04 Jul To Erase Boredom, Step by Step!!
Well… not even two weeks into the internship program after training and I got covid. I’m housed in the middle of the woods, groceries are 3 hour round trips, training was delayed, and now what… covid? That was my first few weeks at this national park, I missed out on awesome wildlife survey due to my isolation all the while I had made over 6 round trips to the closest CVS hours away under the rain while I had a fever. Wearing gloves sprayed with Lysol and a mask, is how I entered CVS every time. Rounds and rounds of at-home covid tests kept telling me I was positive even after 10 days so I had to isolate for a total of 15 days!! With the last week kicking me in my sorry behind as families occupied the closest ranger station that had Wi-Fi.
In about the middle of my isolation when I felt better, I felt the need to explore somewhere. I had no work, only 2 paid sick days… and stuck at my isolated housing in the woods. So I decided to ease my temperament and boredom, with a quiet isolated hike!! To Gold Bluffs Beach!! An awesome campground off the beach of Redwood National Park giving a beautiful view of the cliffs and serene beach.
Standing at a private trail that leads down there, it was quiet. I was alone, which is fine since I didn’t want to spread my infection. “Davidson trail, 4.7 miles” to Gold Bluffs Beach… step by step through the wet squelching mud I went through the trail. Alone, random thoughts ring louder… *Creeeeeeaaakkk* the western hemlocks high up in the sky and young redwoods swayed side to side at the top with the wind, reminding me of a gruesome tragedy of how a large branch once fell on a moving car, crushing the inhabitants. It happens, as these trees are subject to the elements of nature, I wondered if a branch would fall on me… no one would notice haha! I’m alone out here on a private trail people barely visit! But still, alone I go through the waning forest.
The constant strands of spider webs and mosquitoes skating across muddy puddles were my company… and that one cursed large fly that flew constant loops with incessant *Nyeeeeeeeh* threatening to run into me. I had never felt such murderous ire towards a single animal before… I threatened it under my breath that if I could catch it, it would suffer.
Finally!! A divide in the road!!… with a broken sign… welp, I took my educated guess and took a trail path further in. Eventually the trees beside me closed in and the muddy path narrowed into a thin, gravel trail through dense underbrush and canopies. I was being confined by giant bushes and small trees on a trail barely a foot wide! Am I even heading the right direction? *Rustle* What was – loud flapping is heard as groups of birds flew away in my presence. Ha, for but a moment, I had prepared myself to encounter a black bear… or even a mountain lion with every occasional glance behind me. There’s no such thing as too careful if you’re alone in the woods. A small metal bridge comes into view, painfully sticking out against nature. Human infrastructure, means I’m going somewhere right?
As I stopped and the sound of my own foot step died down…. I hear it, the distant far sound of crashing waves…. or maybe that’s sound loud highway of the cars. But no!! It has to be the ocean!! What told me I was going in the right direction was that sound, the distinctive sound. The ocean roar was far, but not unreachable. Onwards! The smell of fresh wood and dewy underbrush keeps me going as the towering redwoods shelter my presence. But that eventually end up at a road, the driving road down to God Bluffs Beach. A few cars pass by as I cautiously stick to the sides… left or right, which way do I go? Well right never served me wrong so gut feeling it is! And phew was I right, asking a passing car directions just to make sure. About almost 45 minutes later, the slope descents, eventually I come to a Kiosk center. I give a thumbs up passing by… a bit too tired being backed under the sun on the road to say much. Just a bit more… my legs were not sore, but I was tired. 4.7 miles isn’t too long but the up and downs of the trails, and knowing the road down here was mostly a descent, the back trek would be no fun.
Finally, I arrived at my destination!!
Beautiful, sometimes ash colored beach with the cool salty breeze. Winding small lagoons, shells of mole crabs and evidence of life strewn about. The Pacific Ocean’s vastness in its full display. Hiking the trail here alone was in times comforting, and to some degree exciting to let your thoughts run free. Did it cure my boredom?! Well yes!! But I’m still isolated when I go back!! But the trail and the one back, was around 10 miles. It helped ease my frustrations over my situation, it was a hike and day I enjoyed step by step. Perhaps this is a simple self-exploring story to be shared to all interns and rangers alike. Each one of us having our own little adventures through the parks and trails. Whatever it is we do, let us enjoy it to our fullest even if we are down!! There really is no deeper meaning to this… now back to my lonely housing to eat some soggy canned peas, some store bought orange chicken, and pre-made rice!!