Olympic Coast : Apr 9-12, 2004 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Olympic Coast : Apr 9-12, 2004

Participants: Tash, Radmila, Alin, BeerSnob
Coastal Route: Rialto Beach to Ozette

Day 1:

We all start the trip off by dragging our butts out of bed at about 3am - BeerSnob picks everybody up and we are off to the Olympic Coast. After the easiest US border crossing in recent memory, and after a quick grocery stop, we arrived at the Port Townsend ferry with about 5 minutes to spare to catch the 7:15am ferry.

Leaving Port Townsend
Onroute

30 minutes later, we're back on land again heading for the ranger station in Port Angeles to pay up and pick up our bear cans - the ranger advised that the bear cans are really to keep the raccoons under control, and that at this time of the year, bears aren't that common on the coast. We jump back in the vehicle, and continue on to Ozette to meet our "shuttle" will meet us and drive us down to Rialto Beach. Although we left route 101 to take route 112 to Ozette, we were later told by our shuttle driver that route 113 is the better and faster route, and as we tok 113 on the way back, we agree.

We arrived in Ozette at around 12 noon, and met our shuttle. As most of us were at Tetrahedron the week before, and had used a eco-tourism style shuttle service, we were a bit surprised to see our shuttle as it arrived. The just don't make land yachts like they used to :-)

Our white Ford LTD Wagon "shuttle" (for real!)

As we geared up and headed north, the weather was looking great, and we were hoping that it would hold out.



The trail north from Rialto is mainly sand, and fairly well packed so it was fairly easy going.



We continued along until we reached the Hole in the Wall, where we decided to camp for the day. It felt like we really didn't deserve views from the campsite as we really hadn't gone very far, but given the time and the tides, we decided this was the place to stop. With 20-20 hindsight, we could have headed up to Chilean Memorial, but we didn't realize it at the time. It took us a little while to figure out that the campsites at Hole in the Wall aren't as clearly marked as we are used to - the key is to look for floats hanging in trees. Not that every float in a tree is a campsite, but it could be one :-) After setting up camp, we took our time snapping sunset shots:



Day 2:

This was the day that we discovered why it takes so long to go such a short distance. We packed up camp and hit the trail northwards again at 9:30 (ok, we weren't pushing that hard). After just a few minutes, the sand disappeared and we ended up on rocks: dry rocks & boulders above the tide, wet and slimy rocks in the tidal flats, rounded rocks, sharp rocks, you name it we saw it.


One strange chunk of rock

The tidal pools

"Mother?" nature showing off [:0]

The "trail" - smile Rada

The view northwards

On our way through the tidal flats, we stopped to snap a few photos of the sealife stranded in the tidal pools:



After about 2 hours, during which we passed Chilean Memorial and Cape Johnson, Sandy Island started to come into view, and we were back on hardpack sand on a beautiful beach (and there was much rejoicing!). We managed to pick pu the pace quite a bit, and in no time we were on the overland trail around Sandy Island, which is impassable. The view up the beach from the overland section is quite stunning.

The view north from the "pass"

Everyone blasting away - the overland marker is in front of Alin



We continued to snap shots of tidal pools, as well as one of the strangest rock formations I've seen: Almost looks like an alien skeleton of some sort - anyone missing a big dog?



Back on the trail again, we nearly passed Kayostla Beach without realizing what it was - we asked a group at the first campsite to get our bearings, and it turned out we weren't the only people in the area from Vancouver. We headed up a bit further until we saw a third campsite coming into view, and there were people there sitting in beach chairs drinking beer.

The beer-drinker in charge saw us, and walked over because he thought we looked a bit indecisive (he was right). He told us in no uncertain terms that we should pick the second campsite right now, drop the packs, and quit for the day. He explained that north of Norwegian Memorial the sand ends, and the rocks return for quite a distance. As this sounded like a reasonable idea, we did what he suggested. I talked with him for a few minutes, and it turned out that he's "Strider", a ClubTread associate who camped at the same location with a few CT'ers back in Feb. Small world!

After ditching the gear and setting up camp, we headed down to the beach to cool down.

The view from the campsite

Alin and Radmila head to the water

Cooling down!

Who needs expensive mud treatments!

Ramila and Alin decided to start "Survivor: ClubTread" by seeing who could stand in the ice cold creek water the longest.

The competitors

The winner!

We also literally broke out the North Face Frisbee that Radmila won as a door price at the VPO gear fest. I say "literally", because we really did break it. I think North Face should probably make sure that even their freebies last a little longer than one hour!

After frisbee, we started exploring the area around the camp, and nearly died laughing when we found the pit toilet - quite the "room with a view". Lots of room, and you're pretty much in plain view of the other camps:

Can't you just smell the view!

We finished the day off with a more sunset shots:




Day 3:

We must have been in high gear, because we managed to get going by the crack of 9am, with another hot day ahead of us.




Here comes the rocks again..

Our goal was to head at least as far as Yellow Banks, with the intention of pushing on to Cape Alava if we were still into it. Just north of Norwegian Memorial, the nice sandy beach turned back into a big pile of rock again, and it took us several hours to slog through that to get to Yellow Banks. We had our heads down concentrating on foot placements the whole way through the rocks, but we didn't really miss anything because there isn't much to see in this stretch of the coast.

