Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 2: Masterson Camp to Branscomb

a. 4530’ gain, 70 miles. Night spent at ~1600’ elevation
b. Camped in a rough camp in Admiral Standley State Recreation Area, which is a mile or two before the mill town of Branscomb. We camped 100 yards off the road in a redwood grove. We don’t think there is a formal campground in this Recreation Area.
c. Food: Groceries and cafes in Covelo (mile ~31) and Laytonville. There is a small store with limited hours at the RV park at the junction of the Black Butte River and the Eel River (mile ~20) There is also a small store with limited hours in Branscomb.
d. Road info: High quality dirt for 20 miles until reaching Eel River, including a fantastic long downhill run on smooth dirt. Paved until Dos Rios (mile ~46). High quality dirt for 13 miles to Laytonville (mile ~59). Paved after Laytonville. All roads were quiet with little traffic, except the few miles near the town of Covelo. Intersections were well marked and navigation was not a problem.
e. Water availability:
i. Black Butte River Ranch (mile ~20)
ii. Dos Rios (river water)
iii. In towns of Covelo, Laytonville, and Branscomb
f. Miscellaneous Notes: There is a forest reserve off route near Branscomb called Angelo Coast Range Reserve, managed by UC Berkeley.
This was the first Nature Conservancy acquisition in California, and protects an old growth Redwood and Doug Fir forest. We didn’t go there, but if you have time it may be worth a visit, as many of the forests you will see on this trip will have been logged at some point in the past.

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