Big Sur hiking willett loop

Up early and ready to do a nice 5 mile hike if I turn around as suggested. There is a campground up there the ranger told me, but that’s about 5 miles in and the last hunters back there had to get emergency services to get out. Armed with binoculars, water and whistle I head on ward.

It starts as a nice wide trail and then there is a fork. The sign points trail to the left a much smaller trail. It’s wedged in some rocks. I’m a little concerned. Was this a joke.. I took the smaller trail.. .. .. Right away met a beautiful waterfall with huge moss covered rocks and was happy with my trail. Another sign, pack it in pack it out. Must be on the trail.

Next section runs across a grassy area where I needed to be a billy goat to stay on the miniscule ledge. I put my arm to feel safe, all reality I’m sliding to the bottom on a misstep.

Back under brush in the woods, I see a bullet casing. Other humans. It’s the trail.

For what must be the next 5 miles I wonder when they stopped maintaining the trail and the way the switch banks happen you come to the dead pines a coupe of times. I am still back and forthing across the face of the mountain. I can barely see the ranger station and slaf now. Back into the woods, over and back over the falls a couple times. I end up at the campground.

Go back or go forward. If this was unmaintained I figure it wasnt that bad and i was fairly easily staying on the trail.

As I come across the falls a final time a few feet of rocks and at the top. Made it!!

I look for the trail out nope, then the trail I came from, nope. It’s gone. As I try to force myself Back up the hill to find the trail my body is going down the hill. There is no stopping it. Just going down, down, down, then I grab a tree. I know I have to get back on that trail. I forge through the thicker brush back to the falls and finally find the trail, but with my little downscursion I cut off a bit of the trail and didn’t see the camp ground coming back. I’m super ok with that. 🙂

The billy goat scrambles were not as intimidating going back. Once on the trail I get my hop and skip back admiring the flowers, mushrooms, sounds, fragrances and sunlight.

I make it back to the fork where this crazy up hill questionable trail started and have to see where the other end goes. Hoping It’s not another 10 miler I decide to go to just the top of the hill at least. Oh my. Wow. Glad I did. A waterfall garden with stone walls and bridges back and forth across the rippling stream, I hung out here and relaxed from my gruesome, exceptional feat of a hike!! I didn’t do the willett loop. But I think I came close enough and No body had to rescue either.

I did end up with a nasty war wound on my shin and three tick hikers. Let’s just say these are no east coast ticks, when they bite they mean it!

First road side overnighter Point Reyes

Soooo did not do this on purpose. Between no service, no place to stop, no service when there is a place to stop, fog and then finally blinding darkness I had to make the call. I plowed through a good portion of northern California. Upside is I ended up point reyes station, right next to point reyes national seashore, my next must see.

At this point the 1 has been a terrifying driving nightmare. I barely get over 30 mph for 90%. I love the 55 mph signs in front of the 30mph curve sign, but 15mph curves are the really good ones. Sometimes the tilt on the rig really feels like it’s gonna flip. These are the moments you might see me eyes and mouth wide open completely petrified. The shoulders on the roads are non-existent for the most part. Mostly the white line and the edge of the cliff and the edge of the world are the same thing. It seems going south is worse. Going north you are on the inside more often, but that just is an opportunity for a limb to side swipe you or clock the windshield. I was really hoping the first 30 miles, that weren’t as bad as the next 200, were the worst of it. Then you have the hills. Straight up, angles I didn’t think were legal only to come down the same angle and throw a curve in it. So at 11 pm with intermittent fog and blind darkness I parked.

Completely paranoid about parking on the side of the road, I woke up before sunrise to move to the welcome center of the Reyes national seashore. They had a nice trail head there, of course in the darkness I pulled in the wrong way and didnt see the rv/trailer parking and ended up headed out,arghhh. All good, lets do our orginial first plan north beachparking and work our way down.

