Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hidden Road to Patrick's Point

Go alone. Bring a knife. Put food in your pocket (and a cell phone). This is where the hidden road at Big Lagoon begins. Yes, you have to cross a perilous "bridge" where the road has eroded into the ravine on both sides.

Then the road dives into spruce and redwood forest.

See, it's a highway, forgotten.

Many, many paces later the road dissappears completely. Don't think about bears or mountain lions.

You see a trail that sharply veers to the right. Follow this through the redwoods.

After many, many paces, and after climbing over trees fallen by winter storms, you'll emerge on a road. If you look closely through the trees you'll see a Yurok house through the spruce and alders. Find the path into Sumeg Village.

You see no one there. Crawl through the circular door of a house and enjoy the extremely dark and quiet moment.

You emerge from the earth and walk around the village admiring the structures, like this sweat house.

You find a narrow mossy path to a native plant garden. You wonder when it was last tended; it's the wildest garden you've seen in a long time. But would you really want to change anything?

Then the forest opens and you see a vast coastal prairie: douglas iris, salal, native blackberry, yarrow, and pacific reed grasses.

You step onto the Rim Trail because you've never been there.

And discover a meadow of sedges just around the corner.

And notice first flowers of spring: salmonberry barely unfurling their petals.

You wander aimlessly. It's imperative to lose yourself for a while.Tthen you can find the trail back home. Here it is: the beach below the sandy cliffs.

You watch as a few dark figures pick through the rocks looking for agates. You ask the ones you pass if they're having any luck. Just small ones. Then you jog home to give your lungs a stretch.

Not a bad place to live, really.


Anonymous said...

See here

kate said...

Wow ... this was the best hike I've gone on for a long, long time ...what a wonderful place. I love the wild garden and the salmonberries just opening. You are one lucky person!

Anonymous said...

See here

mmw said...

The first time I've wanted to live in a colder, wetter part of California.

chuck b. said...

why do I need to pack a knife?

Gardener of La Mancha said...

In case you need to gut a bear or take a cutting, of course.