Locomotoring

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Posts Tagged ‘Humboldt County

Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Aug 2022

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A redwood tree when standing is a majestic sight, it lives for a thousand years and then when it falls, it continues to nourish the forest floor for another few hundred years. This one lies in the founders grove.

A heat wave passed by during our time in the Humboldt county. Myer’s Flat clocked over 100F. We thought we would spend the hot day walking under the redwood giants. We stopped by the visitor center to pick up a map. We had intended a 8 mile hike through alluvial flats starting from Rockefeller grove – Bull Creek flats south to Big Trees Trail to Bull Creek flats north. First, we nearly missed Rockefeller Grove. Later, after crossing the Bull Creek footbridge, we got off the trail early on, meandered around the forest floor for a mile, hit a dead end and headed back out. On our way back, we stopped by Founder’s Grove. The 2.5 mile walkabout under the redwoods – Rockefeller and Founder’s Grove – had registered 90F.

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Written by locomotoring

August 19, 2022 at 5:57 am

Lost Coast Trail South, Aug 2022

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Lost Coast Trail on Chemise Mountain. It is dry, the manzanitas are stunted and gnarly, the lower branches of the conifers are devoid of leaves, the floor is a thick pile of dry leaves.

This was a total of five mile hike, out and back, and a climb of 800-1000 feet. The hike is part of the Lost Coast Trail South. We started from Wailaki campground, climbed up Chemise Mountain to Lost Coast trail, walked half a mile past the Chinquapin Trail junction. The entire day at Shelter Cove was foggy, but the fog didn’t get to the Chemise mountain top. This was also our last hike this trip and the most spectacular one. We had originally intended to start this hike at the Hidden Valley interpretative tail, but eventually chose the Wailaki campground for the ease of parking. The drive on Chemise Mountain road from Shelter Cove Road to Wailaki campground is exceedingly pretty. And again, like the Hidden Valley interpretive trail, we had this trail to ourselves.

We have been hiking frequently in Bay Area this year and a typical Bay Area hike is through the chaparrals, manzanitas, coastal oak, and madrone. The hiking paths are commonly trod upon, the signs are plentiful and the trail is a shared space with many others. The air smells sweet from California Bay. Here on the lost coast, the tree species is shifted towards the conifers but otherwise familiar. What is noticeable is the fact that the trails are far less trod upon and far less friendly to inexpert hikers. Shoes scrunch and slip on piles of dry leaves. Under the leaves lay gnarly roots that can make your footing unsteady. The sense of isolation is made even more complete when loud bird cries fill the air and the air smells of nothing.

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Written by locomotoring

August 19, 2022 at 5:21 am

Hidden Valley Interpretive Trail, Aug 2022

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A surprising little mountain prairie

According to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) map of King Range Conservation Area, Hidden Valley was the homestead of one of Shelter Cove’s first white settler, Frank McKee. Frank bought 160 acres from US government in 1876 and BLM purchased the land in 1981. The Hidden Valley Interpretive Trail, at the intersection of Shelter Cove Road and Chemise Mountain Road, is approximately 1.8 miles, and provides a surprising view of a mountain valley prairie. There is a gentle climb up, about two hundred feet. We were the only visitor on the trail that afternoon.

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Written by locomotoring

August 19, 2022 at 5:01 am

Black Sands Beach, Aug 2022

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Black Sands Beach in Shelter Cove, part of Lost Coast Trail

We drove up from Bay Area to Shelter Cove for a few days to catch the ocean and the night sky. We binge watched the Great British Baking show, watched the Pacific Ocean from the comfort of the living room of our AirBnB and hiked a few hikes in the Humboldt County. The first one had to be part of the Lost Coast trail by the beach.

We started from Black Sands Beach trailhead near us, and walked up north to where Horse Mountain Creek runs to the beach. It is only about a couple of miles from the trailhead and protected from the rise of tides. Thankfully, the fog was minimal that morning which we later realized wasn’t to be taken for granted, the rest of our days were shrouded in fog. The sand is indeed black, the stones are black and they eventually grind down to the black sand. The ocean waves are strong and the white foam of the crashing waves dazzle against the black sand. Our going was slow, no more than 2 miles an hour, our boots sank in the sand or clattered on the rocks. It is monotonously beautiful meeting of ocean, rocks and sky. Sounds of crashing waves and sea gulls filled the air. The sea air filled our lungs and where there was sea weed left behind by waves, the smell grew stronger. Our monotonous view was broken a few times by creeks coming down the mountain, these formed small waterfalls before disappearing into the sand and leaving behind colorful green, yellow and orange algae in their path.

Periodically, we sat down on a bleached driftwood and shook out the sand and pebbles from our shoes. We met a few other hikers on our way, a couple of day hikers going south to north like us and a handful of back packers were wrapping up their north to south lost coast pilgrimage.

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Written by locomotoring

August 19, 2022 at 4:40 am