On the Fourth of July, Dave and I went up to Point Reyes to go hiking. We chose a trail that was supposed to be a loop of about 4.5 miles, though it didn’t quite turn out that way. It was a great hike in any case. We saw a lot of animals, rabbits and deer and, most spectacularly, a couple of elk crossing the trail just a couple hundred feet ahead of us. In one area we walked through that was relatively sheltered from the breeze off the sea, we encountered a whole flock of intensely yellow birds — some kind of goldfinches? — that were playing and chirping and hopping from branch to branch and chasing each other around.
Unfortunately, about a mile from the end, we discovered the last leg of the trail was under construction and not passable. So we had to walk all that way back, nearly doubling the hike. By that time we were already starting to get tired, and the fog was starting in and it was getting a bit cold, but there was nothing else to be done — that was the shortest available way back. Without a compass or flashlight on us, leaving the trails and trying to find our way back more directly seemed like a good way to get lost.
Fortunately we had plenty of water on us. No extra food, but there were wild blackberries along parts of the trail. It’s early for them and there were not all that many ripe ones, but the ones we found that were ripe were pretty darned wonderful.
By the time we got back to the car it was well after eight and we were wiped and famished. We had planned to watch the fireworks with friends of ours who live right on the Bay, but by the time we got a meal in us, it was too late to get there in time.
It may have been in part our own fault. We stopped by the park headquarters and planned which trail to take, but in the car after we left the HQ we changed our minds and drove to a different trailhead that looked more interesting and only a little longer. It may well be that they had had something posted at the HQ about that trail being out, and we hadn’t seen it.
Still, you’d think they’d post something at the last crossing before the section that was being worked on. If we’d known, we could have turned to the right and taken a different loop back to our car. The “closed” sign was two miles or so past the last crossing. Oof.