Ascent to Parson's-Starlight Beach-2Harbors on 2013-05-26
|Date:||Sunday, May 26, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||No Summit Goal|
| Elevation:||700 ft / 213 m|
Ascent Trip ReportDay 3 on the Trans Catalina Trail.
Last day of the trail! The profile said that the stretch between Parson's Landing to the end of the trail at Starlight Beach was all "Class 1" - meaning not hilly or super strenuous. With this (mis)information, we had a leasurely morning, enjoying our beautiful primitive campsite and beach and were hiking just before 9 am.
We were wrong.
Though the 7-mile stretch was BEAUTIFUL, it was acutally quite hilly and steep in sections. Nothing like the prvious day with super long stretches of up and down - but there were maybe 3 or 4 significant climbs and descents. The trail topped out around 700 feet... but we reached this marker on 3 different occasions after descending to 100 or so feet. So - I would reclassify this as a Class II secion, with the occasional Class III (apparently there were stretchs up to Black Jack that were Class III, but didn't really feel like it. So - this is something to keep in mind. Deceptively rolling is how I would call it. My husband gritted it out and kept bringing up the scene in Indiana Jones where Jones goes over the cliff in the tank and climbs back up. I replied that he LOOKED like that. Trip down to Starlight Beach was nice - beautiful views but we didn't really see a good way down to the beach - so we perched ourselves for 45 minutes above it, enjoying the views, lunch, and knowledge that we had completed the Trans Catalina Trail! All 37.6 miles :) WEll - that, and that we still had another 11 or 12 to go, in order to return to 2 Harbors and our campsite.
The way back to Parson's was uneventful - we were steady on the ups and downs, enjoyed the beautiful views of rolling hills, trees, golden grass, and blue blue ocean (all from a 100-700 foot high bluff!). Instead of following the TCT up and over to the Silver Peak trail, we ended up taking the West End Road - basically a straight and level 7 or 8 mile road that leads from Parson's back to 2 Harbors. It was pretty basic and we made good time. Lots of fingers to go around and though we could see the trail across a cove - it woud still entail 3/4 of a mile of walking one direction to avoid private cove property and then back... it got a little annoying - but by the end we were counting down the coves (Cherry....4th of July...etc). 2 Harbors was great - we had another overpriced coke from the general store, sat in dumbfounded silence for 5 minutes, and then hiked the 1/2 mile to our campsite. After cleaning up, we headed back down to the center hub of activity for the MOST EXCELLENT BUFFALO BURGER EVER from the bar. It was seriously fantastic. Took the early ferry out on Monday morning - overall it was a fantastic experience!
Nate ended up hiking something around 51 or 52 miles for the trip when it was all said and done. With my extra peaks (Orizaba, Black Jack, and Silver,) and slight, er, overshooting of Silver, it ended up being an extra 11 miles. So - perhaps 62 or 63 total?
Great hike - awesome experience! Would highly recommend to anyone to do this trail. AND it's great training for more backpacking trips!
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