I headed up to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state over the Memorial day weekend to hike the coast route within Olympic National Park. I drove up from Portland on Friday night and spent the night at a campground about 50 miles from the trailhead.
I got to the trailhead on Saturday morning with the intention of hitchhiking up to Ozette Lake and hiking the 20 miles south back to my car at Rialto Beach. When I got to Rialto, I very quickly nixed that idea as there was no traffic coming or going at 7:00 AM. Since the tide was low, I decided to just start hiking to enjoy the day and do an in and out and still get in my 20 miles.
The day started out over cast but quickly burned off.
I started hiking at about 8:00 AM and made it about 4 miles before the tide forced me to take a break. The route is a combination of beach walking and scrambling around rocky capes. If the tide allows, you can get around the capes, but if not you either have to wait for the low tide or hike on overland routes if available. I found a nice cove with a fresh water supply and waited it out. The weather was glorious, absolutely beautiful. Especially for that part of the country.
At about 3:00 in the afternoon after the tide had turned, I continued hiking until I got to Norwegian Memorial which was 10 miles. I set up camp and enjoyed a beautiful sunset. The next day I ventured on up the beach another few of miles as a day trip.
Finally got to try out my new Blackbird somewhere other than the basement. It also gave me an opportunity to try out my new Oware pad. I have to say that it worked well in the double layer BB. Just as comfortable as my under quilt, but I was cold one night. Itís the 40 x 60 x 3/16" pad. Iím a cold sleeper, and I have to say about 45-50* is the comfort rating for me with this pad.
Iíve worked hard over the years to trim down my weight and have been struggling lately with building it all back up with the hammock setup. Since I always bring a small pad anyway for lounging around the fire and such, I thought that I really needed to find a way to work the pad back into the system since I am carrying one anyway. I think itís a great summer fast and light set up, but at 3/16 of an inch, the pad is fragile.
On Monday as most of the holiday hikers cleared out, I headed back out to camp within about 5 miles of the trailhead to make for an easy out on Tuesday. Woke up to wetness and hiked out in the sideways rain. This was the rain forest I was used too.
More photos of the hike here