Monday, April 13, 2009

Gortex is great!

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This last weekend I went out to the peninsula to hike the Ozette loop on the coast. The hike is a 9 mile loop on the coastal section of Olympic National Park and is beautiful.

It was misting when I showed up at the trailhead around 2pm Saturday and kept it up until about 30 minutes before I got to my campsite when it really started raining. The hike out is a 3 mile boardwalk through old growth forest and a few bog areas. One description I read about the hike said it was like hiking through Jurassic Park and now I can see why. The trees were massive in places and I have never seen so many huge ferns in my life.

Once I got out to the beach I realized I had picked the tides pretty badly because there was no coast to hike. I got up onto the coastal park of the trail that is washed away in many places. After fighting up and around several washouts I was soaked through from breaking through ferns. After a little while the tide receded and I was able to climb back down to the beach and hike there.

I got into my campsite about 6, quickly setup my tent and tossed everything inside. After changing into head to toe gortex, grabbing my block of cheese and beer I had brought along, I headed out to climb one of the many short sea stacks and watch a seal search for dinner.

Once it started getting dark, and raining harder, I retired to the tent and read until bedtime around 9:30. To many people this sounds like hell but I cannot think of a better place to be.

I got up Sunday morning to more rain but a bone dry tent. I made a little breakfast and tried to explore the tide pools. When I got to the beach I realized the wind had picked up to about 30-40mph and it was nearly impossible to see where I was going. I reluctantly headed back to camp, picked up my pack, and headed to into the wind toward the trailhead that would take me back to the car.

Fighting the wind and rain while stumbling over the rocks on the beach was tough but was over quickly enough. I made a little detour to try to find some indian petroglyphs (sp?) over at wedding rocks but gave up after about 15 minutes. I will wait until the sun is out to find those.

Once I got off the beach it was a short hike back to my car and warm dry clothes. The weather is supposed to be nicer this weekend coming up so I am kicking around the idea of heading back out.

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