Olympic National Park - Ozette Loop - Day3
Mark is trying to get me out of the tent. I grumble and try to snuggle further down into my sleeping bag. I am not ready to face the world yet this morning. But soon it becomes apparent that the world is not going to let me hide away. I drag myself out of the tent, eat my oatmeal, and sip hot chocolate. I have to put sunglasses on, my eyes are being light sensitive. Great, I don't need a headache to hike out with! The pain never comes to the foreground though. Maybe it's my surroundings. The sparkling water and fresh ocean breeze might be convinsing my body to play nice. I can only hope it has a lasting effect. A dow and fawn walk down the beach past our camp. It takes to long to get the camera and once I have it, my eyes refuse to wake up enough to focus, making the all manual camera impossible to use. Darn!
We are a bit slow to get camp taken down and packed up. I get my tasks done and while Mark does his I go out on the beach for some personal yoga. This includes skipping stones, stretching, a few traditional poses, and just plopping my tush on the sand and closing my eyes...letting my ears tell me of my surroundings. This seems to do the trick and I finally find myself ready to face the day of heading home. A tough time for me on most trips.
We are packed and heading up the hill away from the beach. I have to stop one last time and stare out at the brilliant blue water edged with white surf. I try to imprint this scene, and the sounds and smells that go with it, into my mind, to save for later when I am needing this tranquility and can't reach it in person. I take one last deep breath and head into the forest.
Mark and I are counting the stairs on our way out...curious if what we had been told was accurate. By the time we are back at the split of the loop we are shaking our heads and apologizing to our knees. One hundred steps was a cruel joke...we counted 795 in a three mile trail section!
When we get close to the parking lot we are aproached by a group of backpackers. They are seeking a little trail magic. They have just completed the beach section from Rialto to Sandpoint and are hoping tofind a lift back to there one and only car at the far trailhead. We are heading the opposie direction once we hit hwy 101. We offer to take someone that far if they don't find a better offer. But as Mark and I are walking towards our car, my mind turns to my hopes to do sections of the PCT this summer and how I may very well be hoping for some trail magic myself. Give a little ....get a little. I drop my pack at the car and walk back to tell the hikers that we will take someome to Rilato, it's really not that far out of the way. They are overwhelmed with delight, for a moment I think I may get hugged by all of them at once. I feel wonderful we are doing this for them.
Mark and I munch a little while we chat with these folks. It turns out to be a small world. They all at one point lived in Eugene Oregon at the same time I did. One woman is interested in my ideas about the pct. As we talk I feel we are kindred spirits.
One of the men goes with us and we talk the whole way, swapping stories. He tells about the women that I had felt had as adventurous a soul as I. I shake my head in wonder as it becomes more and more apparent that she really is a kindred spirit. This women lived in a snow cave in Colorado for a whole winter, she has biked to South America, she has done her best to make the most of life. Just as I get excited at the prospect of getting to know her further, I find out she is moving to New York in a few weeks. And yet we lived within a few blocks of each other for years and didn't know each other. I have to trust that if our paths are suppose to cross again, they will. For now, I will have to continue to wonder at my ill luck in finding other women who share my feelings about the oudoors. Mark sees my disapointmentand gives me an encouraging smile. He knows I don't mind that most of our friends are men and that in the most part I get along with guys better, but he also knows I hope to someday find some women friends who will share my adventures. K-sera-sera.
I notice a large owl perched on a branch right next to the road as we zip by. And the camera is buried in the back of the car! Darn! (Again!)
As we are heading across the water towards seattle we are escorted by two fully armed coast guard boats. A little nerve racking, especially since there are people at the gun stations.
Back home I revel in a long shower and then immediately grab up the hiking guides and maps, plop on the couch, and start dreaming of adventures to come.