Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We did it!!

Roger and I completed our four day 40 mile Skunk Train Trek as planned. Here we are celebrating at the halfway point!!

Two tunnels were encountered, one at Summit near Willits and one near Fort Bragg.

The "Motor Car" was seen during its daily run between Willits and Northspur. We had a copy of the train schedules and knew when to start watching for it but it was easy to hear it coming.

The first evening we started to set up camp in the woods and discovered hoards of mosquitoes! We decided to move back into the open beside the tracks where there was a bit of a breeze and fewer mosquitoes. No trains were scheduled between lay down and get up so it was a peaceful night!!

Roger is a birder and kept extensive notes. He said he will send me a list of the more than forty different birds he noted during the four days.

We encountered only one person during our trip! There were lots of tourists on the excursion trains but they were just a brief blur of faces, then gone!

Northspur is pretty much the half way point and the destination from either Willits or Fort Bragg. There are concession stands, barbecue, souvenirs, etc. but it was all quiet when we passed through.

Some of the old growth Redwoods still exist but most were hauled off via the train.

The diesel powered excursion train was seen between Fort Bragg and Northspur several times.

This is the tunnel near Fort Bragg. This deer did not go through the tunnel.

This is the railway maintenance truck returning to Fort Bragg after a day of work.

I took 633 photos and will cull them and then make a slide show to be posted at a later date.

Our new equipment worked as advertised! My NeoAir air mattress seems a bit narrow but it was very comfortable. I like it! My Mariposa Plus backpack held my 30 pounds of gear quite nicely and the mesh pockets on the sides were very handy for daily walking essentials, (water bottles, water pump, snackage, train schedule) without having to open and dig down into the main pack.

"The One" tent was perfect. It set up fast, kept the mosquitoes out but let in fresh air for a comfortable nights sleep.

Roger was pleased with his cuban fiber tarp and backpack.

Roger is the more knowledgeable backpacking cook and we had great (pouch cooked in a cozy) lasagna/pasta one night and a rice, onion, etc, burrito another evening. Excellent.

The home built cat food can alcohol stove worked great.

We are already planning our next event!!


  1. Hello Ron, I've been lurking on your blog for the past few weeks and when I saw your note about hiking from Ft. Bragg to Willits I was a little surprised (and worried). Glad to see you made it though, I bet it was an amazing hike!

  2. Congratulations Ron - you're an inspiration. Pretty bold move kipping down by the track there - in the UK I wouldn't guarantee an un-timetabled conga of nuclear waste wagons wouldn't be rumbling through overnight.
    Much like the term snackage you coined - I'm using that one now.
    Perhaps suitable for those mozzies you encountered, here's a naval term I stumbled on a while back - an embuggerance which is self-explanatory I think.

  3. Like, WOW! What a wonderful trip. Especially to walk the railroad tracks.

  4. Congratulations Ron! Looks like it was a wonderful trip!

  5. Congratulations! Looks like it was a great adventure. I'm anxious to see Roger's bird list.

  6. Forty Miles Wow! Outstanding walk, I cant wait to see more great photos.

  7. When I lived in Mendo, that railroad was one of my hiking/walking/canoeing places. I never went anywhere near as far as you two did. Kudos to both of you.

  8. What a very neat hike. I am looking forward to the slide show. Camping by the tracks would not appeal to me but it's better that Skeeters.

  9. I was so impressed that I shared your adventure with a friend who has a backpacking blog. He shared the story with his readers... check it out.

  10. Hey, i live in fort bragg and im 17 and i was planing on walking the tracks with my frends if you have anything that would help me that would be awsome