Cape Alava, Olympic Nat'l Park, May 15-19, 2008 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Langley, BC, Canada.
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Default Cape Alava, Olympic Nat'l Park, May 15-19, 2008

Vida, Cathy and I set out on Thursday after work, heading towards the Olympic State Park for a weekend of friends and food.

Our real first food was at the Safeway in Oak Harbor, paninis and subs made by a very inept deli worker who actually believed we came all the way from Canada just for the sandwiches. Golly gee.

Friends and food (and overnight accommodation) were waiting for us in Sequim, coffee at Gary & Marlie's with Scott & Strider, and breakfast at the 101 Diner.

Under clear skies on Friday morning, we caravanned to the trailhead at Lake Ozette. We pulled into the parking lot, greeted by a rather large tour bus. It turns out it was a school group heading out, not in. We did it! were the cheers we heard when the kids got back to their bus.

Vida got our permits all organized, we got our packs and buckets organized, indulged in trailhead bevies, then we were off to Camp Alava.

Hot and humid. After a half year of cold, wet and rainy it was like hiking through the jungle. Sweat dripped off of everything. Long hot hike in, with our heavy buckets strapped to the front of our packs, finally we were at the ocean. It's always a glorious site to see your destination, and the beach is always a favourite of mine.

We found our sites, the guys set up their tents around the kitchen, Vida the photo-master had a scenic beach view property, and Cathy and I were protected in the trees. The guys headed to the beach to get the humungous logs for the kick ass fire for cooking and pleasure.

We had a sunset on Friday night. It was the warmest I've ever been camping. No need for socks or long pants that night.

Dinner the first night was steak and baked potatoes J

Saturday morning was another beauty. Breakfast was Egg Fats and camp coffee.

We packed up the raft and headed up to the Ozette River. We passed many beaches on the way. Feather Beach. Shell Beach. It's very odd how one beach can be filled with a certain item. The tide was still going out so we crossed the headlands using the ropes to climb up and down the slippery slopes.

We got to the camp at Ozette, and the guys inflated the raft. Now I know why Strider was picking up bits of plywood on the beach, they were his paddles. What a smartie pants. After a few attempts we finally got him to the other side. Back and forth the boat went, ferrying us and the pack.

What a beautiful beach we were on! I spent time on the beach combing for treasures. Cathy stretched out on a log in the sun and enjoyed her hot rock spa treatment. I returned to the group in time for O Dogs. Mmmm.

I finally found the treasure I have been searching for. A small green Japanese fishing float. Happy happy me! I have spent days worth of hours looking in nooks and crannies on every beach I've been on for the past few years.

After more lounging and beach combing it was time to head back. The tide was out now so we were able to fjord across the river. Lucky man Scott had his wenches ferry him across the river. We were able to finish up along the coast instead of going overland.

We got to one point, our only surf zone, we were looking at the anemones and starfish and someone noticed a sea otter in the water right by us. We watched him for quite a while. He was making strange noises at us. It turns out his fish was on the rock beside him and he was staking his territory. He then grabbed the fish and took off to finish his meal in peace.

Back to camp for more walks on the beach, campfires, and then finally a very late dinner of Cornish game hens over the fire. We had pre-dinner dessert of Poop Cake with tequila-infused oranges, and then chocolate cake in orange shells for dessert.

The roof went up this night as we were getting sprinkles.

Sunday morning was gray. Lazy morning. Woke up quite late. Camp coffee, pancakes & sausages.

The day was spent around the fire or walking on the beach. Cathy and I headed up towards Wedding Rocks but found the beach route not very interesting, nothing interesting on the beach, except for the strange guy walking. I did find bear scat and a dead deer. We could add that to our dead stuff tally. I believe it was 2 elk on the other beach. Stinky. Very very stinky.

Lunch was Scott's beef stew and fry bread.

All Sunday we had deer in and around our camp. They wandered to and fro, not afraid of us. Eating grass and the new buds from the fir trees.

That night Rocky the Raccoon visited us. I still think they are cute, but no one else did He was very bold, circling around our camp through the high grass.

Dinner was Rubble & Cheese. Mmmmm. Dessert was apple pie in a can. Very sweet and rich, definitely a dessert for sharing. I don't think anyone could finish their serving.

