When i received my new Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock on the 28th i ran right out with my I Pod to watch a movie from my new hammock.
After my movie i did a quick day hike up to a higher elevation and dug a few snow pits...did no like what i found. Fresh loads of snow in the hills meant Avalanche danger was too high for comfort. What to do...head for the Coast!
With short winter days i ended up at Hobuck bay just south of Cape Flattery the most north west point of the continental United States, just before sunset. With an off shore flow i would to clear sky's, a rare thing in this neck of the woods. The plan was to camp here over night and head down to Shi Shi beach in the morning.
When i hung my hammock temps were below freezing, and winds were breezy. Night came quickly and i settled in with a book in a cocoon of down.
Around one AM i woke to a horrible chill, and the roar of a strong gust of wind. My beard was frozen to my book.
The trees were swaying in the wind, my hammock with them. The doors on my Super Fly were flapping uselessly in the wind, the shock cord was no match for the wind. The wind was blowing beneath my under quilt. Fortunately i also had a 2/3 length foam pad in the sleeve as back up. I curled up fetal position to try and get my entire body on the pad. I needed to retention the tarp so i had to get out of the protective cocoon of down and foam.
I had to go pee anyway. I took care of the tarp first, then put a some water on the stove, then went pee. When i returned to check on the water there was still ice floating in the water. I wandered on to the beach. There are almost no street lights in this corner of the Olympic Peninsula. Only a few lights from ships at sea...and no land to the west for thousands of miles thus light pollution is minimal. The off shore winds blew the typical marine layer away...i stood shivering in the wind in absolute awe at how bright the Milky Way shined in the sky. Never in my life have i experienced such clear and dark sky's. Suddenly i remember i was heating water. I ran back to find ice still floating in the water. The wind was simply overwhelming the stoves ability to heat. Fortunately i was still car camping...i gathered up my stove an water five minutes in the jeep i had hot tea. And an empty fuel cartage.
Tossed six hand warmers in the hammock, finished my tea, adjusted the under quilt and crawled back in the hammock. I quickly drifted off to sleep in the wind rocked hammock.
The next morning i found some surfers that offered some weather info. Gusts reached 60 mph that night, meaning wind chill reached 0 during the night.
They offered me even more...this was a classic micro climate zone. During an off shore wind scenario a gap in two ridges accelerate any wind to gale force. They even suggested some places where winds would be calmer. I bagged my Shi Shi idea and headed further south. Stopping at easy access beaches. Ended up a Kalaloch beach for the night. Winds were non existent which mad for a much warmer night.
Here's some photo's i shot in no particular order.
Clam diggers on Kalaloch beach
Note the frost on the beach logs, and the surfer.