The Lost Coast Expedition was a fun, off the beaten path trip on the Northern California Coast. Before we do the recap, the participants and the ROC Team would like to thank all the fire fighters out there working hard and risking their lives to fight the numerous wild fires engulfing Northern CA. While we were resting up for a fun filled day in the dirt, a number of fire fighters (about 3/4 of our hotel) were resting up before heading back out to contain the many fires in the area.
See our video highlights of this laid back adventure
On to the recap: We were all up bright and early for a quick breakfast, the drivers meeting and to pass out/receive decals and boxed lunches. We added an additional element of fun for this adventure: achievement decals. Those of you reading who did not get to participate in this event might be wondering what achievement decals are. Well, similar to patches earned in boy scouts and girl scouts, we came up with some challenges for drivers to complete throughout the duration of our drive. As each driver successfully completed a challenge, an achievement decal was provided to place onto the driver’s vehicle. The challenges for this weekend’s trip were Finding a lighthouse, Bigfoot, and a surfboard. Once they found the item they received their decal. The was some creativity when it came to Bigfoot.
With full bellies and necessary information shared, we headed out to find the dirt. The first trail we hit led us from the valley, up and over the mountain range, to the ocean and HWY 1. Once we hit HWY 1, we turned north toward the planned stops and more trails. Along the way we made a restroom stop to give people a chance to relax. The first achievement decal was earned here, with some creativity. A participant managed to turn a bench into a surfboard, thereby earning the decal.
Following the restroom stop, we made our way up HWY 1 to the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Once there, we stopped for lunch and to check out the sights. The weather was amazing, allowing us to get some great shots of our trucks and the lighthouse using the drone.
After a quick fuel stop we headed on to the Pacific Star Winery. While at the winery, we were able to relax on the beautiful grounds overlooking the Northern California coastline. A number of participants also took advantage of the opportunity to partake in a sampling of the vineyards various blends. Everyone who sampled the wine loved the wine, and they particularly enjoyed the wine bong (the thing that wine is poured into to aerate it).
Once the wine tasting and relaxation time was over, we made the short drive to the trail. This section would be the longest section of trail for the day. Turning up Usla Road, we headed towards the beach stop to let people put their feet in the ocean. Since it was the end of the camping season, few people were there and we only had one car to navigate by along the narrow road leading to the beach.
When we arrived at the beach, most drivers chose to park just before the sand and walk to the beach, avoiding the chance of getting their tires stuck in the sand. A few more daring drivers braved the beach and had a little fun kicking up the sand. Fortunately, drivers kept up their speeds and everyone was able to keep their tires from sinking into the deep sand.
After some fun on the beach, we headed up the trail to continue on the long section of dirt. Mid way through this section we ran across a fallen tree. And as luck would have it, this was the one time I didn’t bring the chainsaw. Luckily, we were able to navigate around the log and continue on to the rest of the trail.
Because we were having so much fun throughout the day, we ended up getting off the main trail section later than planned. As we were nearing sunset, we decided not chance taking the last half of the trail, as many of us were not prepared for night driving. Therefore, we turned to the 101 freeway and headed to Eureka. After a 50 minute drive, we reached Eureka and immediately headed to the Lost Coast Brewery for dinner. Everyone was tired after the LONG day – 255 miles from start until end – and happy to end the fun with good food and beverage.
We were all up early the next morning, ready to complete part 2 of our adventure. A few people decided to breakaway from the group and go directly to the Avenue of the Giants. The rest of us decided to head back to the trail and experience the shorter section we missed the evening before.
After a morning playing on the last section of trails, we stopped for lunch in an unknown small town. The lunch stop was good and the locals were, let’s say, “colorful.” Following lunch, half of us went to explore the Avenue of the Giants, while the other half of us started our trek home.
The Lost Coast trip was a different change of pace than the usual desert runs we do. The adventure was a blast and we all felt a sense of accomplishment after Saturday’s marathon day. As always, thank you to those who came and participated. We look forward to seeing you on the next trail run.