Finally made it to the first real parking I could find and what A FIND. Beautiful sunrise walk over the marsh to the sand dunes by a lake to the beach. seriously amazingly beautiful!!!

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I started the walk with a herd of little hen looking birds taking over the trail, then some small brown birds and red wing black birds, herons, a peacock nesting, and the singing, oh the wonderful sounds of morning bird songs. The sun cusping over the mountains in the distance and warming my back. Ahhh mornings like this Make a day!!

Glass beach trash to treasure

Found glass beach which is why I was in fort brag. I had been told of this place. When I looked on line it says the beach is closed, but I found a trail head parking that ended up being what everyone thinks is glass beach. As later come to find out with almost all beach access in northern California, no RVs!! I pull in and as I pull out my phone to look for some alternate parking the police show up to make sure I saw the sign. I told them I did and is there somewhere else i can park. He points to the road and says on the side of the road up there. Highly uneven roadside dirt parking, thanks.

Make my way to the beach. It is all glass as they say it is going to be. like the agate beaches but all tiny pieces of broken glass with pottery and other hardy trash items. This used to be a landfill. This is what is left. People come from all over to see this and pick up pieces. With the recent storms the glass had been covered with fresh sand along with the holiday weekend and the scavengers. I picked up a couple of pieces and chatted with some strangers.

On the road again the other reason to be in fort brag, cheep gas. Dont know why, but at least 50 cents cheaper than anyone else for the next 200 miles.

South 101 to 1 to fort brag vista

The last chunk of the 101 after I ended the avenue of the ancients had a couple more stops, Hill of confusion in particular looked super fun. I was disappointed I missed, but once I got one to 1, I was happy I kept going. The first 30 miles of 1 are nuts! It warms you at least, nothing longer than 30 ft.   Tight turns and narrow lanes.

As the sun was setting I found my vista stop I was told you can over night.  There were several pull before this one and a very nice camp ground right on the beach cliff view side, but I forged ahead to my vista and had it all to my self.   The sunset and the sunrise with a spectacular vista view and trails along the bluff, seals, birds, mushrooms and flowers.   Fun Morning.

 

 

First day in California

Stayed at the walmart in crescent city, again with the no parking, but parking is ok. First stop national and state park visitor center, no, closed. All the state info is shut down, so no map. Signs will have to do.

We hit crescent harbor overlook and then on my way.

Found the tourist trap tour thru tree. Loved it. It wasn’t open, but you could walk up.

Next stop was the kuchel beach and visitor center. Again closed. Beach was ok. Nothing spectacular, but some nice sneaker waves. Totally soaked me from the waist down while trying to get waves crashing on the rocks.

Some crazy construction on many of the high view points.

And then the fun begins. I decide to stop in Trinidad. Quite a few rv places and after boondocking for a few nights I was ready to plug in.

I mistakenly took Patrick point rd. It seems to go by most of the rv places. I pass the first one based on the 10 speed bumps in the turn in. Then the road seems to literally fall apart as you drive on it. Not much notification on the camps, and I can’t exactly take my eyes off the road. The edge is barely there. I thought I was mapped to at least one of the rv places, but no it was the boat ramp/not really beach access down hills where I really thought I was going ass over head. Almost crying I just turn around and get out of Trinidad, blowing past the rv camp on the next exit that takes up most of the center of town. On that note, if you just take that exit into Trinidad, it’s actually a really cute town.

Finally a nice pull off down the road a bit to recoup and gather thoughts at the Vista point on Hammond trail. Met some nice folks watched some seal lions and found out about the avenue of giants!!

As I head south in search of the avenue of the Giants with no idea if this is a turn off, a private road, a park, a sign. At 55 barely caught it, something about 28 miles ahead I think. Keeping track of the mile markers I keep an eye out for more signs.

Thankfully there is a huge sign for it and other than the low bridge (14′) looks good. The first pull off had info, a map, and an audio download if you wanted.