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While the US has passed the rest of the world in COVID-19 cases, it is hard to imagine days without a constant stream of breaking news about the novel coronavirus. The thought of future exploration brings solace during these uncertain times. I picture myself in a tent on the rugged coast of Northern California surrounded by old growth forest, sleeping under a dark night sky. My journey once this strange time passes will be backpacking the Lost Coast Trail.

A few days arranged around the rhythm of the ocean will be a welcome reset.

All aspects of this unscheduled trip excite me: meal prep, gear selection, studying trail maps and of course the hike itself. I’m already nostalgic for 6-hour drive from Truckee to Shelter Cove, with a Pink Floyd soundtrack.

The trail itself requires a bit of logistical planning as a permit is required and a shuttle is involved. The permit itself is free, but limited to 60 overnight campers per day through the Bureau of Land Management. The 25-mile hike, through the King Range Wilderness, also necessitates acute awareness of the ocean tides, as there are three stretches of impassable beach at high tide.

Thus far I have convinced three good friends from Tahoe to join me on this adventure. Beyond knocking out 7-10 miles of trekking in sand a day, I plan to pass the time with a morning yoga sessions, evening campfires and shared meals with great company. A few days arranged around the rhythm of the ocean will be a welcome reset. I look forward making this bucket list, classic Nor Cal hike a reality in the days ahead.