June 15: Humboldt County
Guthrie Creek Trailhead to Devil?s Gate.  10.8 miles

We did it!  We got around False Cape.  The entire schedule up to this point has pivoted on this day.  To get around False Cape you need to have a low tide ? the lowest minus tide you can.  Our low ? a minus 1.95 feet -- came early in the morning, so we were up at 3:30 AM and had what breakfast we could throw together, broke camp, and left Ferndale at 4:30.  At 5 AM we were at the Guthrie Creek Trailhead and heading down to the beach below.  The night sky was filled with scattered clouds and a full moon shining on the swells as they came into shore.  These swells were the one unpredictable factor in the equation for figuring out the tide level.  The day before, we were told by our boatman, Bruce Slocum, that the sea was ?big?:  a strong swell generated by a storm far away in the Northwestern Pacific had begun to hit the Humboldt coast.

We started our assault on False Cape about one hour before the predicted low.  Carl May, who has made this trip twelve times over the years, pre-walking and then leading Coastwalkers, noted the swell, reckoning that it added a foot to a foot and a half to the water height, still low enough to make the journey, but probably with wet feet.

We approached False Cape through a series of mudstone terraces and boulder fields interspersed with pocket beaches.  The mudstone is very slick; in the water it takes on a clay like feeling.  Carl had stressed that we wear good foot gear and that everyone needed at least one walking stick.  The stick allowed us to make ourselves into tripods for stability against slipping and, in the beginning, as a means of resisting the tug of waves that sometimes came up knee high.  Later on, we came upon solid rock.  Unfortunately, the rocks were covered with very slick algae.

For these and other reasons, the main coastal trail will never pass this way.  But I think everyone there felt privileged to be in such a wild spot.   This area is very active geologically ? the beach changes from year to year as new rock slides cover beaches and old slides are washed away by the sea.

With False Cape behind us, we had a short rest at Bear River, and then continued along the beach towards Cape Mendocino.  As we approached this cape, Carl had us stay closely together.  Often California sea lions haul out in this area, and we did not want to unduly disturb them by stringing along through their area.  We were not disappointed.  In the space of a half mile, mostly north of the cape, hundreds upon hundreds of sea lions rose before us and lumbered down into the water at our approach.  It seemed as if every single one then barked its disapproval at our presence.

While most of the group ate a leisurely lunch at Singley Creek, Max, J and Steve went to the rescue of a stranded sea-lion pup.  Somehow it had gotten itself trapped in a rock enclosure at the foot of the cliff.  Being very careful so as not to injure the beast and using J?s experience from freeing sea lions from fishing nets, they soon had it free, and it was soon in the water.

From Singley Creek we walked the beach to Devil?s Gate. There we hopped upon the Melmobile for the ride to our new campsite at A. W. Way County Park on the Mattole River, where volunteer Beth Powell served us a very appreciated dinner.(Jon Breyfogle; photos, Linda Hanes)