As we started to leave the rocks and see sand again (yeehaw), Alin noticed something moving out on the tidal flats. It turned out to be 4 (mule?) deer, who pretty much ignored us, and even posed for photos. I've seen deer in lots of places, but I've never seen ones this tame before - they really didn't care about us at all. Unfortunately, my photos of the deer are awful - I'm sure someone else has better ones!

A few minutes later, we reached Yellow Banks. These photos don't do this beach justice - it is simply huge at low tide.

Tash on Yellow Banks

We parked on the point there for a 15 minute lunch before getting back on the trail again towards Sand Point, traveling on the huge beach which continued for a ways.



As we went past Sand Point, Ramila and Tash decided to head up to the top of the point, while Alin and I were blasting away (with our cameras) at more deer who were pretending to be mountain goats, standing on the steep eastern side of the point.



We agreed to head for Cape Alava, and we pretty much put our heads down and pushed it - I didn't take any photos of this part, and I don't think anyone else did either. I think we were a little "beached out" at this point.

We arrived about an hour later at Cape Alava, and promptly crashed.

Tash taking a break..

The previous day we'd been complaining that as the frisbee had busted, and that we wouldn't have it for the next evening. Turned out not to be a problem as we just weren't in the mood at all. We "uncrashed" when the clouds starting rolling in, the wind picked up, and the temperature started to drop. Prompted by the falling temp, we quickly set up camp and got dinner going. We amused ourselves listening to "Dad" sea lion yell at the kids at some distant island - never figured out where they were. A few sunset shots later, and we crashed again, this time for the night.



Day 4:

We awoke to the sounds of rain (and more deer wandering around) and with no disagreement at all, we decided to pack up and get out as quickly as possible. We beat our best start time by getting underway at a bright and early 8:20am. On the way back on the wet and slimy boardwalk, we were having some trouble with footing, when with 15 minutes to go, Radmila slipped and crashed off the boardwalk, wrenching her knee. About 1 minute later, Alin slipped and narrowly avoided a big crash with a big pirouette recovery (he even got a 10 from the French judge), poles flying in all directions. In spite of the slips and falls, we made it back to Ozette more or less in one piece, and were on our way back to Vancouver in no time.

The boardwalk back to Ozette.


We learned a few things along the way:

- as mentioned early, bypass hwy 112

- at this time of year, all of the water sources look equally brown and ugly - no point in passing one up for another, as they are all the same.

- tides make a big difference - in some places, low tide is the difference between bouncing off boulders or walking in the tidal flats. We were lucky as our low tides were at 11am, noon and 1pm, which is pretty much perfect.

- campsites and pit toilets can be hard to find in some areas - you have to keep an eye out

I'd like to thank Tash for doing a great job organizing the trip, and everyone for a great weekend. Thanks a lot!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 09:05 PM
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Nice job on a detailed report Beersnob.
Thumbs up to everyone there
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 09:14 PM
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Damn you met my hiking buddy Strider!

Excellent TR! Makes me want to head on down there next month. Some favorite and familar spots for me on this hike(Think I recognize that toilet! ha ha). I love that coastline! Thanks for sharing.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 09:19 PM
 
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Great report and photos BeerSnob. I doubt you could have been more lucky with the weather, at any time of the year.

As soon as I read the line about beer drinkers in beach chairs, I knew it had to be my old pal Strider. I'm not the least bit surprised that he was taking advantage of the warm sunny days on the beach.

It's a beautiful stretch of coast along there

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 09:38 PM
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Very nice report! I've gotta check that area out one day [8D]

Gotta love those slippery boardwalks...

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 09:47 PM
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Looks like a great trip was had by all . And great [8D] sunsets too!

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 10:21 PM
 
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Photographers paradise. One of these days, I'll go back again to do some more exploring of that area. ( The Rain Forest!!! and Cape Flattery!!! Beautiful). Great report and pictures glad to see you had a fabulous trip as well.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 10:47 PM
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I really enjoyed your trip report - you have some fabulous pictures and I especially love the sunset shots. Thanks for sharing.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 11:09 PM
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Great report always love those ocean shots.
Brown water still tastes mostly the same. I think it's the brown soil runoff that gives it that color. []

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2004, 11:23 PM
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Outstanding report-I'm green with envy and need a coastal fix in a big way!Great photos...
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by trigger

Great report always love those ocean shots.
Brown water still tastes mostly the same. I think it's the brown soil runoff that gives it that color. []
'Cedar Water' 'B.C. Champagne' It 's the conifers that provide the colour

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 08:58 AM
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Another nice area to explore
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 11:27 AM
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Wonderful report Mr. Snob.

Mother Nature sure did quite a bit of "showing off" for y'all me'thinks!
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by exscape

Wonderful report Mr. Snob.

Mother Nature sure did quite a bit of "showing off" for y'all me'thinks!
I was wondering when someone was going to notice that!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2004, 12:24 PM
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