Donna and Al's California 2016 travel blog

The start of the beach portion of the Lost Coast Trail

View during the beach hike looking north

View during the beach hike looking south

Our view from our campsite in Shelter Cove

I am very frustrated with this blog site but it is still better than the last one I used. As long as I have a strong wifi signal or a strong data signal things go well. For some reason, the photos are being reconfigured. If I change the configuration they seem to no longer show up when I "preview" my entry. Grrrrr. I played a bit so if you are also having trouble, use the slide show option and use the 10 sec option when looking at the photos. This seems to allow the photos to appear. Enough whining.......

We left our friends in Fort Bragg in the fog at about 11 am. We had a very good time with Jim and Claire and we will miss them. They have lived in and around San Francisco All their lives and have given us so much great advise regarding our trip north from here. We had spectacular weather the entire time we were here, which they guaranteed, by the way .lol. That's why we joined them for the cook off.

We were told to check out a beach state park 18 miles from Fort Bragg called Westport-Union Landing. We were told it was a great spot over looking the Ocean. We thought, how lovely, in October we should easily get a spot. It is a lovely spot. Open Ocean view (on a clear day). Not so positive for us was rather dense fog when we arrived at 1ish. Nothing to see except your feet. Though there was lots of prime sites, it is right on US 1(noisy), costs $25 US with nothing but a pit toilet.

The decision was to move on. Hwy 1 is windy and slow so when 4 pm arrived we were ready to stop for the night. We stopped at Benbow. A spot on US 101........not so quiet but has a bathroom with shower, and power for our frig.

We had wifi and found out Shelter Cove had a campground. Shelter Cove was a spot we could access the Lost Coast Trail. A backpack trip but a spot we could day hike also. Al found this area in a book we have called " 50 hikes to do before you die". Off we go the next morning.

The drive to Shelter Cove was an adventure in itself. 22 miles of twisty, narrow, rough, steep up and down paved road. I wondered if we would arrive. Did I mention the fog.......We arrived at sea level in Shelter Cove Rv. What a joke that is. It was a large open (dusty) field with power,water and elect. $45 US/night. We are committed so we stay. Terrible is an understatement. The washrooms are disgusting. The females room was bad but according to Al ( after discussion) the men's room was worse. 2 nights was a stretch for us but we managed.

The fog in the morning continued. We did 2 hikes along the Lost Coast Trail. The first was the beach trail and the second was the forest trail. The beach trail sounded easy, no elevation gain, how hard can that be? Well, we did not count on soft gravel the entire trip. 6 miles of slogging thru soft gravel was a good work out. The first hour was interesting, the next 2, repetitive. We had been told there was a dead Humpback whale beached about 2 miles down the beach which would have been great to witness. It had been taken down current and out to sea by the tide so we did not get to see it. Bummer, that would have made the trip worth while.

The next morning we headed for the forest trail. We expected to have views of the Ocean on this portion. 2 problems.... thick fog and very few opportunities to see thru the trees. It was really only a day of exercise but nothing to write home about. Both days were disappointing for scenic value. Been there,done that. Will probably not return.

We left Shelter Cove Oct 13th. It was raining lightly. The predicted storm would arrive later that day.

Oct 13 we drove the Avenue of Giants highway and stopped at a few "groves" to wander thru the trees. It was raining lightly most of the day which made the touring less fun. Once we had data coverage again, I checked the weather and determined the "storms " were still in the forecast. Fortuna is slightly inland and looked like a better place to hold out the storms. We have booked 4 nights into a hotel in Fortuna to weather the storms. Up to 10 inches of rain expected over the next 4 days and up to 60 mile an hour winds. Not part of the plan but that's part of life.

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