Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Beach to Oil City

Last weekend we set out on the first camping trek of the year.  We did a coastal hike on the Olympic peninsula.  It was 16.1 miles and 3000 ft of elevation gain.  Where does elevation gain come from on a coastal hike?  Climbing over all of the big rock obstacles.  There are numerous rope assists to climb over the impassible areas of coast.  

We hit a wide variety of precipitation on this early March Olympic coastal hike.  The tidal shelves offer one of the most dynamic environments that I have experienced.  The conditions change from desolate to breathtaking in the matter of minutes.  The wind and weather sculpted surfaces seep into your soul.  

We practiced tying knots for rain tarps, rapidly and often.  In order to stay dry while we were not hiking we had to constantly set up rain flys.  We used two trekking poles and a nylon tarp to set up our temporary structure.  

In the picture above, we set up the tarp for a 7 hour stay while we waited for the next low tide.  We could not pass the final rock outcropping due to storm surges.  The storm hurled massive waves into the point, so we once again set up a shelter and read Edith Hamilton's "Timeless Tales Of Gods and Heros" as we nervously watched the high tide rise and the beach logs tumble.  This was the most daunting task as we were wet and cold.  We used the rest of our alcohol fuel for our coke can cook stove and ate our last hot meal.  We made offerings to Poseidon in hopes to coax a safe passage past Diamond Rock (pictured below).     

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