|Photo by Devin Steenwyk. This is Wheeler black sand beach, where we camped the first night.|
The drive to the beginning of the trail is approximately 4.5 hours north of San Francisco, which includes about 6 miles of dirt road. If you plan on going, make sure you have a car that drives well on dirt roads. My car is not built for rough terrain, thus it suffered a little. To avoid starting the hike late in the day after driving for so many hours, we decided to leave the city on Thursday afternoon, and start hiking on Friday morning. We spent the night at Devin's parents' house in Willits, where we hung out with his lovely mom and dad.
After purchasing some necessary food supplies, such as stinky canned sardines for me, disgusting Velveeta mac'n'cheese for Devin, and a big bottle of whiskey for David, we finally got started at around 1pm. The crew (from left to right): Devin (guide and water filterer), David (GPS-tracker and firewood gatherer) and Monica (foreign-accent amusement-purveyor).
Above: the 6 miles of dirt road that you have to drive on to get to the beginning of the hiking trail.
|Jackass Creek, Near Wheeler Camp, Sinkyone Wilderness, CA|
The morning sunlight transformed the forest into this magnificent, dramatic spectacle. From any angle you looked up and every step of the way, the light was protruding and exploding between branches. If there's paradise, this is how I imagine it to look like.
Eel river, the place where we usually camp with our friends. We got there at around 11pm, set up our tents in the dark and passed out without eating dinner. Before heading back to SF the next day, we swam in the river, let the sun soak our sore limbs, bought some food and had a little picnic in a park in Willits. If that's not a perfect weekend, then I don't know what it is.