Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 1: Willows to Masterson Camp, Mendocino N.F.

a. 6955’ gain. 54 miles. Night spent at ~6200’ elevation.
b. Camped at USFS Masterson Group Camp. The gate to the campground was locked, so nobody else was there. The campground is ~1/4 mile off the road, in the woods, and has a water spigot, picnic tables, and pit toilets. Plaskett campground, which was open to car campers, is across the road, but we didn’t look at it to see if it is nicer than Masterson.
c. Food: There is no food available directly on route after you leave Willows. There is a café in Elk Creek a mile or two off route.
d. Road info: Paved until Alder Junction (at mile ~40), then high quality dirt for the next 14 miles to the campsite. All roads had little traffic, except the first few miles out of Willows, on which there were a surprising number of cars heading to an auto-race-track outside of town (although this may have been due to that fact that we were there on a Sunday morning.) The roads were well marked with no major navigation problems. The road names FH7 and CA-162 are the same – some maps use one, some use the other, and on the ground intersections might be marked with either. To simplify navigation to the point that you wouldn’t need the Mendocino NF map, you could skip the 21N07 section and just stay on FH7; 21N07 runs parallel to FH7, and its only advantage is that it is a more minor road with a little less traffic.
e. Water availability:
i. Stony Creek crossing at mile ~21 (water available in creek).
ii. There is almost certainly water available at Alder Springs Station (1/2 mile off route at mile ~40) but we didn’t check. Alder Springs Station is a fire station and correctional facility.
iii. Masterson Group Camp.

f. Miscellaneous Notes: There is an overlook with a reasonable place for a picnic meal (or rough camp) at the Rattlesnake Firefighter Memorial, at mile ~35, at 2800’ elevation.

No comments: