of seals and sea lions sitting on rocks.
California Poppies along the Lost Coast.
The sign at Black Sands Beach.  We didn't see anyone swimming.
Tidal pools along the Lost Coast.
A view along the beach.
A cormorant trying to dry out its wings on a foggy day.
Some rocks and tidal pools along the Lost Coast.
Part of an old Jeep trail along the Lost Coast.
A pile of logs that were brought up onto shore by storms.

:: Saturday, May 24, 2003 @ 9 AM ::

Mary is graduating from San Jose State University today. So we have to go to her graduation before we can go on our backpacking trip to the lost coast. We go to Spartan Stadium and sit under a scoreboard and watch the graduation ceremony. I feel like I am being rude because I've brought a newspaper with me. But after watching nearly everyone around me talk on their cell phones and talk to other people in the crowd I begin to feel that I'm not the only rude person. On top of that, while people are speaking at the graduation I see students in their caps and gowns wandering around the isles, taking photos with friends, and generally just sort of hanging out like they are at a party or something. I got the feeling that I was at ADD University. Also, they felt some sort of need to cap on Stanford in their speeches. I'm guessing there is some sort of inferiority complex going on here. Even the guest speaker mentioned Stanford several times. This speaker was Barry Swenson, a SJSU alum whom owns a construction company now. The guy cannot give a public speech. He just can't. There was no direction or theme to the speech he had given. It was utterly horrible. In fact, I'm suprised he graduated from college. After the ceremony was over we met up with Mary and Co. at a Thai restaurant, and then from there Christina dropped Forrest and me off at his car and our trip began...
:: Saturday, May 24, 2003 @ 11 PM::
We arrived at the northern trailhead (Mattole River). It was obviously too late to get far on the trail, especially since we didn't really know what to expect, so we decided to recline our seats in Forrest's car and sleep the night in the parking lot. We were suprised to see that the parking lot was full and that it was hard to find a parking spot. Part of the way through the night I heard a truck driving fast through the parking lot and people yelling and screaming. It sounded like some people were going through the campground and intentionally trying to wake people up. What a bunch of jerks.

:: Sunday, May 25, 2003 @ 8 AM::
We woke up early and thought about getting our things ready for the trip, but when I went to read the message board I saw that we had forgotten to get a bear canister. So I read a little closer and saw that we needed to go to the Petrolia general store to get a bear canister. So we drove over there to find out that it didn't open until 11 AM on Sundays. We then debated whether or not we should start our trip without a bear canister, but when we realized that there was a $150 fine for not going with a bear canister we decided that we could wait until 11 AM to get one. The shuttle was already going to cost us $60 each, so we didn't want this trip to cost us any more money than it had to. When we were at the store we met an old hippie guy who told us that Petrolia had a bunch of vigilante rednecks. He said that they had harrassed him. Then I remembered last night when I heard people peeling out in the parking lot and making a lot of noise. And we also saw some skid marks in a gravel bar near the town that confirmed our fear. So after killing time for a while we were able to get our bear canister and get back to the trailhead.

:: Sunday, May 25, 2003 @ 11 AM::
OK, we finally get on the trail and really start our backpacking trip. Right as we were starting to walk down the beach there was a girl that asked us if she could ask us a few questions. We agreed and she started to walk down the beach with us. As it turned out she was a graduate student and Humbolt State University and she was doing a survey. She asked us a bunch of questions and then we were on our way.

:: Sunday, May 25, 2003 @ 1 PM::
We've been hiking along the beach for a while now. We've been checking out the intertidal zone, the waves, and the beach. There is a lot of sea life along the beach. But hiking on the beach is hard work. We've come inland a little bit and made our way to the Punta Gorda Lighthouse. It is an old light house that is not in service anymore. The coordinates for this spot are 124 deg, 21', 3'' W by 40 deg, 14', 58'' N.

:: Sunday, May 25, 2003 @ 2 PM::
We were hiking along the beach when we saw something that looked like a dead fish laying on the beach. Upon further investigation we found out that it was a dead sting ray. Forrest got the idea that I could take his picture when he was pretending to beat it with a club. Yup, we were kind of bored.

:: Sunday, May 25, 2003 @ 7 PM::
We worked hard all day to get as far as we could. We ended up camping at Kinsey Creek (124 deg, 13', 44'' W by 40 deg, 10', 23'' N) which was about 11 miles from the trail head. So we made pretty good time today. We don't have to worry as much anymore about not being at Black Sands beach by 12:30 PM on Tuesday.

:: Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 9 AM::
We got up, took our time making breakfast and packing up, and were on our way. Our goal by the end of today was to get to Buck Creek.

:: Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 11:30 AM::
While we were hiking along the beach, I saw some tracks that looked suspicous. We stopped to check them out, and they turned out to be bear tracks. Black bear tracks to be exact. We followed the tracks to see if we could find the bear that made them, but we were ultimately unsuccessful.

:: Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 1:30 PM::
We made it to Big Flat Creek. This was the biggest creek along the Lost Coast Trail. We took a break here for a few minutes before moving on.

:: Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 3:11 PM::
While we were hiking along the beach we saw a baby sea lion that we thought was dead. But when we got a little bit closer it raised it's head and moved toward the water a little bit. But even as we were passing by the baby sea lion it still refused to get any closer to the water. We took a few pictures as we went by and kept going on our way.

:: Monday, May 26, 2003 @ 6:00 PM::
Our stop for the night was Gitchell Creek. There wasn't much real estate to camp on but there was enough. We dropped our packs, set up the tent, and started making our backpacker food. The lame thing was that part of the way through boiling water my fuel canister ran out of fuel. Forrest and I looked at each other and simultaneously said "oh shit!". We decided that if we were going to eat then we had to find a way to get a fire going and finish boiling the water. So that's exactly what we did. We boiled our water ghetto style and in the process got a lot of soot on Forrest's pot. But we ate our Chicken Polynesian and Macaroni & Cheese, and it was good. And for dessert we had blueberry cheesecake. After we were done with dinner we walked over to the beach to check out the sunset.

:: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 @ 8:30 AM::
I woke up and looked at my watch. We had to be at Black Sands Beach by 12:30 PM so that Roxanne could pick us up in her shuttle and take us back to the Mattole River trailhead where Forrest's car was parked. So we got our stuff packed up and on our way.

:: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 @ 11:30 AM::
We finished off the hike and made it to Black Sands Beach an hour ahead of schedule. It was nice to be able to take my pack off and unload that stupid bear canister. We waited for Roxanne to show up and then sat through the two hour ride back to the Mattole River Trailhead. Our 25 mile backpacking trip was over.