'Rain' in the New Year - Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

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Miya

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This might be upsetting to hear, but Bobbi and I took full advantage of the government shutdown. Luckily, for us, most parks in CA have stayed open. We decided to go to Point Reyes NS, partly because Bobbi LOVES the ocean and partly because this area is always booked. They only allow the use of designated hike-in campsites which are normally booked up to or over 6 months. I have stayed in the area before, but never got to experience the campgrounds near the ocean nor seen Alamere Falls. Reports said there were 8 rangers left, trash was everywhere, and that even though you couldn’t pick up your permit, campsites were still open.

https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Point-Reyes-Wildcat

https://evermoremoments.smugmug.com/Point-Reyes-Wildcat-Bobbis-Photos/n-cX6kRV

Even though breaking rules gives me great anxiety. I decided I needed this trip and I was going to start my new year off with a change. I was real excited to head out with some Christmas gifts: MTknives neck knife (like Dixie!), Toaks 550mL pot, and my Xero Ztrail sandals! I was pretty happy to leave my house with my total pack weight at 23lbs!

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We had heard that the TH to Alamere Falls was closed, but we went ahead and showed up Thursday night, 01.03.19, to see how far away we would have to park and hike in. They blocked the road to the TH, which would only require a 1.2 mile walk. Funnily enough, there was already another Subaru Crosstrek parked at the ‘blockade’. When we showed up a ranger was on the other side of the gate, unlocking the padlock to leave. Even though the Subaru did not have a ticket on it and the Ranger didn’t stop to talk to us, I took it as a sign that we shouldn’t park there and decided we would take the long way. What could have been ~7 mile trip, turned into an 16.7 mile loop. Bobbi and I both wanted the miles though, so no worries!

We enjoyed a restful sleep in my car and hit the trail at 0900. The plan was to not use a designated campsite, because I didn't want to take someone's spot, and I also didn't want to smell unserviced trash and toilets. We would hike the 6 miles to Bass or Pelican Lake and try to find a spot out of sight and out of the way. Bobbi and I brought garbage bags to collect trash as we hiked, but there wasn't any...it was awesome! I think if there is trash buildup, it is probably happening on the busier Northern portion.

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There are lots of lovely mushrooms and fungi on this trail!

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Moss!

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I went ahead and brought my telelphoto since my pack weight was so low. Since I started hiking, I never leave without my camera around my neck, I have definitely built up some neck muscle. It doesn't even bother me anymore! :uhhuh:

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I had fun seeing debris on the trail and yelling 'Trail Maintenance' as I ran and used my trekking pole to remove obstacles. Unfortunately, this downed tree could not be moved by my determination. Luckily, found some really cute mushrooms while climbing through and over the tree. Hey, look, my first time wearing pants!

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Most of the lakes we came to, hoping to pump water, looked like this. We weren't in desperate need, so we left this one behind.

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Bobbi moved this little guy off trail after I almost stepped on it.

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First view of the ocean! I don't usually like the beach, but I was feeling so good and happy to be on trail that I was skipping, jumping, and running throughout our hike to reach the beach. I was determined for this to be our first trip that didn't get cut short! The lake we planned on staying at, ended up being inaccessible. Our next option was to try the campgrounds...We headed to Wildcat and said that if we got a site and the original reservation owners showed up, we would just move.

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Vibrant mushrooms!

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We ended up getting really lucky. There was NO ONE there and even though the water had been shut off, there was a small creek that ran alongside the campground and fed into the ocean for us to pump water from.

That has always been a frustration of mine. these sites book up MONTHS in advance...but it rains and plans change. I know people don't always cancel their reservation, so that means it is secretly open, and a person has an unknown opportunity to take a spot.

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We finished setting up camp at 15:00. Alamere Falls was a short 1.5 mile beach walk from camp. It was supposed to rain both Saturday and Sunday so we decided to make a trip to the falls that day, just in case the rain didn't let up. Bobbi and I had the falls all to ourselves! From online pictures I have seen, it is normally PACKED. I couldn't have been happier and feeling more grateful.

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Looks like a dragon head!

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Point Reyes wildlife = Seal.

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When we got back to camp, a young lady had set up her tent right above our site on undesignated spot, on the edge of the cliff (where we were going to have dinner). She was very nice. It was a tempting location, but the cliffs collapse around there and I knew there would be rough wind that night. I don't envy the sleepless night she probably had up there. We enjoyed a lovely sunset!

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I continued to wake up to rain and wind throughout the night, even with my earplugs in. Bobbi's tent did not stand up to the rain (apparently her fly is too short? She took it down and came in my tent before I could actually look at it). I am just happy her gear remained dry and we were able to stay. All I needed was another trip where her tent is flooded..:facepalm:
I made an attempt to walk around at 0800, but the rain started up again within a few minutes. The water was much higher, reaching the cliffs, very fun to see!

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My new sandals!

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Bobbi and I made another attempt to leave the tent and hike, but again, the rain showed up only minutes after. We spent 97% of the day in my CRAMPED tent. I went ahead and read the entire Harry Potter book, out loud, and got a soar throat. It ended up being a fun and relaxing day, even if it wasn't what we had planned on doing!

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Yeah...we made our meals IN the tent. The wind was so strong, that I knew cooking in my vestibules would result in a melted vestibule. Mmmm Ramen on a rainy day is my idea of true comfort.

