Day 3 LCT – It wasn’t in the Brochure

 

Viewpoint from the Trail

There should have been a warning sign. – LoveNote, thru-hiker

June 14, 2015
Jones Beach Campground to Usal Beach (end of Lost Coast Trail) – 21 miles

This is a very intrepid group, but even this day got to all of us.

If you hike the southern section this year, it is not forgiving.  Be ready for large swings of elevation gain and loss and paths that lead straight up, then down. The trail 10 miles into Usal Beach is overgrown with face high pointy, sharp thistle, large bushes of poison oak covering the trail, and broken loose drop-offs.

On the other hand…..I really loved the first couple hours of this day. My crocs were divine on my feet, the air was cool, wildflowers and elk appeared often, and the forest was deep, healthy and lush. The group took advantage of short side trails that led up to stunning overlooks of the ocean far below our trail. From these vantage points it is easy to see why this is the Lost Coast, where building a road in short vicinity to the shoreline was impossible.

After a very trying afternoon fighting bush and thorn, we were very thankful to reach the trail head where we had fresh food and drink waiting, and the poison oak wash, Tecnu to cleanse our bodies from head to toe. We all agreed that the route was not what we had expected given the glorious write-ups in the magazines. From my perspective, I do have to add that it was a new style of hiking and taking photos on the beach was inspiring.

Tomorrow, Dan and I are heading north to hike in the Redwoods with Wired and John Abela from hikelighter.com, then meandering south down Highway 1 for a short additional vacation.

After that, I will be home for a couple of weeks to prep for hiking 500 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington starting July 5th. It is going to be epic. 🙂

 

*For even more details and pics from the trip, check out Drop n’ Roll and Wired’s blog entries*

Early Morning Elk with Calves
Early Morning Elk with Calves

 

View from Overlook Side Trail
View from Overlook Side Trail

 

Fog Lifting
Fog Lifting

 

Foxgloves?
Foxgloves?

 

Elk on the Trail
Elk on the Trail

 

Steep Ascents
Steep Ascents

 

Wired Bathed in Glorious Light
Wired Bathed in Glorious Light

 

Beach
Beach

 

Swing
Swing

 

Ocean View from Trail
Ocean View from Trail

 

Thick Brush on Trail
Thick Brush on Trail

 

Wired finding Trail through the Jungle
Wired finding Trail through the Jungle

 

Poison Oak and Root Obstacles on Trail
Poison Oak and Root Obstacles on Trail

 

Thistle, Brush, and Poison Oak
Thistle, Brush, and Poison Oak

 

Drop n' Roll Standing in Poison Oak
Drop n’ Roll Standing in Poison Oak

 

Making Way through Tall Grasses
Making Way through Tall Grasses

 

Enjoying Clear Trail on Our Last Break
Enjoying Clear Trail on Our Last Break

 

Lost Coast Trail Celebration!!!!
Lost Coast Trail Celebration!!!!

 

Lost Coast Trail - Compliments of Trader Joe's Gummies
Lost Coast Trail – Compliments of Trader Joe’s Gummies

 

17 Comments

  1. Beautiful photos, Rockin’! I grew up in this area and so I love seeing these gorgeous photos of home.

  2. As always, I loved following your adventure on the LCT. I took note of your appropriate reward in the final picture – Great White beer from Lost Coast Brewery.
    I just returned from a few days in Cottonwood Lakes with 2 of my 3 sons. It’s been a couple years since I’ve backpacked so it was good to get on the trail. Old Army Pass was pretty sketchy with snow blocking the trail at the top so we couldn’t climb Mt. Langley. Lone Pine was 108 degrees when we passed through!
    Enjoy your down time and keep us posted on your prep for the PCT home stretch.

    • You are certainly getting out and about A LOT! Ahh I wondered if anyone was going to spot that in the photo. 🙂

      Cottonwood Lakes is one of very favorite areas in the Sierras. Old Army Pass can get dicey! Boy howdy that is extreme change of temps all within an hour’s drive. Glad it was a good trip.

  3. Denise Spruce

    The ocean view from the trail is a great picture!

  4. Maggie aka: Big Granny

    Hi Christy! I love your and the girl’s blog. Been following for quite a while. I have a little question spinning around in my mind. I was wondering if any of you ever volunteer to help keep the trails up to par? You all do a LOT of hiking and I read comments about some of the trails not being kept up? Was just wondering if any of you have ever thought of group clearing a trail together or do you pick up and throw as you hike?

    • Great questions. Yes, we all have volunteered and have done organized trail maintenance over the last few years. BUT more importantly it is fun to observe each of these hikers style of trail maintenance as they are hiking. For example, my husband and I will stop and clear trees and branches if it is doable by hand, Wired uses her poles to flick away debris as she walks, and the others will stop bend over and clear rocks.

      Trail building and maintenance by volunteers is hard work, very appreciated, and so needed!

  5. Sheer determination. I am just floored. Lots of really hard work to get to the views. You all are hard core for sure!

  6. vickylcox

    So did anyone end up with poison oak? Yikes!

  7. YES to foxgloves

  8. Absolutely beautiful views and stunning photographs very positive commentary…
    LOKI

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*