Journal entry for August 6, 2010
Approximate distance hiked: 8.1 miles, 13.0 km
I woke up a bit before 9am, after almost 11 hours of sleep. The outside of the tent was very wet. The fog was very thick and because of this, there was a very light but constant drizzle. I did the usual morning camp chores and went to get some water from Ozette River. The ocean tide was high and it looked like it was pushing the river water inland. It was impossible to scoop water without me actually getting into the water. I felt lazy and gave up, deciding to get some more water down the road. This proved to be a mistake.
I broke camp at 10:30am. The first section was mostly sand beaches and what seemed to be a thick layer of dried seaweed.
I soon reached tree huge fallen trees.
The terrain then got much rougher. Way more than I expected. Lots of boulder hopping required.
I met a father and his three kids in this section. They were a little bit ahead of me when I got careless and made a long jump and landed on a big slippery and uneven rock. I slipped and my right shin drove right into the sharp edge of another rock. The pain was excruciating and at first, I thought I had broken bones. After I was able to sit down and examine the wound, I realized that it was just a very deep scrape (I still got a large visible scar four months later). After a few minutes, the father of the kids came back to check on me. That was a very nice gesture. Luckily I was fine, and after cleaning and patching up the wound, I was good to go.
I reached, a bit too early, a point where a tide of 4 feet or lower was required to pass. The high tide had been at 10:30am and it was still going down. I could either walk through 2 feet of water for a very short section, or climb up a huge rock and make a long jump that, just minutes after my slip, seemed like a dangerously horrible idea. As I was trying to decide what to do, I looked around me and realized that I was surrounded by tide pools full of starfish. I had seen pictures of starfish on Shi Shi Beach, but this was the first time I saw them on the hike. I stayed there for over an hour checking them out and snapping pictures.
Some more rough terrain followed before hitting one of two impassable headlands. For each of them, there are trails inland that can only be reached by climbing very steep hills. Luckily, they are have ropes installed.
The two trails are short and go through some very wet forest. At same points, the trail is hard to follow, but there are red fluorescent markers on the trees to guide you to the right direction. There are a few lookouts with spectacular views.
After I descended by rope from the second trail I was, without knowing at first, already at Shi Shi Beach.
At 2.3 miles, it is a very long beach. There were already a good number of tents set up. I finally found a stream of water from which to get water from. I hadn’t found any water source since Ozette River in the morning. I’ve only had about 10 oz (300 cc) of water all day, which was what I had leftover from the previous night. I walked down the beach to get closer to the trail head so that I wouldn’t have to walk as much the following morning. I set up camp about 100 yards from a large group of campers and ate dinner. For about 1 1/2 hour, I tried to start a fire but failed miserably. I’m sure the constant light drizzle was a factor, but I never really learned how to property start a fire. I vowed to do some internet research before the West Coat Trail the following week. This could one day be a life or death situation during an emergency.
It got dark, and with no fire, I decided to get into my tent. I soon as I get into my sleeping bag, I hear a female voice outside: “Hello? Hello?”. It was a girl from the group about 100 yards away. She asked me if I needed help starting a fire. I thanked her, but it was already 9pm and I think I was ready for bed. She told me that if I needed anything I could go to them. You meet the nicest people on the trail.