Lost Coast, CA
A beautiful, lonely coast. King Range mountains.
There’s about 26 miles of undeveloped beach to hike.
Funny, I thought to myself. I didn’t even know what date it was. I’m brought back to memories of the Chelan Forest Service office as I walk out the building back to my truck, and the usual fall wonderings if any of us would be working through September 30th. Mostly wonderings in an off-hand joke. Considering how silly that would be if we actually all didn’t have work.
I jump back in my truck and rev away into the King Range windy roads. I start my little trek at the Mouth of the Mattole River. Waking up early in the morning to hike to the Punta Gorda lighthouse and back before high tide. Then I wind around to the other end of the lost coast trail and trek in from Shelter Cove to Big Flat.
A really big flat on the edge of the ocean.
And no one is there.
I sleep on the beach, lullaby-ed by the surf.
Met a couple who said a ranger told them they could be renegades for 48 hours and then they had to leave the King Range. A cartoon image of caution tape around all of the coast and mountains I just hiked through pops into my head. Silly. But I like the idea of being a renegade.
Wonder what’s happening in the wide world as I pack up the next morning and leave the coast for the hills a couple thousand feet above me. Madrone trees, ocean, mountains, fall. I spend a day making a giant loop up into the mountains and back to the beach where I watch sea otters playing and fishing in the surf til the sun sets.
Time is up. I follow bear prints on the beach back to my truck. A satisfied renegade.