Saturday, June 15, 2013

California Wilderness: Lost Coast Journey


The Lost Coast is a 25-mile stretch of wild Pacific coastline with road access only on its north and south ends. The interior portions must be reached on foot. In spring, the whales are migrating north and can be seen spouting and breaching. Poppies, lupines, and other wildflowers are in abundant bloom. The sound of the pounding surf is omnipresent. Classes are often held sitting in green meadows while hawks circle and line pelicans fly off shore.

From Francie Seidl Chodosh, aka Cocoflakes:

After reading and discussing John Muir, I had a whole different outlook on the wilderness, and more specifically how I view myself in the wilderness. A few days ago on the first leg of the lost coast some tribe members and I hiked up to Kings Peak. I started out the hike excited to summit Kings Peak but that excitement slowly left my system when I became more tired and hungry with every step. Why is scrambling up a mountain fun anyway? But things changed when we stopped for a breather about half way up the mountain. I got to listen to the wind and watch the trees. I got to smell the earth and soak it all in.

John Muir was all about experiencing nature, pushing the body to its limits, and finding your own personal philosophy in the nature. It all made sense on that hike. I feel like I am becoming more aware of who I am with every day I spend in the backcountry.

From Cedar Kirwin, aka Mogli:

The Lost Coast leg of our journey began with a short hike from Shelter Cove to Gitchell’s Creek, where we flung ourselves into the ocean and reveled in the unseasonably warm weather. Once at our camp we quickly settled into our wilderness routine: classes after breakfast and some yoga, usually in a beautiful poppy filled meadow overlooking the ocean or tucked into the Doug Firs on the flanks of the steep hills. We talked about the previous day’s readings, did journaling activities, or discussed big questions and concepts from the readings.

The days were then filled with reading different nature poetry and prose writers such as Gary Snyder, Robinson Jeffers, Mary Oliver, and John Muir to the meditative sound of the surf. All of the different readings and authors are gearing us up for our final papers, helping us to explore and discover the importance of nature beyond seeing it as simply a resource and instead recognizing its role as an integral part individuals and our success as a society.

The Lost Coast has been one of my favorite legs of the journey in terms of academics, place, and personal growth; I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to be in, from sandy beaches all the way up to misty King’s Peak!

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