Janette in Arcata.
LINKS TO CHAPTERS
as they appeared in the
Laguna Beach Indy
In early winter of 2002 I was leading a back country hike in Crystal Cove State Park, just north of Laguna Beach, California. When we came to a resting place Diane Savage, one of the hikers, announced she was from COASTWALK and next summer a group of ten were going to walk from Oregon to Mexico down the California Coastal Trail. Because much of the trail is incomplete our mission would be to bring awareness to the value of the trail and garner action to help its completion.
Diane emphasized that The California Coastal Trail is a Federally Mandated Trail, but regrettably without federal funding.
Then she said, "Ten hikers will be going all the way. We'll purchase a fourteen passenger van for the gear, so we only carry day-packs. We'll pitch our tents at night and prepare meals. Hundreds of Coastwalk volunteers have offered to assist us. They will provide local hiking leaders, some home cooked evening meals, and tons of encouragement along the way. We will pay the direct expenses, about $3,000 each."
Then Diane's final sentence,
"We have two spots left, if anyone is interested!"
Interested? My brain went into high gear. First on the agenda, a call to dear friend Patty at The Ranch, "Will you take Paulina (my Tibetan Terrier) for four months while I walk down the coast next summer?"
Without hesitation I heard, "Yes, and if there's a problem, will we be able to come and get you?"
The intended participants who lived in Southern California, met a few times over the winter and spring. I was consistent with work-outs at the gym and much encouraged by my trainer, Mickey Craig. I walked further each week, and delved into every page of Colin Fletcher s Complete Walker V" I followed Colin's advice, weighed my gear, even cut the edges off my maps, selected only high performance, breathable clothing layers, wore socks and sock liners and selected foot ware for varying terrains. And, "Yes Colin, I did throw away the liners in my newly purchased, extra light weight (and most expensive) pairs of low top boots, and then replaced them with twenty dollar a pair SpenCo footbeds." But it was a great investment, not a blister the whole journey.
The Fifteen Chapters that follow are copies of the Articles I wrote and faxed to the Laguna Beach Indy, our local newspaper, as we journeyed along. Jennifer Erickson transcribed my hand writing and added insightful paragraphs of her own. The photographs I have added to this website were taken by Lynda Haynes, who carried the official Coastwalk camera, and J Nichols who brought a camera and a GPS.
You can read the Daily Log, recorded by Linda and Jon Breyfogle at www.CaliforniaCoastalTrail.info, then follow link at lower part of page, Hiking the 1200 mile California Coast.
Am I glad I participated in this adventure? YES.
Would I do it again?
Since I'm more than ten years older now; probably not.
Why did you move to Arcata? Because, when we walked among the giant Redwoods, I told myself, if I ever move from Laguna Beach, I want to live where the tall trees grow. So in 2007, that is what I did.
More than a decade has passed since we completed this long walk. In re-reading the chapters I m remembering how much time and effort I devoted to thinking about what to share, then writing it down. There was no time to edit. Jennifer typed the faxed pages just as I had written them. There s an immediacy to each installment that I like. Hope you do too.
June - Sept 2003