Washburne/China Creek Loops

March 1, 2005
Leader: Marshall Kandell

Threatening weather forecasts (after weeks of sun and warmth) yielded to Obsidian good fortune and we found the coast under a bright overcast, but otherwise mild and ideal for hiking. The only downside was the fact that the Washburne day park restrooms were closed; a matter easily resolved with a visit to the campground. The shore between the parking lot and the Hobbit Trail was wet all the way up to the bluffs, an indication of how high the tide had been. As we approached the Hobbit Trail we came across a treasure trove of unbroken sand dollars . . . ranging in color from dark gray to brown to purple . . . many with unusual butterfly, birdlike or feather headdress type markings on them. On the other side of the highway, the beaver pond was the highest any of us had ever seen it and the first of the many salamanders we’d see on the hike was doing laps in a small puddle. Moving along, bright yellow skunk cabbage flower pods contrasted against their dark backgrounds. We lunched at the meadow and then followed China Creek loop before heading back to the cars via the campground. A delightful day with but a couple of widely spaced raindrops (with the real rain only coming after we were comfortably settled back in the car). Hikers included members Nola Shurtleff and Marshall Kandell; lapsed member Lucile Peterson (who is rushing in her $20 for reinstatement); and non member Donna Clarke.


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