Trail adventures on the CA North Coast this week.
My weekend began Thursday morning with a trip to Pistol River, OR, where I have found a teacher of Iyengar yoga. That’s 45 minutes away from me, but I have found others to carpool with along the way and I can manage a commute like that once a week. It’s not the 10 minute walk to Yoga Center Santa Cruz and there are no fig and goat cheese scones from Cafe DelMarette afterwards, but I am thrilled to have found an Iyengar teacher!
Thursday afternoon I finished off an article on pooping in the wilderness for Adventure Sports Journal. By the way, if you haven’t checked out my recent Grand Canyon article in the current issue, you can get to it online here: Adventure Sports Journal.
By far the best part of this weekend was a visit from my best buddy, Kyle. He’s spending the summer playing with amphibians in Mt. Rainier National Park and took a break of his busy schedule of river running weekends to come for a visit.
Since the weather was perfect for hiking (and a little chilly for swimming in the river) we first hit Myrtle Creek Trail.
Kyle can’t resist searching for his little friends, so when we reached the end of the 1 mile trail at Myrtle Creek, he conducted a brief survey before turning back.
No salamanders were harmed in the taking of this photo. He’s a professional.
Next stop, thimble berry gathering and gorging near my house. Sorry folks, no photos, can’t divulge my secret spots.Then a trip into town for a bite and a long walk on Crescent Beach.
There are so many fabulous trails in this area it was hard to choose which was next, but I had the motivation of that little Winter Wren’s nest in the Stout Grove to check on. (see previous post) We took the Stout Grove trail from the road (instead of the river) and continued on to the Mill Creek Trail for about a 10 mile walk. (The Wren was still sitting on the nest.)
Mill Creek is a tributary to the Smith River and it provides important habitat for salmon spawning. Smith River Alliance has done amazing things to preserve and restore this area. You can find out more in our Fall 2010 newsletter, or on our website, under Watershed Protection/Mill Creek.
Aside from following the lovely creek, the most amazing part of this trail is giant trees.
It’s true, I can’t go a whole weekend without getting in the water. Who could resist a rope swing like this one?
After the long walk on Mill Creek trail we decided to hit a couple more short hikes the next morning before Kyle had to leave.
The North Fork of the Smith is in a steeper, less accessible canyon and only the short Stony Creek Trail follows it in the lower reaches to the convergence with Stony Creek.
After a quick instream survey for invertebrates and salamanders Kyle found his sweet spot along the creek, just above the confluence with the North Fork Smith River.
It may have been a gray week with misting fog (some might call it rain), but there was still plenty of fun to be had on the North Coast.