Camera Lost to the Lost Coast – Survived an Awesome Storm Hike of near-deadly intensity.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Monday November 16, 2012 —  I’m ALIVE.  :-D

Last week I had myself the most intense camping trip (so far).  I’m incredibly grateful to still be alive.  Life is SO good (!!!), I don’t want to move on to other pastures any time soon.

 (Still have to shut down the nuclear industry, find a solution for that waste for the next 100,000 years, invent free energy and anti-gravity technologies, and paint more vibrationally uplifting paintings, have more good times with friends and family, and revel in the awesomeness of living wild and free…)

Last Wednesday I wrote to a couple friends, “Seemed like a close call at times last night, but… stiff, soaked, cold, exhausted, bruised and bloody blistered, I made it.  :-D  “

“I started off with a 1900 ft climb over 3 miles, camped in insane rains at Maple Creek Camp [over 12 inches of rain!]; then followed the King Crest Trail [by the Lost Coast in the BLM’s Kings Range Conservation Area] for too many miles, turned right at Buck Creek Trail, for some 4 miles (not much up, but a super steep 3,300 ft. descent), followed by some 10 miles south along the beach, crossing several knee-deep raging creeks, and then to the other side of Shelter Cove.  I must have hiked somewhere close to 20 miles…  [just over 18 miles in fact]  (over 30 km)… kicked my butt.” 

A ferocious extremely dangerous coast, not to be taken lightly in heavy storm weather:

Near where I hiked:  Looking north from near Jones Beach in the Sinkyone WIlderness along The Lost Coast (far Northern California).   Photo from 2009, by © Michaël Van Broekhoven.
(Obviously this wasn’t my first time meeting that coast’s ferocity in a storm, but the one last week (Nov 2012) was the most intense so far. Any slightest bit more intense would have been deadly.

BLM:  “A spectacular meeting of land and sea is certainly the dominant feature of King Range National Conservation Area (NCA).   Mountains seem to thrust straight out of the surf; a precipitous rise rarely surpassed on the continental U.S. coastline.   King Peak, the highest point at 4,088 feet, is only three miles from the ocean.”

After my descent from right near King Peak:  ““Disaster struck” at Buck Creek Camp: On the edge of being asleep, with my stuff spread out in the tent, tent poles snapped in wind gusts so strong it pulled the stakes out and it felt like the wind was going to toss everything, myself included up in the air (not a nice wake to wake up, I can say that much…), trapping me in the collapsed tent, under raging wind and rain.

To make matters worse, flashlight shorted out. Already exhausted from Tuesday’s hike down, now also thoroughly soaked and without a tent, no flashlight (cell phone light helped), impossible to make fire in that wind and rain,… I gathered my stuff the best I could.  Noticed the tide was ebbing, so I hiked all night following the beach to Shelter Cove, where a friend picked me up in the morning a couple hours later around 9 am.”

I lost some clothes along the way, the tent stakes bag and most stakes, 1 tent pole was lost, the 2 main tent poles are broken, and -very sad-, I have none of the awesome photos of the first half of the trip to show, as my CAMERA WAS LOST to the Lost Coast as well.  It was a Sony Cybershot 16 megaPixel, which new was about $120 on sale.  If you find it (one never knows…), please let me know.  I loved that little technological wonder.

Some beach-crossing creeks were so seemingly impassible, I would have called Search and Rescue if it had been an option.  I carefully waded my way through the raging torrents.  Rough and painful, but, except for losing that awesome camera, it was awesome in its own kinda crazy way.

Credit were credit is due:  SOL’s (“Survice Outdoors Longer”) space blanket was the best emergency gear I ever bought.  Without it, hypothermia would have incapacitated me.  First time I needed it.  I won’t be looking for another chance any time soon.  My (Swiss) Katadyn Water Filter made any creek water excellent for drinking, keeping me hydrated on my journeys.   On the upside of trouble, my emergency packet also includes triple antibiotic ointment, a butane torch/lighter, and needle and tread, but I’m grateful I’ve never had to sow my own flesh back together.  ;-)

After drying out at a friend’s home, I had the most wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner, party, massage and several more days of socializing and chill’n.   All is well.  In the next 2 weeks the patches of Poison Oak blisters, bruises and bloody feet spots, should all be easing away as well.

Cheers to all adventures that end well!   

Much of the coast is impassable at high tide. Sneaker and rogue waves, dangerous undertow and large hungry sharks trying to eat surfers are part of it.
© Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2009.

I have been profoundly reminded that “…All we are is dust in the wind…”  Listen:

PS:  Until I access my storage unit up north, and dig up a broken video camera, which can take only still photos nowadays (somewhat okay, I’ll find out), I won’t be sharing much of my travels here.

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One Response to Camera Lost to the Lost Coast – Survived an Awesome Storm Hike of near-deadly intensity.

  1. Pingback: Winter Camping in the San Dunes (Southern Colorado PHOTOS) | Not All Alleged Is Apparent…

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