I will leave tomorrow for San Diego and intend to walk/jog the coastline up to the Oregon border, solo, self-supported. I will be documenting this journey with a SPOT tracker, GPS watch, blog, Instagram, and Facebook, perhaps my journey can set a benchmark at least for a female, solo, self-supported traversal of the coast.
To anyone following my journey, I am restarting today. Here is what I posted on Facebook:
Take two. I didn't realize staying at a friend's house would disqualify me from a "self supported" fastest known time on the California Coastal Trail. In retrospect it's obvious. But this gave me the opportunity to drop a few things I realized immediately were weighing me down, namely my solar charger. While it is a nice insurance it is really heavy. This means I might not be online as much for this trip. Only when I'm near a charger. Thank you to my friends @ffcccompetetor_erlyell for taking my excess things for me and giving me a place to stay last night. Now I realize that even handing my things off to friends would be considered support, it's taking advantage of anything that's not available to everyone. So I plan to start my journey again this morning at the Mexico Border.
The SPOT timestamps seem to be seven hours ahead of Pacific time. Looking back at my SPOT and FitBit GPS data, I began the run on August 20th, 2017 at approximately 12:10:58 and ended the run on October 4th, 2017 at approximately 06:51:07. This works out to 44 days, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 9 seconds.
The Wikiloc mapping program calculated 1,171 miles based on my GPS data, so I seem to have covered 26.1513 miles per day, nearly a marathon. There were a few boat rides and the Uber through Camp Pendleton was 20 miles, so I'm estimating that I ran/hiked roughly 25.5 miles per day.
A link to my Strava page, which shows my FitBit GPS data. My FitBit stopped charging about three quarters of the way into the run and I abandoned using it. www.strava.com/athletes/2326452
When I had to cross rivers I usually took the official alternate route so that I wouldn't have to hire a boat. If I encountered a section during high tide I sometimes also took the alternate route. A couple of sections of the trail were closed, so I had to take the highway. I had to get an Uber through Camp Pendleton because they wouldn't let me run through, and I couldn't run on the highway -- I figured this would be an issue every runner would encounter and Uber/Lyft are available to everyone for this section. I swam across one small river near the border with Mexico, waded across another, and took public ferries across two others, I also hired one private boat as the trail recommended. There were small sections that were not well marked where the trail seemed to disappear, I did the best I could to follow it. There was also one section where the trail markers differed from the official trail maps, I followed the markers.
I did the trek solo, self-supported. I did not meet any family or friends along the route, with the exception of one person I knew who I happened to run into at a Whole Foods in Santa Cruz, she thought I had moved to the area and had no idea I was doing the run. I did not get in any vehicles with the exception of those mentioned above. I had to make detours along the route to buy supplies, shoes, a jacket, etc. and when I did this I tried to leave from and return to the same place on the trail. Per my research it seemed allowable to accept gifts from trail angels I encountered, so if offered supplies, free meals from restaurants, or free housing/hotel rooms I sometimes took these offers. Nothing was pre-planned and I had never met any of these people before.
Post by Peter Bakwin on Oct 10, 2017 8:35:01 GMT -5
Beautiful report Natalie! Your adventure & experience reminds me exactly why I started this site - I wanted a place where people could share stories like yours!
Excerpt: Far off in the distance, I could see a lone light on the beach. I ran toward it, probably for a mile or two. As I approached, I could make out figures around a fire, their shadows made it look like a cult gathering. I stopped to say hello, it was a group of three young men, drinking. One of them stepped up to talk to me, and I told him about my trek. Everything he said seemed profound, there in the middle of the night on the deserted beach. "What devil possessed you to do this?" he asked. I told him that for some reason, unlike other people, I wasn't content not doing things like this. I wasn't sure why, it's just the way I'm built. He ended the conversation with, "I hope you find what you're looking for."
And another: This trip has given me a new appreciation for the utility of braids, trail mix, bungee cords
Hi Natalie! I just read about your OKT in Ultrarunning magazine, which led me here, where the comments made me certain I’d like to read your blog, which appears to be invite-only. Is your complete report (which has excerpts posted by another user here) available elsewhere and/or can I get an invite to read it? Please and thank you!!