We are in the thick of the backpack portion of our trip now. This is serious work. There are two themes at play here: up and down or rather, up, up, up and down, down, down. Whereas during our first days' backpacking, we had the relative luxury of walking on flat beaches, here there is no beach. The cliffs rise directly out of the ocean forcing us to go over the steep ridges that lie perpendicular to the coast. The first day out of Shelter Cove, there are three. From Orchard Camp, we reach the coast at Bear Harbor; it is amazing to know that a relatively short time ago this and other spots along this coast were busy logging camps, towns and dog-hole ports. The ascents and descents are extremely steep. In a very short horizontal distance we have topped ridges of 750, 800 and 1100 feet rising out of Bear Harbor, then walking down into Duffy?s Gulch, site of the J. Smeaton Chase Memorial Redwood Grove; then up again and down into Jackass Creek and the site of the former logging town of Wheeler.
Once again we rise and fall, ending the day on Little Jackass Creek. This creek lies in a very narrow valley and camping spots are few. The group breaks up into two groups. J, Nancy, Al and Ken pitch their tents on the beach at the foot of the cliffs. The rest of us come to rest beneath tall redwoods, perhaps a quarter mile up the creek. (Jon Breyfogle; photos, Don Nierlich)