Tag Archives: blm

Lost Coast

Lost Coast, found treasure
waves crash, sea lions grunt, cobbles roll
forest, sand, surf meet

This time last week, I was hiking the Lost Coast trail, a 24.6 mile stretch of seaside and beach trail in the King Range National Conservation Area, which is managed by the BLM Arcata Field Office. Whenever anyone would ask how it was, my synopsis was this: “It is unreal how beautiful the Lost Coast is.” Not the most elegant phrasing, but the honest truth. Enjoy the pictures my friends, and if you like to backpack, put this trail on your bucket list.

The hike begins from the Mattole Trailhead. We have our self-issue permit and bear canisters, and we are ready to go!
Our first major landmark was the Punta Gorda lighthouse, also known as the “Alcatraz of lighthouses,” which was in use until 1951.
The lighthouse was “open” to visitors, by which I mean, you could climb up to the top – and take panoramic photos.
Ladies of the lighthouse! Floppy hat catching some wind.
After exploring the lighthouse, we journeyed on to our fist campsite.
First night campsite on a small hill above a freshwater creek that flows into the ocean. We could see and hear sea lions on the offshore rocks below.
This cobblestone beach was where we started our second day of hiking, it was immediately below the cliff in the picture above.
This cobblestone beach was where we started our second day of hiking, it was immediately below the cliff in the picture above. Hearing the waves crash upon the shore then toss and roll the cobblestones over each other is a sound I will not forget.
Group pic! Our campsite from the first night is in the background.
Group pic! Our campsite from the first night is in the background.
Back to the beach to continue the hike. It was neat to see the exposed folds in the rock along the shore.
Back to the beach to continue the hike. It was neat to see the exposed folds in the rock along the shore.
Deceased sea creature encounters were inevitable while hiking on the beach; we saw chiton (left) and sea urchins (right), as well as crabs and shells of other things long gone.
Deceased sea creatures were inevitable while hiking on the beach; we saw chiton (left) and sea urchins (right), as well as crabs and shells of other things long gone.
Posed in front of one of the many freshwater streams that flow into the ocean.
Still unreal.
Any good camping trip needs a good nap time. We found a giant piece of drift wood to rest our weary bodies upon.
Day 2 campsite - still unreal.
Second night campsite, just a stone’s throw from the surf.
We had a visitor in the night!
We had a visitor in the night – BEAR!
It was THIS close! (Yellow dot in upper left is my tent.) Good thing we followed the regulations and had our food and smelly things in our bear canisters.
It was THIS close! (Yellow dot in upper left is my tent.) Good thing we followed the regulations and had our food and smelly things in our bear canisters.
On the third day, the trail called and we followed. This is a picture from the second (of two) high-tide impassable sections on the trail.
On the third day, the trail called and we followed. This is a picture from the second (of two) high-tide impassable sections on the trail.
We saw (and smelled) a dead whale! Probably a young gray whale.
We saw (and smelled) a dead whale! Probably a young gray whale.
Kelp-ie stick photo!
Third night campsite, we crept closer to the ocean each night.
Third night campsite, we crept closer to the ocean each night. I waited a little too long to take this picture, and thus you see the effect of the north coast fog.
On the third and final camping night, we played rock stack, which is exactly what it sounds like and more fun than you may be imagining. Look at our creation!
On the third and final camping night, we played rock stack, which is exactly what it sounds like and more fun than you may be imagining. Look at our creation!
With my Bandito camp shoes on, I greeted the morning of our final day on the Lost Coast.
With my Bandito camp shoes on, I greeted the morning of our final day on the Lost Coast.
About a half mile from the finish, we received some trail magic – three beers to share among ourselves AND someone to take our picture. The home stretch!
We made it! Slightly cleaner and in high spirits, we prepared to depart the Black Sands Beach trailhead in Shelter Cove.
We made it! Slightly cleaner and in high spirits, we prepared to depart the Black Sands Beach trailhead in Shelter Cove.
I am already dreaming of my next visit!
I am already dreaming of my next visit!

Lighthouse Sentinel

Lighthouse

Lighthouse sentinel
Once for sailors, now wildlife
Whales, seals, sea lions, more!

On July 8, I had the pleasure of touring the Piedras Blancas Light Station along with BLM office newbies and interns. This even counted as work! #LivingTheDream 🙂

The light station is a focal point of the Piedras Blancas Outstanding Natural Area, one of the special management areas within the Bakersfield Field Office jurisdiction. (This is why it counted for work.)

As BLM-insiders, we had the VIP opportunity of climbing to the top of the lighthouse – very windy up there!

On top of the lighthouse
looking stunning in my floppy hat

In the background of the above photo, you can see one of the Piedras Blancas, which translates to “white rocks” in Spanish. The rock acquired its whitish hue from centuries of guano deposits, or in less technical terms: seabird poo.

These large offshore rocks provide excellent refuge to marine animals large and small. While we were at the Light Station, we saw:

Sea lion
sea lions
male elephant seal
multiple male elephant seals – quite the schnoz! (the male elephant seal uses his enlarged nose – or proboscis – in territorial displays)
humpback whale sighting location
we saw a humpback whale out there! whale!!!!!!!!
juvenile humpback whale skeleton
juvenile humpback whale skeleton; the deceased whale washed up on one of the nearby beaches several years ago
Oystercatcher
a modern day Piedras Blancas painter: the black oystercatcher! it is hard to see but oystercatchers have a fabulous red bill

We also saw sea otters, but I was not able to get a picture this trip. I will definitely be back. For more history of the light station, you can visit piedrasblancas.org.  – or you can visit me and I will take you there!

IMG_6635
I also take pictures of pretty flowers; this is a poppy

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

BLM Redding

Ch-ch-ch-changes!
ending, moving, beginning
a new chapter starts

This is the “excuse for not posting since April” post, and I am obviously cheating with the “ch-ch-ch” but I decided to allow it because my bigger goal was to acknowledge that I officially ended my internship in Redding, moved, and started work in Bakersfield (four plus weeks ago).

My time in Redding was more fun and informative than I ever could have imagined, and I could not be more excited to be working for the BLM in Bakersfield. More adventures, opportunities, and fun await!

Uhauling my way to Bakersfield!
Uhauling my way to Bakersfield!
First day of work card
Best first day of work card EVER.
Making new friends in my new home!
Making new friends in my new home!