Monthly Archives: September 2006

Trash for Good

This weekend we learned the secret to volunteer recruitment: pancakes! On Thursday night, Matthew picked apples and blackberries, and on Friday morning he cooked up apple-cinnamon and blackberry pancakes for anyone with an appetite. For those who didn’t have to rush off to Portland, San Francisco or points elsewhere, the morning was spent on the beach, picking up discarded beer cans, cigarrete butts, potato chip bags, and whatever else lay partially buried beneath the sand.

Lucky for us (and the birds), False Klamath Beach and Wilson Creek were fairly clean to begin with. We finished within an hour, and everyone had a chance to enjoy the post-beach-clean sunshine. More photos follow.

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Catch This Wave

It’s the biggest surf competition on the Redwood Coast. The 11th Annual Noll Longboard Classic is happening September 30 and October 1 in Crescent City. Anyone can watch and all ages can compete, so long as your board is 9 feet long or longer. This will be my first time gathering with the crowd at the beach, so I’m relying on the advice of locals, who say in chorus: "Don’t miss this one!" The competition is sponsored by Noll Surf and Skate Shop, a local mainstay since 1989 that’s owned by Rhyn Noll, the son of surfing legend Greg Noll.

If you drop by Noll Surf and Skate Shop (on "L" Street in downtown Crescent City next to Natural Harvest Foods, just off Highway 101 South), be sure to visit the world’s longest skateboard. The Guiness Book of World Records has recognized the 24-foot-long board, handcrafted by Rhyn Noll, as the world’s longest. With just 4 wheels and 2 trux, Noll’s skateboard reached 30 mph cruising down Howland Hill Road in 2002. (For more on Howland Hill Road, follow the link to "Things To Do" in the left-hand column).

 The Noll Longboard Classic starts early in the morning both Saturday and Sunday, and ends with the afternoon high tides. Follow Highway 101 to the southern edge of Crescent City, and you can’t miss it. Surf’s Up!


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Have a snack

Did you know that you can buy snacks, chocolates, drinks, pasta, soup (and more) at the Redwood Hostel? In honor of the Redwood tree’s Latin name, Sequoia sempervirens, which is roughly translated to "the everliving tree," we christened our little store Snack-quoia sempervirens, or, "the everliving snack." The selection varies, and the price is always right.

For example, if you were to stay at the hostel tonight, your choices would include Nature Valley Granola Bars, Clif Bars, Annie’s Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese, organic marinara sauce and organic pasta, Amy’s organic soups, Rice A Roni, canned mixed fruit, Santa Cruz Organic Soda, Martinelli’s Apple Juice, orange juice, soy milk, Pomegranate White Tea soda, ear plugs, laundry detergent, batteries, and padlocks for your locker. Or you could sample the Redwood Hostel line of gourmet chocolate bars and chocolate bark. The Red Eye Toffee features coffee toffee, kona coffee and dark chocolate…the Redwood Hostel bar comes with sweet cranberries and almonds…Lemon Bark is made from a tantalizing blend of candy lemon bits and white chocolate…and the Rocky Road Clusters taste as good as they sound. Our gournet chocolate is made locally by Sandy and Michael Nakashima, of Drakes Glen Creations.

We also offer up a number of free treats, such as a selection of (mostly organic) coffee and tea in the kitchen, as well as culinary spices, cooking oil, pancake mix, and tasty water straight from the well.


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Goodbye Redwood Hostel

As I watch the calendar flip to my last month of seasonal employment, I look back and reflect on what summer at the Redwood Hostel has meant to me. In the three months I have spent on hikes amongst the Redwoods, the hours spent staring at the ocean rock formations whitening waves, the time in conversation with travelers from both near and far, and the relationships developed in the family atmosphere that permeates the hostel staff, I think: “Time has gone by too fast.”

What an amazing place this hostel is. Worries seem to vanish when one can plop an elbow on the deck’s railing, sip from a hot cup, and watch the sun delicately slip into the Pacific. Indeed, I’m afraid coffee breaks will never be the same again.

The Redwood Hostel experience, for the global connoisseur and first-timers alike, is one that must be included and checked off your “to-do.” Each night, much like each day’s weather, has a different feel. Guests include young travelers, old travelers, families, and couples, international and domestic, all in coexistence. It really makes me smile when I walk into an aromatic kitchen and find a group in conversation speaking a language I don’t understand. On several occasions, I have been invited to share an evening meal with hostellers or join in one of our many board games.

Two questions that I’m often asked by guests are:

        1. What is your favorite hike?

By a good measure, my favorite is the Damnation Creek trail. It’s a 2 ½ mile trail that has a 1000 foot elevation change. It hikes from the redwoods, through coastal evergreens, and down to a rocky coastline where often it feels like your own private beach. There is even a little secret spot I have discovered and passed on to the managers of the hostel. If you walk north on the beach another half mile, there is a section of rock that has a little tide pool if you time your trip right. The hike back up 1000 feet lets your body know that you’ve been hiking- it’s invigorating. The whole trip, including taking your time once on the beach, is about 3 hours.

        2. What food items do you recommend from the office store?

We do sell a few high-carb items such as pasta and rice- which are both tasty. Also, we sell many snacks that get the job done as well. But, beyond any comparison, the finest item for sale happens to be “The Mark Bar.” Yes, I created my own chocolate bar for the Redwood Hostel. This brain-child of mine is currently the top seller in the store. It is a dark chocolate bar with real Kona coffee, toffee bits, and cashews. This hostel is the only place to find such a sweet-tooth-satisfier.

I want to say a special thank you and goodbye to the managers Kaci and Ryan. Your family brought a sense of genuine welcome to me, which is felt as well by each visitor that walks through the front door. You make this hostel feel like a home away from home and I thank you for helping to make this summer one of my best yet.

Goodbye Redwood Hostel. I shall return.

-Mark L.

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Goodbye, Mark!

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Writing among the Redwoods

The Sixth Annual North Coast Redwoods Writers Conference is coming September 15 and 16 to College of the Redwoods in Crescent City, about 15 miles north of the hostel.  Considering the hostel here is managed by 2 writers (she a journalist/poet; he a travel writer/novelist), you can bet at least one of us will be present for the conference. 

And even though they have not included us on their list of lodging/accomodation (I did contact them), we do humbly offer our services to the starving/struggling writer out there seeking an inexpensive bed for the night. (As of this writing, we still have 23 beds available for both Sept 15 and 16.)  As an added bonus, if any attendees stay here on Sept. 15th, they can carpool with us to the conference.  So you not only save on lodging–you save on gas.  Consider the cheery conversation on the way yet another bonus.

Learn more about the conference here:


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