Day 3, 7/30/2016: 21 km
We woke up at 5:30AM and got a quick start.
The trail was extremely demanding and progress was fairly slow. This was marked “the most difficult” section, and the trail was very steep and slippery and we were constantly clambering down the sides of cliffs and up muddy banks. I was happy not to see a single bug for several hours. The forest was beautiful.
Dirt Stew stopped me as I was teetering on the side of a cliff and showed me a Douglas Fir cone, pointing out the funny dragon tongue protrusions on the cones.
Meanwhile I was nervous about what would happen if we encountered one of these wasp’s nests in a particularly dangerous area. I could see myself falling to my death while running away from wasps. We managed to tip toe past several nests and arrived at Bear Beach where there were tons of people camped. We walked along the beach and my legs felt like jelly.
I was relieved to be through the difficult section but we had many more miles to hike to make it to the end of the trail, and I knew my legs would need to find some extra energy. We then heard that there were more wasp’s nests ahead, and I told Dirt Stew that I’m happy to finish the trail, but I wasn’t about to hike it again in reverse to get back to our car. I’d prefer to hitchhike back and day-hike somewhere else with our extra time. We hiked on to Mystic Beach which was absolutely crowded with people and their children. The last 2 kilometers of the trail seemed to last forever. Fatigue had gotten the better of me.
We were able to hitch hike back to our car without too much trouble and we drove to the nearest place to have a meal. After an expensive and disappointingly small plate of linguini alfredo, we drove back to the beginning of the trail at Botanical Beach and camped in the forest out of sight of the trail.