OHE September 30, 1998 (b)

Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 21:31:26 -1000
From: Grant Oka (goka@ns00.phnsy.navy.mil>
Subject: WEST COAST TRAIL PART II

Day 2.

The next morning, Sandy is up early and heading out on the coastal sandstone shelf to try and round Owens Point before the high tide comes in. The rest of us have a leisurely morning then climb back up to the trail and proceed the 8 Km to Camper Bay. The trail is old growth forest with only a rare ocean view and numerous mud bogs. Fortunately, the mud is fairly dry so it is not much of a problem to walk around and through the muck. The narrow log bridges are exciting and I can understand why most injuries that require rescue are due to falls.

After 4 Km we descend a beach access trail and meet Sandy on a sandstone shelf overlooking the Pacific ocean filled with weird bulbous seaweed. It has taken us 4 hours to hike 4 Km of this rough trail. The tide is coming up and we all continue the rest of the way using the trail. Along the way, Joyce takes a spill on a muddy root and develope a giant bruise on her thigh.

To cross Camper Creek, there is a cable car. One must climb a 20 foot tower, pull the cable car from its resting position in the middle of the creek, then hold the box steady while both people load their packs then get in. Letting go of the cable will cause the cable box to noisily zip on its un-lubricated weathered cable and pulley to the center of the creek. From there, one must laboriously pull the box to the other tower. Getting out of the box is as precarious and clumbersome as it is to get in.

The trail is very rough and it takes us about 8 hours to do the 8 Km distance. Taking a dip in Camper Creek is a very chilling but refreshing experience. It is very evident that the shorescape changed drastically from winter seas to summer seas and also with the water level of the creek. Since no precipitation is expected, the rising creek possibility doesn't concern us. The night is clear and cold (50's F), stars are awesome, the driftwood campfire comforting and mesmerizing. Camper Bay is a wonderful campsite and the dune of driftwood trees block the ocean breeze. Many of the other backpackers are German. There is a group of Canadian females hiking together. The cold ocean breeze keepS us in our sleeping bags till 7:00 am.


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