MORE JOURNAL ENTRIES
»June 01 - Del Norte: Getting Ready
»June 02 - Del Norte: Planning the Hike is a Big Deal
»June 03 - Del Norte: We're Off
»June 04 - Del Norte: Reached Crescent City with no blisters yet!
»June 05 - Del Norte: From Crescent City to Damnation Trail Trailhead: 12 miles
»June 06 - Del Norte: On! to the Mouth of the Klamath River
»June 07 - Humboldt Northern: Leaving Del Norte on the Way South
»June 08 - Humboldt Northern: Gold Bluff Beach to Redwood Visitor's Center. 11.5 miles
»June 09 - Humboldt Northern: Redwood Visitor?s Center to Patrick?s Point
»June 10 - Humboldt Northern: Patrick?s Point to ClamBeach. 13.3 miles
»June 11 - Humboldt Northern: Clam Beach to Manila Community Center
»June 12 - Humboldt Northern: Manila to North Spit. 6 miles (12.8 incl. boat)
»June 13 - Humboldt Northern: South Spit of Humboldt Harbor to Table Bluff Beach. 5.2 miles
»June 14 - Humboldt Northern: Table Bluff Beach to Guthrie Creek Trailhead. 13.3 miles
»June 15 - Humboldt Southern: Guthrie Creek Trailhead to Devil?s Gate. 10.8 miles
»June 16 - Humboldt Southern: Devil?s Gate to the mouth of the Mattole
»June 17 - Humboldt Southern: A. W. Way County Park, layover day
»June 18 - Humboldt Southern: Mouth of the Mattole to Spanish Creek
»June 19 - Humboldt Southern: Spanish Creek to Shipman Creek
»June 20 - Humboldt Southern: Shipman Creek to Shelter Cove/Hidden Valley Trailhead
»June 21 - Mendocino: Chemise Mountain to Orchard Camp
»June 22 - Mendocino: Orchard Camp to Little Jackass Creek
»June 23 - Mendocino: Little Jackass Creek to 3 miles past Usal
»June 24 - Mendocino: 3 miles south of Usal to Westport Union Landing State Beach
»June 25 - Mendocino: Westport Union Landing State Beach to MacKerricher State Park
»June 26 - Mendocino: Layover Day in Fort Brgg
»June 27 - Mendocino: MacKerricher State Park to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse
»June 28 - Mendocino: Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse to Buckhorn Cove
»June 29 - Mendocino: Mendocino County: near Buckhorn Cove (MP 46.3) to Elk
»June 30 - Mendocino: Elk to Stoneboro Road
»July 01 - Mendocino: Mendocino County. Stoneboro Road to Schooner Gulch
»July 02 - Mendocino: Mendocino County. Schooner Gulch to the Sonoma County line
»July 03 - Mendocino: Layover day at Sea Ranch
»July 04 - Sonoma: Meet the Hikers : Linda and Diana (and we-couldn't-do- it-without-you Mel)
»July 04 - Sonoma: Gualala Visitor?s Center to Stewart?s Point
»July 05 - Sonoma: Stewart?s Point to Salt Point State Park
»July 06 - Sonoma: Salt Point State Park to Fort Ross State Park
»July 07 - Sonoma: Reef Camp at Fort Ross to the Jenner River
»July 08 - Sonoma: Russian River to Campbell Cove on Bodega Head
»July 09 - Marin: West end Doran Beach Road to Lawson?s Landing
»July 10 - Marin: Dillon Beach to Tomales Bay State Park (Heart?s Desire Beach).
»July 11 - Marin: Meet the Hikers: Jon and J
»July 11 - Marin: Olema Layover Day
»July 11 - Marin: Laundry, Reading and Writing
»July 12 - Marin: Tomales Bay State Park, to the American Youth Hostel near Limantour Beach
»July 13 - Marin: Youth Hostel at Limantour to Palo Marin trailhead.
»July 14 - Marin: Marin County. Palo Marin trailhead to Pan Toll.
»July 15 - Marin: Pan Toll to Rodeo Lagoon
»July 16 - San Francisco: Rodeo Lagoon to the South End of the Golden Gate Bridge
»July 17 - San Francisco: Layover Day in San Francisco
»July 18 - San Francisco: South End of the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Funston.
»July 19 - San Mateo: A Day with the Hikers
»July 19 - San Mateo: Fort Funston to Rockaway Beach
»July 20 - San Mateo: Rockaway Beach to Francis State Beach
»July 21 - San Mateo: Francis State Beach to the San Gregorio Country Store
»July 22 - San Mateo: San Gregorio Store to Pigeon Point Lighthouse
»July 23 - San Mateo: Pigeon Point Lighthouse to Waddell Creek.
»July 24 - Santa Cruz: Waddell Creek to Laguna Creek
»July 25 - Santa Cruz: Laguna Creek (Wilder Ranch State Park) to Downtown Santa Cruz
»July 26 - Santa Cruz: Layover Day, Santa Cruz Hostel
»July 27 - Santa Cruz: Downtown Santa Cruz to Manresa State Beach
»July 28 - Monterey Northern: Manresa to Moss Landing
»July 29 - Monterey Northern: Moss Landing to Marina State Beach.
»July 30 - Monterey Northern: Marina State Beach to Asilomar
»July 31 - Monterey Northern: Asilomar to Point Lobos
»August 01 - Monterey Northern: Point Lobos to Bixby Bridge. 11.5 miles
»August 02 - Monterey Northern: Layover day at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
»August 03 - Monterey Northern: Bixby Bridge to Andrew Molera State Park.
