It’s been a fun first week here in California. We met up in the San Francisco airport and after introductions headed to our first campsite beneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. For our first dinner together we ate a delicious meal of fettuccine alfredo prepared by Zoe, Bailin, and Charlie. We continued getting to know each other while playing games and learning the basics of camping such as how to set up our tents.
The next day we got an early start to begin a day of exploring. Our first stop was the Muir Woods where we day hiked beneath towering redwoods. Josh enjoyed passing time beneath these impressive trees. After lunch, we headed to Point Reyes where we explored the beach. Despite chilly temperatures, Charlie enjoyed splashing in the waves. We spent the night at Samuel Taylor State Park. After dinner we roasted s’mores around the campfire. S’mores were a highlight for Sarrah who had never had them before in England.
Our next day was spent preparing for our backpacking trip on the Lost Coast. We learned how to pack our packs, re-packaged food, and went over the basics of backpacking. The next morning we were ready to embark on our first backcountry section. We hiked three miles to historic Punta Gorda lighthouse. We arrived early in the afternoon and spent some time playing games and exploring the tide pools. Later we watched the sunset from our beachfront campsite and were lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves. Soren set the standard of sleeping outside beneath the stars and soon many other students were following suit.
Our next day of hiking brought us to Spanish flat. It was a long but rewarding day of hiking due to some rocky sections on the beach but Kyle and Lauren were very impressed by the group’s positive attitude. That afternoon we played more games and Bailin wowed us with his mastery of magic tricks. After a jambalaya dinner, we started ‘life story’ where everyone shares a brief summary of their life in order to continue getting to know each other.
Day three of hiking brought us beautiful vistas along beach bluff trails. Zoe enjoyed the views and the wildlife we saw along the way such as sea lions and many seabirds. The group found this day to be a breeze after our long hike on the beach the previous day. For dinner, Albert assisted in preparing us a delicious pita pizza stew which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
The next day we hiked another seven miles to Horse Mountain Creek. We met many other friendly hikers along the way enjoying the majestic beauty of the King Range and the Lost Coast. In the afternoon we passed the time relaxing in the sun and swimming. Libby led the charge into the chilly Pacific water and soon everyone was enjoying the waves. Eva mastered the body surfing technique as we enjoyed our final night on the coast. For dinner James oversaw the preparation of a delicious max and cheese feast as we watched our final beach sunset. This morning we hiked back to our van and much anticipated showers. We are looking forward to whitewater rafting tomorrow!