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.