Malachai and I decided to take a new route on Cape Lookout yesterday! Usually we hike the Cape Trail, which is the easiest trail, and offers some really great views! Yesterday though, we thought we’d try something different, challenge ourselves a bit. So we opted for the South Trail. This is the trail that leads to the beach, and he love love loves to swim in the ocean!
We got ready by packing up a backpack with a bluetooth speaker so we could hear some music along the way, a couple bottles of Powerade, some nuts, and cranberries, and a bag of Fiber Trail Mix. James suggested we take some of the Fiji water we recently bought, and so we did.
The trail was a lot trickier than the Cape Trail as it’s a lot thinner, and there are a lot of roots growing in it. You often have to hug a tree while climbing over it’s roots as it’s kind of taken over the trail. There’s also a place where a couple trees have fallen over the trail, so be prepared to climb over that..
All of that being said, it wasn’t a hard walk at all. It was a bit challenging, and you had to watch where you were going more than you would on the Cape Trail. This trail is also pretty steep, headed down, so the way up should be a killer for us big folks! I was ready to brave it! Besides, it’d be a great trip for Malachai right?! I was winded all the way down. He really wasn’t without trying to beef up his workout.
We had a great time though. We listened to music from my phone using a bluetooth speaker so we could be listen. I’d brought headphones, but Malachai did not love that idea.
We saw mushrooms, and pretty flowers, and some ocean peaks and were really enjoying ourselves! About 1.4 miles in, we saw one of the most beautiful sites we’ve ever seen on a hike, a bench! It was kind of neat because my feet didn’t touch the ground from my spot on the bench which isn’t something I’ve been able to say probably since I was 10 or so. The view from that bench is amazing as well.
A few people passed as we sat and enjoyed some dried cranberries, some trail mix and peanuts. We drank some powerade and water, and eventually, we carried on. It was just passed that bench that our trip got a bit scary.
I felt something bite or sting my belly. Just as I was investigating what it was, Malachai screamed and I felt something sting my arm. I yelled to Malachai to run, and I followed.
We both took on and ran about a loop the bees in tow. Id been stung a few times already. After we stopped I was stung again. I realized one of the bees was in my shirts.. that’s two shirts then one bee. I told Malachai to turn around as I was ripping my shirts off. Lucky him, he turned in time.
Overall I was stung 8 times. Malachai just the once thank God, on his index finger. When I was a kid and I’d get stung in the foot my entire calf would swell, so I wasn’t sure if I was allergic or not. We kept an eye on both our stings, Mine swelled a teeny bit, and his didn’t swell so that was good, everyone was breathing anyway. The bees had been very aggressive through and actually chased us when we ran so we decided to call 911 just in case and let them know about the issue. They were glad we did and reached out to the forestry service so by the time you’re reading this, it might not be a problem any longer, but.. just in case, it’s something to be aware of. In fact, when we reached the beach we talked to someone else that had a similar experience. A camp group leader took a group on a hike the day before and 7 out of 12 of his group were stung.
Since we ran down the hill when the bees attacked instead of up the hill, we went ahead and continued on to the beach. What a neat place to swim! It was gorgeous! Firstly, the ocean itself was that beautiful green/blue color that you usually only see in winter and fall (due to increased seaweed). It does butt up to that cliff so maybe that has something to do with it? There were also very few people down there on the beach, which makes sense since you really have to work to get there. We played first in a warm tide pool, and then in the ocean for awhile.
Then it was time to discuss our route home. We opted not to go back the way we came and get stung even more, so our plan was to walk the beach until we came to a path, or public beach, or some other way out and back into civilization. Even if we had to walk an hour or two, we’d have to walk back up the mountain for an a couple hours to get back to our car anyway. So we walked, and walked, and walked. Malachai doesn’t really take pain to well, so it was a challenge keeping his mind off of his sting, which I can totally relate to, mine didn’t feel to dandy either!
We finally came upon a group of campers. They were staying at a private camp, but we could have cut through there they said. They said it was about a 3 mile hike back to any road of any kind. We decided to venture forth and see if we could do better. We could see HayStack Rock so if all else failed, there was Pacific City Right.. right?
Along the way we honestly enjoyed ourselves despite being exhausted. We swam in an inlet at one point. We stopped for lots of breaks, lots. We snacked on the treats we’d brought and drank water and powerade. We talked and talked.
So we walked until we came upon a large group of ATV’ers. They let us know the best place to cross up towards Sand Lake. At this point we’d been walking about 6 hours. It took about another hour to get to Sand Lake. We walked to the place where we were supposed to cut up to Sand Lake, we were exhausted though, and Malachai had a headache. I’d had one earlier, and I knew they were exhaustion headaches, so we took another break on the sand by the beach. I took a nap.
Just as the RV’s, ATV’s trucks, cars, and all of that became visible we realized, there’s no cell signal in Sand Lake. How was I going to call James to get us if there’s no cell service.
Was hitch-hiking with my son a good idea? I think no. Was leaving him at the camp-ground a good plan while I hitch-hiked a good idea? Imagine how worried he’d be knowing his mommy was in a strangers car. What if no one at the camp was even willing to drive me to Cape Lookout where my car was?
We finally walked up to the first available place to sit down and a camper there struck up a conversation telling us how brave we were to embark on that walk (He’s thinking we walked to the beach from the campground and back) so we told him about our little ordeal. He had a phone, and low and behold it worked! Just as I thought I would, as soon as I got James on the phone, I started out n out balling, and asked him to come n get us. I always do that. I’m as strong as can be in any situation, until I talk to him, then I’m a hot mess balling my eyes out.
While we waited for James Malachai played on some playground equipment, telling all the kids and moms of our adventure. I found a nice shady spot to take a break. Funny thing, Malachai and I were discussing doing a marathon together by next year at the start of our walk. I guess we’ve got the endurance part figured out :D.
So, today, I’m taking it super easy. Parts of my body have that good “I used these muscles” pain, and other parts like my calves that are seriously sunburned are screaming.
By the way, shout-out to my sunscreen! Malachai and I sprayed it on before leaving the house, but didn’t take it with us. Only places that we didn’t spray got burned, our calves for instance, which were subjected to the reflection of the sun from walking in the ocean. I’ll have to grab the can later on and give them proper props.
Right now, I’d kill for a Ribeye, and some sunburn spray.