Monday morning, time to pack up, and sprinkly. Breakfast was biscuits & gravy.

We walked out in warm rain. Through the meadows it poured. Poured! Strider walked with his umbrella up, like a stroll in the park along a very wet boardwalk.

Somewhere along the route someone mentioned something about milkshakes. That is all anyone could think of. We cleaned up at the trailhead in preparation for our long drive home.

Clallam Bay was closed. No milkshake there. We ended up stopping at Granny's for milkshakes, ice cream, salads, burgers. Neat place with shelves full of salt & pepper containers.

We said our goodbyes and continued on our way. Strider & Scott are great guys to be out with.

We headed to the Keystone Ferry, and had time to stop in Port Townsend for a bit of browsing.

No problems at the border, hardly a wait at all. Back in Canada, and home.

Cathy and Vida, it was a great trip. Bruce and Scott, we are ever-grateful for your outstanding meals. We were truly spoiled. It was a wonderful long weekend away with friends ... and food ... and friends
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 10:42 PM
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Fantastic you guys!! One of these days I will get down there. Those pictures look very enticing.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:26 PM
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what a great trip report Nancy, I felt like I was right there!!

I wish I was, again... What great company! what a great location! What beautiful views - and oooohhhhh the food.

Nancy, Cathy, Scott and Bruce it was a pleasure to be there with you. I laughed until tears were streaming down my cheeks, and I was riveted by the stories that were told over the fire.

And oh my gawd the food.

If it had been just me, I would have been eating mashed potatoes with tuna but we had a plan, we had a menu and we had the most magnificent meals every day. Goodness what a luxury.

I'm still sorting through my pictures and have posted about half. The link to the slideshow is here. Come back in a few days, there will be more pictures in there.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:09 AM
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Congrats on finding a Japanese glass ball float. Especially out there where the hoards of people look every year. Its funny though, the ones I have found have all been in Vancouver Is.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:32 AM
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Gee talk about suffering! It's good to see what you can endure in the face of adversity. The only thing I see missing from your report is the inclusion of Tillamook Beef Nuggets.

This winter I picked up an old copy (1971) of Trips & Trails 1. It's an old book and maybe some of the stuff is outdated but it gives me a good idea of what the Olympics & North Cascades has to offer. Years ago I visited Deception Pass State Park and thought it was a very cool place. There are lots of great opportunities down there , it's just too bad it is such a hassle with the border waits.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:43 AM
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Great TR!

My wife and I have been trying to get Lake O for a while now.

Can you tell me about the ferry? cost, hours . . .


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:53 AM
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Oh my gosh I love that racoon! What a nice relaxing trip []. Vida, as usual your shots are amazing
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 08:27 AM
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Great TR and wonderful pictures, yes I feel like I am right there again - such a serene and amazing area to share with great company.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:23 PM
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 06:32 PM
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Looks like fun, good going gals
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 07:08 PM
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 08:02 PM
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Can you tell me about the ferry? cost, hours . . .

It's small (think bowen island) and as of last Monday it ferries people on a reservation basis. You can go on standby (as we did, on our return) but it's a pins and needles wait.

reserve at
or call
or 511

It's $16.50 for a car with three adults in it. The ferry across takes a quick 40 minutes (from Keystone to Pt Townsend).

The drive from downtown Vancouver to the trailhead is a heady 9 hours, which includes a 20 minute wait at the border and a stop at a store to pick up a lunch or dinner along the way AND avoid the deli at the Safeway in Oak Harbor!!

One more thing - the campsites at Cape Alava and at Sand Point are on a reservation basis as well. We were lucky - we were able to drive up and walk in. But starting this weekend (Memorial Day weekend) all the way to Labor Day, you will be taking your chances if you just show up. So sign up by visiting the park site ahead of time:

cheers - CWall
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 09:19 PM
Headed for the Mountains
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Russ to answer your comment on the border lineups, we went truck crossing on Thurs at 5:30 pm very few cars, and on the way back on the holiday Monday at 8:30 pm, about 10 min wait. We were very surprised (and/or we are just 3 lucky girls).
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 09:31 PM
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Yes that is a good choice and I've had the best luck there. It's also the easiest one to get to from my place. Thanks.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 09:34 PM
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Looks like a wonderful weekend!
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