Washburne & China Creek Loops

February 21, 2010

You shoulda been there! Bright sunshine, crystal clear air, flat sea, shirtsleeve weather... in February!!! It was so clear, you could almost see the surfers on Oahu. And I've never seen so many families cavorting on what is now called Hobbit Beach. Basking in the sunlit meadow at lunch time, we could have simply had a siesta. But, believe it or not, it was getting too warm, so we moved on. You shoulda been there! Ken Rivernider and I were there and the rest of the club simply missed out on a truly spectacular coast trip.

TRAIL NOTES: There used to be a Hobbit Trail that went down through the trenches and tunnels of foliage from the highway to the beach. And there was an easier parallel trail with cutbacks that one could follow. Over the past few years, the original trail has been blocked off, first at its bottom and then at its top. All that remains now is the alternate easier trail and just a few yards of the typical old Hobbit Trail at the bottom. New signs now call that the “Beach Trail,” and say it goes to “Hobbit Beach.” Of significance for trip leaders is that Sullivan always listed the Hobbit Trail as ¼ mile from beach to highway, whereas the current Beach Trail is ½ mile. When added to the entire loop(s) that could make the difference between listing the hike as “easy” or “moderate.”

Also of note: Whether the hobbits did it or the winter storms, the bottom entrance to the Hobbit Trail is now blocked by a rock pile. We skirted the left side of the pile, but more nimble hikers could choose to go directly over it.

And, finally, I have previously reported on the mystery surrounding a cabin fire early last century that supposedly took a life, but never yielded a body. We had been told that you could still see the remains of the cabin’s rock chimney, but we never did find it. This time, we wandered a few yards off the trail and, thanks to the still low grasses, found the remains of the chimney. We still need to find the rest of the story.

Hikers were: Marshall Kandell (leader) and nonmember Ken Rivernider.

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