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On Sunday, we woke up to steady rain and did all our packing inside the tent. All I wanted was 10 minutes to tear the tent down. I finished breakfast, and by some peculiar miracle, the rain stopped long enough for us to break down the tent! It rained several minutes after that and NEVER stopped that day (even after we got back home). I was bummed to stuff my 5-6lbs of camera gear in my bag, but didn't want to risk it getting wet. I forced Bobbi to use her cell phone and capture a last image of us in the rain. However, there were so many breathtaking moments on the way back to the car that I wished I could capture. I just hope I can remember it in my mind's eye forever.

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We journeyed 5.6 miles, from 250ft to 1000ft in rain that only got heavier and heavier. We got back to the car in 2 hours and 50 minutes (we realized we are very quick when we are not at high elevation) haha. Bobbi was soaked through, except her pants. My top remained dry, but my pants were soaked through haha. We got to the parking lot and went ahead and just stripped right there to get into dry clothes (there was no one around). I won't even get undressed in front of my mother, so you can imagine how much I wanted to be in dry clothing.

Funny thing:
I took my rain jacket off last because my shirt was still dry! I grabbed my pile of wet clothes and shoes and threw them happily into my trunk! I reached for my trunk door and pulled it down with a rush! I didn't even think about the huge puddle that had collected on top of the door...no more dry shirt and bra. I cursed in the moment, but am laughing now.

I have expressed before, that I love the rain and this trip did not change my mind. Hiking in the rain is my absolute favorite. It is like I hold my breath until it rains, hold every worry, pain, stress, fear, and anxiety...and then those precious drops touch me and I just exhale. It washes away every dark part of me, and I let go of everything... I never feel so powerful as I do in the rain; as if, I could accomplish anything! It was like a dream...walking through a forest with sheets of rain pelting me from the front, side, and behind. Everything around us being cleansed.

It was the perfect way to start the new year. I have such a fanciful desire that this year will be a year of healing and progress. I think...this was a PERFECT trip. I wouldn't have changed anything!

Tacos and Hibiscus Margarita on the way home. Yum!

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Dreamer

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#2
Your trips look like lots of fun!
this year will be a year of healing and progress.
and no better way to get there than with more backpacking!
 

blueeyes

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#4
Looks fun!

Love the moss photo.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

Titans

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#5
Wonderful TR. I can smell the ocean fragrance and feel the rain- what a great start to 2019 @Miya
I think this is the very first BCP 2019 trip report (about a backpacking event in 2019!).
My favorite photo is towards the end with you, the rain hood and the coast in the background- your eyes tell it all: you are having a great time in the rain!
 

Miya

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Wonderful TR. I can smell the ocean fragrance and feel the rain- what a great start to 2019 @Miya
I think this is the very first BCP 2019 trip report (about a backpacking event in 2019!).
My favorite photo is towards the end with you, the rain hood and the coast in the background- your eyes tell it all: you are having a great time in the rain!
What is really nice about that area is that there are Eucalyptus trees all over, so it smells like the beach and soothing Eucalyptus (if you like that smell).
Haha yeah, Bobbi was saying I look upset at the rain, but I was sad to leave haha.
 
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#7
23 lbs? Your lens weighs at least that.
Camping by the beach is one of my favorite places to camp.
Nice pics and report.
 

Titans

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What is really nice about that area is that there are Eucalyptus trees all over, so it smells like the beach and soothing Eucalyptus (if you like that smell).
Haha yeah, Bobbi was saying I look upset at the rain, but I was sad to leave haha.
Eucalyptus too? Wow, now I’m really getting very jealous- ocean fragrance, rain and eucalyptus, probably my 3 favorite fragrances! You were very lucky :)
 
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#9
Backpacking along the ocean eh? Looks very nice - especially in January! Good job making the best use of the government shutdown.
I was hoping to have some good rain storms this past season to test out my new UL raingear, but it only rained at night. I'm sure the "opportunity" will present itself eventually.
That telephoto lens is almost as big as you are, lol..sweet pictures too!
 

Miya

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23 lbs? Your lens weighs at least that.
Camping by the beach is one of my favorite places to camp.
Nice pics and report.
Haha no, more like 3.5.
That was the closest I have camped to the beach before and it was very nice. I would be open to doing it again ;)
 

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#11
Nice fungi pics. It brought back memories of my undergrad mycology field trip to the N CA coast.
 

WasatchWill

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#12
I'm actually a bit jealous. I would love to camp at a beach like that especially with the nearby cliffs and all that to add to the scenery. Congrats on the decreasing pack weight too! Nice job getting out so early...I still don't know what my first trip of 2019 will be yet.
 

Miya

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I'm actually a bit jealous. I would love to camp at a beach like that especially with the nearby cliffs and all that to add to the scenery. Congrats on the decreasing pack weight too! Nice job getting out so early...I still don't know what my first trip of 2019 will be yet.
Yeah, I recommend! Everything I have looked at along the cost requires a permit, but the trails are open all year! The Lost Coast Trail permit seems easier to get then if you visit Point Reyes. Also, King Range Wilderness doesn't really have a permit system, but the trails aren't well maintained, just in case you and your family ever come over to CA. :)
 

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