Tuesday, June 11, 2013

First Backpacking Trip of the Year

I recognize that I've been absent for quite some time. It's not really that I didn't have anything to write about. And it's not even that I didn't feel like writing. I'm not exactly sure what caused my prolonged blogging hiatus. I'm also not exactly sure if this post is going to end that prolonged hiatus or what. What I do know is that I went backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula this weekend, that it was beautiful, and that it would be a shame if I didn't share a few of my favorite pictures.

My friend Carolyn and I are training to climb Mt. Rainier in a few short weeks and so have been upping our hikes as of late but this was our first overnight excursion for the year.  We decided on the South Coast Wilderness Trail - Toleak Peak route on the Peninsula. It. Was. Glorious. Bald eagle sightings every hour, stunningly beautiful and rugged coastline for miles, and spectacular viewpoints. It has to be stated, however, that we earned those views. While every step of the way was beautiful, much of it was also one the most physically and mentally challenging things I've ever done. But despite a few dozen bruises and a tumble (or twenty) it was well worth it and the best possible way to usher in summer.

Anyways, that's my spiel on the weekend. I hope all are well and that you enjoy the pictures!

Carolyn showing off her new hiking mobile.

Carolyn falling off of her new hiking mobile.

My home away from home for the weekend.

Carolyn mapping out our trek.

We hired a delightful shuttle driver named Willy to take us to our starting point in "Oil City" (note: it's not so much a city but it does have oil. Willy taught us this!). Mt. Olympus made a rare appearance during our drive and so Willy pulled over so I could get a shot.

Carolyn and I before our adventure. (note: I fully intended to take an after picture... until I caught a glimpse of my reflection and decided the internet was better off without that sight.)

After hiking about a mile along a river through the forest we emerged on the coast.

And onward we went. