+ 3 additional miles fetching water hunting for a campsite
We awoke on Saturday morning in a cloud of fog. Droplets of mist hung in the air and soaked the tent. I was glad Daniel talked me into affixing the rainfly last night or we would have gotten soaked.
I walked south to filter water and find the privy. There are two outhouses in this area, and the one I found was well-used and had rotten floorboards. I was mildy terrified of falling into the tank below. During my PCT hike last year, my fellow hikers and I made a game of rating the trail toilets. This was not the worst toilet I had ever seen – that honor goes to the outhouses at the Little Jimmy Campground (which apparently I failed to write about in this blog post because I was too tired that day but trust me – they more than deserved the grade of F). The Sand Point privy was pretty bad though. I held my nose and decided to grade it a solid D-.
I found Wish Creek and filtered two liters of water that were an unappetizing brown color. We were warned of this beforehand and knew the color was leeched from the leaves. The water is safe to drink after filtering and tasted ok, but I wasn’t thrilled about drinking it.
I headed back to camp and we were about to hit the trail – when we paused for a moment to reassess our water situation. Even though I had just filtered water, we worried about running out. There were no reliable sources for the rest of the day and we might be dry camping tonight. So I hiked back to Wish Creek and this time guzzled a liter and filled every bottle to capacity. The side trip took almost an hour – but on the bright side, I mused, every extra hour of hiking counts for the hike-a-thon! Woo!
Once properly hydrated, we headed north along the coast. We planned our hike to coincide with low tide so that we could round the rocks at the north end of Sand Point along the beach. An overland route is available at high tide but it consists of a vertical path up the side of a cliff with a rope. No thank you!
I don’t typically hike on beaches, and was reminded of how fun yet challenging it can be. This is not a beach that can be hiked in flip-flops. We were constantly navigating either sharp slippery rocks or soft sinking sand. Rotting piles of kelp became exposed at low tide which attracted birds and other wildlife. As we walked, a cloud of sand bugs hopped over our feet in a frenzy.
At Wedding Rocks, we found a secluded campsite tucked into the trees. We set up camp and then spent some time hunting for petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are carved into the rocks by ancestors of the Makah Tribe. There are no signs and so finding them is like a treasure hunt.
As the afternoon wore on, the clouds burned off for the first time during our trip. We cooked dinner on the beach and watched the sun slowly sink towards the horizon.
This time, we left the fly off our tent. The lack of clouds meant we could see the stars as the waves lulled us to sleep.
To be continued…
The hike-a-thon is there! During the month of August I’ll be raising money for the Washington Trails Association. Read this post to learn more.