Hitch 1 (June 7th – 17th)
Day 1,2: Lost Coast Trail – Southern Segment / Chinquapin Trail / Nedalos Trail (9 miles cleared)
The first two days of Hitch 1 we worked on the Lost Coast Trail – Southern Segment clearing blow down with crosscut and handsaws, as well as clearing brush and opening the trail corridor with loppers. We set off on Day 1 from the Hidden Valley Trail Head southward on the Lost Coast Trail working our way towards the Chinquapin Trail loop, which we completed before returning to the trail head. On Day 2, after spending the night back at our BLM head quarters, we worked from Nadelos Trail Head west towards the Lost Coast Trail, once we connected back to the Lost Coast Trail we worked south clearing trail until hitting the southernmost point of the King Range National Conservation Area just south of Red Hill where the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park Begins.
Day 3,4: Buck Creek Trail / Lost Coast Trail – North Segment (9.7 miles cleared)
After spending the night again at BLM head quarters, we started the seconded installment of Hitch 1. Day 3 we worked our way south from Saddle Mountain Trail Head clearing blow down and widening the trail corridor along Buck Creek Trail. After a long day we camped at a beautiful site at the mouth of Buck Creek, where the creek collides with the Pacific Ocean. Day 4 we hiked south along the beach on the Northern Segment of the Lost Coast Trail. Hiking with full packs and tools in loose sand is a challenge, but the incredible view of California’s Pacific coast made up for the sore feet. We made our way to Black Sands Beach, where the SCA truck had been shuttled.
Day 5,6,7,8,9,10: Lightning Trail / King Crest Trail (8 miles cleared)
After a nice warm meal and restful sleep at BLM head quarters we headed out for the final installment of Hitch 1. Day 5 started at Lightning Trail Head, from there we cleared blow down south towards Maple Camp, where we would set up base camp and spend the remainder of our hitch. Days 6 and 7 were spent opening the trail corridor of King Crest Trail using primarily loppers and hand saws, we also had the opportunity to get some crosscuts singing near Saddle Mountain. Day 8 we worked up to King Peak, notching a large tree that had fallen over the trail along the way. We got creative with the crosscuts and made a foot hold and a notch to get a comfortable grip with your hand, this obstacle should now be manageable by hikers with heavy packs. King Peak was windy, but we ate lunch at the peak and admired the view from the highest point in the King Range. On Day 9 we completed two re-tread areas on the ridge and worked our way down King Crest Trail touching up the brushing we started on days 5 and 6. Day 10 started early with a fast and efficient breakdown of base camp. After camp was packed we made the trek out down the mountain back to the truck, the downhill hike was a nice finish to a successful first hitch.