»August 04 - Monterey Southern: Andrew Molera State Park to Partington Cove.
»August 05 - Monterey Southern: Partington Cove to Mile Post 23.6
»August 06 - Monterey Southern: Mile Post 23.6 to Gorda
»August 07 - Monterey Southern: Gorda to Salmon Creek via the Cruikshank and Buckeye Trails
»August 08 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Salmon Creek to Ragged Point Inn
»August 09 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Ragged Point to Vista Point 4, just south of Point Piedras Blancas
»August 10 - San Luis Obispo Northern: A Typical Day
»August 10 - San Luis Obispo Northern: A Coastwalk Perspective on the Hearst Ranch
»August 11 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Vista Point 4 to Shamel County Park
»August 12 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Shamel County Park to Villa Creek
»August 13 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Villa Creek to Morro Bay
»August 14 - San Luis Obispo Northern: Morro Bay to Moñtana de Oro.
»August 15 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Layover day or Foothill Road to Avila Beach
»August 16 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Avila Beach to Pismo Beach State Park
»August 17 - San Luis Obispo Southern: Pismo Beach to Guadalupe Beach
»August 18 - Santa Barbara Western: Guadalupe Dunes to mile post 2.82 on Brown Road
»August 19 - Santa Barbara Western: Brown Road to Lompoc-Casmalia Road/San Antonio Road junction
»August 20 - Santa Barbara Western: Intersection of Lompoc-Casmalia Road to Floradale and Ocean Avenues
»August 20 - Santa Barbara Western: Intersection of Lompoc-Casmalia Road to Floradale and Ocean Avenues
»August 21 - Santa Barbara Western: Floridale and Ocean Avenue Intersection to Mile Post 7.00 on Highway 1
»August 22 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Mile Post 7.00 on Highway One to Gaviota State Beach.
»August 23 - Santa Barbara Eastern: A Santa Barbara Layover Day
»August 24 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Gaviota State Park to El Capitan Beach State Park
»August 25 - Santa Barbara Eastern: El Capitan Beach State Park to the Goleta Pier
»August 26 - Santa Barbara Eastern: Goleta Pier to East Beach.
»August 27 - Santa Barbara Eastern: East Beach to Punta Gorda (Oil Island)
»August 28 - Ventura: Punta Gorda (Oil Island) to the Ventura Pier.
»August 29 - Ventura: Ventura Pier to Port Hueneme Pier
»August 30 - Ventura: Pier at Port Hueneme to Thornhill Broome State Park
»August 31 - Ventura: Layover day in McGrath State Park
»September 01 - Los Angeles Western: Thornhill Broome State Park to El Matador State Beach.
»September 02 - Los Angeles Western: El Matador State Beach to Dan Blocker State Beach
»September 03 - Los Angeles Western: Dan Blocker State Beach to Las Tunas County Beach
»September 04 - Los Angeles Southern: Las Tunas County Beach to the Venice Pier.
»September 05 - Los Angeles Southern: Venice Pier to King Harbor, Redondo Beach
»September 06 - Los Angeles Southern: Layover day at the Los Angeles South Bay Hostel
»September 07 - Los Angeles Southern: King Harbor Redondo Beach to Point Vicente
»September 08 - Los Angeles Southern: Point Vicente Lighthouse to Korean Friendship Bell at Point Fermin.
»September 09 - Los Angeles Southern: Korean Friendship Bell to 54th Place and Ocean in Long Beach
»September 10 - Orange: Day 100: 54th Place and Ocean to Magnolia and PCH
»September 11 - Orange: Intersection of Magnolia and PCH to Crystal Cove Park Historical District
»September 11 - Orange: Meet the Hikers: Ginny, Janette, Jean & Max
»September 12 - Orange: Crystal Cove Historical District to ?The Pilgrim? at Dana Point Harbor
»September 13 - Orange: Doheny State Beach to San Clemente State Park
»September 14 - Orange: Layover Day at San Clemente State Beach
»September 15 - San Diego Northern: Meet the Hikers: Steve and Hélène
»September 15 - San Diego Northern: San Clemente State Beach to Las Pulgas Road
»September 16 - San Diego Northern: Oceanside Harbor to Carlsbad State Beach
»September 17 - San Diego Northern: Carlsbad State Beach to San Elijo State Beach
»September 18 - San Diego Southern: San Elijo State Beach to La Jolla Shores Beach
»September 19 - San Diego Southern: La Jolla Shores Beach to Ocean Beach Pier
»September 20 - San Diego Southern: Ocean Beach Pier to Broadway and Harbor
»September 21 - San Diego Southern: Coronado Ferry Landing to YMCA Camp at Imperial Beach
»September 22 - San Diego Southern: YMCA Camp at Imperial Beach to the Border
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