I want to start off by thanking my family and Brittani Stanga for all of their help and encouragement and for making sure I didn’t leave Georgia without a few hugs! I miss you all already.
As an overview, I will be posting as often as possible, but am limited by availability of the internet and how frequently I can re-power my devices. Although it is a little more difficult to post a full scale blog, you can keep up with my Twitter feed (at the bottom of this page) or by following me: @theoutdoorjosh
Many thanks to Ricardo Calderon and Johnathan Winter for helping me with lodging and transportation in LA and San Francisco. I also want to thank Brett Carson in Oakland for allowing me to stay at his apartment and use his internet!
On Wednesday 3/20 I slept at Love’s Field in Point Reyes Station. Tyler Love graciously allowed me to sleep in the concession stand at his community baseball field! It was like old times being on the AT (except I had electricity!) I also had a grey fox (Urocyoncinereoargenteus) run about 5 feet in front of me that night. A very cool experience.
I started my trek on Thursday 3/21 from Limantour Beach on Point Reyes National Seashore in California. I ended up spending quite a bit of time just enjoying the beach and filming, so I didn’t get to make as many miles as I had originally hoped for. I also didn’t make it out to the beach until about 12:30 due to having to find a ride from the field. I ended up sharing a campsite with a guy named Sebastian at a place called Glen Camp.
So far, I have had great weather every day of the trip. I am sure that will change at some point, but I am loving it! The scenery is beautiful and I would overwhelm you with all of the photos I am taking, so I am trying to cherry pick the best ones. I am also taking a lot of photos of many of the plant species I am unfamiliar with. Unlike the AT, my knowledge of the flora out here is about half what it was on the east coast. I have been doing pretty well with my wildlife though. I’ve seen a coyote, grey fox, black-tailed deer, northern flicker, and many other familiar wildlife species. I do enjoy how much I have already encountered.
The Douglas Fir trees are awesome! They are so large and smell so good. I have passed a few that had fallen and were cut up and aged a couple of them between 150 and 200 years old.
I ended up stopping by a small bridge (with a trickle of water flowing under it) to camp on my second night. God definitely was looking out for me because it was already starting to get dark and I still had about 3 miles until I would have reached the next (designated) camping area. Its definitely nerve racking, but it is also a unique experience just to stop wherever you feel like it and say, “I guess I’ll just stop here…”
On Saturday (3/23) I make some pretty good distance, but towards the end of the day, veered off the trail at a strange intersection and needed to regroup. I stopped a man who was jogging and asked him to help me realign myself. After a few minutes of conversation and him finding out what I was doing, he offered to take me over to Sausalito for the night. It was basically the same distance “off the trail” as where I was currently standing, so I figured, why not jump on the other side, find somewhere to sleep there tonight and then get back on the trail in the morning…
That is exactly what I did! The coolest part is that the guy (Shan) ended up hooking me up with a place to stay on a small houseboat in Sausalito! It was a great experience and there were showers at the dock! Woo hoo! (I already smell amazing by the way) Before we settled in to sleep, Shan and I went down to a place called DiVino and had something to drink with some of the locals. There was some great jazz music that night as well and I was soaking it all in!
The following day, I headed out and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. I got to see Alcatraz and all of the other fun touristy things that you encounter along the bay (small circus acts, steel drums, painters, sculptors etc) This was also the day that I realized that if you spend all day outside every day, you are bound to get a sun burn. OUCH! Oh yeah, total lobster, but I tan easily, so I am recuperating as I type this blog. I will definitely need to find a place to buy a white under armour shirt and possibly even something to cover my legs.
I took the ferry from San Francisco to Oakland and was picked up by a couple and their relative and I ended up going on a joy ride with them to see the sunset over San Francisco and to have a quick drink and watch the last part of a basketball game on the tv. We took a quick driving tour and I got to see some ready reserve ships just hanging out in the event they should be deployed. It was a very cool little side trip. I have learned to embrace these random events as they tend to make fun memories.
I have posted a video to give a little better idea of the terrain and things that I have encountered so far, so please take a moment and watch it. I am also posting additional photos on facebook, if you would like to see more. Thank you for keeping up with my trip and I look forward to posting again as soon as possible!
I will be passing through Clayton, Antioch, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Auburn, CA. If you have any friends in those areas, please contact them and tell them to contact me and help!
Please also download the press release from the “Press” tab on my website and send it to your local newspaper and news station to help us get the word out about Envirothon and hopefully raise some money for future competitions!
ADT Limantour to Oakland