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