Well, yesterday around noon I finally finished my hiking. It put a cap on about 5 days of spectacular hiking along the Washington coast. All of those days were grey except for one full of blue skies. That day was also probably the most fun since there were 2 headland sections that saw me waiting for waves to recede before rushing around the cliff, all instead of waiting for high tide to go back.
I'm a bit lazy right now to do a proper write-up, but it's easy to say that the coast was more amazing than I had expected. The moment I walked out onto the beach at Oil City, I was completely mesmerized by the odd black and white of the coast. The sky was blanketed with white clouds, the ocean had no real color since the sky had none, and there was nothing but thousands of driftwood logs around as well as seagulls bathing in the water where river met sea. That first hour was completely perplexing, but soon the feeling faded (sadly) and I got used to the way that the WA coast is. I met well over 20 incredible people. Camped with quite a few. Had a great stew with a group of retired guys from Orcas Island who had caught Black Bass, Mussels, and seaweed (not a tough catch) that morning and treated me to some. So delish. Other highlights were having a cup of chai tea with a couple from Seattle, and having a conversation with a Russian woman about their situation with Georgia and the way the US media is misrepresenting what is going on over there.
Somehow I managed to get not a drop of rain in my 10 days of Olympic National Park hiking. I got to what I assumed was Cape Alava, which really is just a stretch of beach with no definable characterististics other than maps show it as the furthest point west on land in the lower 48. At lowtide, turns out there is an island that the locals call 'cannonball island' that has an exposed sandbar which allows you to hike further west on it. I hiked out onto this island, but not before nearly tripping over a beached sea lion! What a massive creature, and its laziness somehow made me sad. Out on that island, I had the place to myself, took some pictures, and ate a celebratory apple since my celebratory beer had been drank the night before. Of course it was cloudy and I could hear waves crashing, but there was also the cacophony of hundreds of sea lions moaning out on another island a mile or so out to sea.
Walked 3 miles back inland, and within an hour had a lift back to Port Townsend with a fascinating man who actually has a house in the park on the beach, hidden behind trees, that he refused to sell to the govt when they tried to take all of this land to build the coastal addition to the park. Great conversation with a cool man to end the trip.
Last night I actually took a real shower, did real laundry, and slept on a real bed, all things I hadn't done since Skykomish. Even had a towel! Tonight and the next few nights I plan on sleeping in the WWII bunkers in a state park just outside of town. It's right next to the beach, so I can wake up and stare at the waves as I munch on a bagel. Come Friday at 6:00 pm, I'll be loading onto a ferry headed for Haines, which is some 3 days away at sea. Getting excited.