Hiking the French Hill Trail

2 December 2011 in Trails/Hiking


French Hill TrailToday was another nice day. Our friend the sun didn’t show her face, but neither did our arch enemy the rain. Since we had just went for a drive the day before we thought maybe today we’d explore a little closer to home. So we decided to hike the French Hill Trail. We’d passed it several times, it’s right across from the Smith River NRA visitor center in Gasquet. So we drove down there after lunch and headed up the hill. And up the hill. And up the hill. It was switch back after switch back after switch back. 2.8 miles, 1600 ft. in elevation all the way to the top. The beginning started out nice enough with fern covered slopes and moss entrenched trees, but after the first quarter mile or so we ascended above this rich, green environment into a fairly standard forest of average trees in size and appearance with a forest floor consisting of the same three shrubs interspersed here and there. After the first mile or so it felt as if we had entered into a strange loop where we were continuously walking the exact same length of trail. While caught in this mindless loop we continually reminded ourselves of what we had read in the local trail guide, “occasional vistas” and a “garden like setting”. Occasionally we would come across an opening in the trees and have a pleasant view of the surrounding area. We assumed at the top we would be rewarded for our effort with a grand view of the valley below. This was not the case and after an hour and a half of hiking back and forth up the side of the hill we came to the end of the trail. There was no grand view and no reward for our effort, merely a dirt road leading back down the hill. But it was a good hike and a nice workout which is a reward in and of itself.

French Hill TrailAfter trudging back down the hill we only had a small amount of daylight left so we decided that was enough hiking for the day and we would go check out She She’s. She She’s is a tiny little diner in Gasquet with the most erratic hours I’ve ever been witness to. We stop there often to borrow their wifi from the parking lot and whether it’s Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, or any given weekday at any given time they’re almost always closed. Then some random Tuesday evening we’ll drive through and they’ll be open. Anyways we lucked out and they were actually open when we swung by. We just planned on getting a shake for Lindsay, a beer for me, and maybe an order of fries to split assuming those would be our only options being vegetarians. But surprisingly their small menu had a disproportionately large vegetarian menu containing several delicious sounding veggie burgers and even a veggie dog so we couldn’t resist. I tried the Vegetable Medley Burger and Lindsay had a Spicy Black Bean Burger. Then we both split an order of curly fries because the waitress mentioned they were homemade. Unfortunately the burger patties were just Boca burgers the cheapest veggie burgers you can find in almost any grocery store’s frozen food section. BUT She She’s went above and beyond when it came to toppings and this made an otherwise disappointing experience into joyful occasion. There was your standard lettuce, tomato, pickle pile, but in addition there were fresh mushrooms, zucchini, red onion, carrot, green pepper and red peppers. The final burger, once carefully stacked was a towering salad of a burger almost too big for our mouths. And the fries were great as well. It looked and though they had taken one extremely large potato and ran in through an apple peeler or a Play Doh Fun Factory Curly Fry Maker. The result was a heaping mass of corkscrewed potato so entangled we could barely pick it apart. Our only suggestion to the chef would be to add a steak knife to the plate to make untying this mess a little easier.

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2 December 2011 Trails/Hiking

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