Moby Goes to the Lost Coast

June 2014

About 230 miles north of San Francisco, the Lost Coast is now largely undeveloped. After the California gold rush, the Redwood forests were clear-cut to fuel the San Francisco building boom. By the late 1800s the Redwoods were gone,  The rugged mountains of the King Range made road building difficult, and there are still no major highways into the area. You’ll find about 80 miles of wilderness shoreline protected in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the King Range National Conservation Area. The trail hugs the beach with plenty of wildlife and spectacular views.

There's no shortage of views like this while hiking the Lost Coast.
There’s no shortage of views like this while hiking the Lost Coast.

But wait! Before we continue, we absolutely must know . . . what is this dead thing we found on the beach?

We think this is a primitive sea creature belonging to the group Salpa. It’s very weird. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salp
IMG_4311
Who could resist shouldering a pack and following this lovely little trail down the coastline?
Home sweet home . . . unless a storm or tsunami washes us away.
Bear Harbor: home sweet home . . . unless a storm or tsunami washes us away.
Another night's plush lodging.
Another night’s plush lodging. See the tiny green tent under the hill at the center of the photo? That’s our presidential suite. Larry longed for the old days when these little streams were full of steelhead. If you hooked one in this pool, you might end up fighting it in the ocean surf.
Construction on the Punta Gorda lighthouse began in 1910 and was completed two years later. Total cost for the station (which included 3 houses): $59,814.51. http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=63
Construction on the Punta Gorda lighthouse began in 1910 and was completed two years later. Total cost for the station (which included 3 houses): $59,814.51.
http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=63
Although most of the hike was lush, there were many places where the grass was desert-dry. These trees are scorched from a forest fire.
Although most of the hike was lush, there were many places where the grass was already dry in early June. These trees were killed in a recent forest fire.
We were surprised to learn that this section of the coast had once attracted many homesteaders. Their lonely cabins are still standing.
This section of the coast once attracted homesteaders who came in by ship. Some of their lonely cabins are still standing.
Some cabins are still occupied and accessible by dirt roads that are now closed to the public.
Some cabins are privately owned vacation spots, accessible by dirt roads that are closed to the public.

Many lovely plants along the way.

There are many interesting plants to see along the way .
Ice plant?
IMG_4252
Foxglove

Plenty of wildlife as well, both on land and sea.

Seagull
Seagulls
Roosevelt elk
Roosevelt elk
Octopus
Octopus
Sea urchin
Sea urchin
Sponge
Sponge
Chiton or Larry's earphones
Chiton or Larry’s earphones
Female elephant seals
Female elephant seals
Sea lions
Camping by sea lions is like camping next to a pack of barking dogs.
After three days of slogging through the sand and picking up strange things off the beach, Larry decides he's had enough. Good-bye lost coast . . .
The final leg of the 3-day trip was spent slogging through miles of sand. Larry pushed ahead in his haste to return to Moby and a cold beer.
Good-bye Lost Coast . . .
Good-bye Lost Coast . . .

8 thoughts

  1. Wow, cool hikes! I might actually enjoy that one myself someday! The first animal looks like a type of jellyfish….similar to the Portuguese Man of War tt has a clear, ziplock type sack at the top. The PMoW though, has a blue bottom. I will see what I can find! Hope all is well J and L! Miss you guys!

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