Miller Flat to Horse Mountain Creek
With fewer miles to go, we are in no hurry to leave. We sleep in well past 7 am. Brian makes coffee while Bri and I trade breakfast snacks. I take her cinnamon PopTarts and she takes my smashed Honey Buns. I am not sure it makes much difference, but it feels like variety. During breakfast, a doe tows over her two tiny fawns, making us absolutely fawn at their adorableness. We also try to imagine their tenderness, but leave that discovery to the mountain lions.
We are probably the last to leave camp. Rather than walking the virgin sand of yesterday, today we follow the zigzagging footprints of those ahead. No bother, the views are still spectacular. We scramble across rocky fields of ankle breaking boulders.
We break briefly at Shipman Creek. The rotting seal puts a slight damper on the otherwise idyllic scene. We continue through the impassable towards Buck Creek. We walk as close as we can to the firm sand by the lapping waves, occasionally chased comically to higher ground. For the most part, we keep our feet dry.
At Bucks creek we break for lunch. Three guys nicely share the shade. We realize we have been on their same itinerary, camping each night in the same location. They too are looking to spend one more night in the Lost Coast. In other words, there are few options left, and we have competition. The next option is Gitchell Creek. The guys head out before us, to check it out.
At Gitchell Creek we do not find the guys, but rather a couple taking a late lunch. The couple is also considering their options. There is really only one spot, and they hint strongly they might stay. They suggest we check out Horse Mountain Creek, but we are sure the three guys are well on their way to that spot. We hike to a shady bunch of trees, but find no fresh water. We do, however, find more than enough mosquitoes. Rather than donate blood, we decide to push on.
Horse Mountain Creek seems further than we expect. When we arrive, the guys have already set up in the only decent shady spot. There is plenty of room in the sand, but it is uncomfortably hot in the direct sun. We grab some water and push on to a huge pair of rocks on the beach, where Brian and Bri camped two years ago. There is shade, and we claim it.
We make awesome bean, cheese, rice, and salsa burritos. I finally get a chance to experience the inner tidal toilet. I know the rule is to deposit human waste by the sea, but it just feels wrong on all counts.
I decide to forgo the tent, and cowboy camp. I am hoping fog does not make me regret my decision. We enjoy an awesome sunset.
Tomorrow should be a short walk out.