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Damnation Creek trail head

December 20, 2008
2008 Winter West Coast Road Trip-7th in a series

dscn5836I had the room all to myself and I slept pretty well.  The sound of the water rushing in against the rocks was quite nice.  I talked with Kaci, the hostel manager, last night to get hiking recommendations, she gave me several and a map.  I drove north, back into the Redwoods about four miles and pulled over at the Damnation Creek trail head.  I got my coats and gloves and scarf and pack and myself all in order and headed up the trail.  I was immediately amazed at the trees, how big around and how tall they were.  The trail itself is maintained pretty well and I had a slight increase in elevation.

dscn5848Then, it was all down, way down.  The 2.5 mile trail drops 1000 feet in elevation.  It’s very steep in some areas and I had to be careful not to trip over tree roots and rocks and various other outcroppings.  Nothing I thought too dangerous though.  On the way down, I crossed paths with one of the skinniest men I’ve ever seen.  His companion was a gorgeous golden lab who was very sweet.  From a distance, he appeared to be carrying quite a load on his back, but as we got closer, I saw that it was a crab trap filled with red and white floats.  We had a nice chat about nothing really.  He did tell me there’s a bad part of the trail farther down and to be careful.  We parted ways with the usual pleasantries.

dscn5862I got to within a quarter mile or so of the beach, I could see it and hear the water rushing in, when the trail went bad.  There are some steps built into the terrain which had deteriorated and it got very muddy with a lot of leaves mixed in.  I forged ahead cautiously, just to see how it was and it was not enjoyable at all.  I came to the conclusion that I could probably get down, one way or the other, but getting back up would be problematic.  So, I reluctantly headed back up the trail.  It was a great workout, felt great.  Awesome forest smells, perfect temperature, and the trees were creaking.  The ground was nice and soft, covered with tiny bits of red tree bark and the green on the bushes and trees made for a brilliant contrast of color.

Once back at the trail head and my car, I had a weird feeling of disappointment.  It was such an enjoyable hike but it was over and I wanted to keep going.  Oh well.  Tomorrow is another day.  I headed north to Crescent City and found the Coffee Corner Cafe and Deli that Kaci had recommended.  I had some good eats and spent a couple of hours on the Internet.  I then went to find a grocery and next door was a movie theater, so I stopped and watched Australia with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman,  it was good, I liked it.  It had a 50s epic film feel to it with quick cuts and and slight overacting.  I then got some groceries and headed back to the hostel arriving around 8:30 and fixed myself some ravioli pesto.

dscn5884There are few more people here at the Redwood Hostel than last night.  There’s a nice family of four, Scott and Virginia and their two daughters Rebecca and Sophie, a couple of other couples and a couple singles.  Everyone was just sitting around in the large living room, around the wood stove, talking, reading, playing games, whatever.  It was nice.  I had my supper and watched a movie on my PC called Outsourced.  Cute movie, I recommend it.

I had a room mate tonight, Kristen from San Fran.  She just got a new car and wanted to “bond” with it,  so she drove 310 miles up here and is spending the night and and will drive back tomorrow.  Cool.  Sounds like something I would do.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2009 8:08 pm

    I’ve been reading some good reviews of this trail.

    Sounds like a good cool season hike if the grade is steep. May be able to do it in winter or autumn without needing to carry water or any pack weight.

    Nice photos – thanks.

    M. Vaden


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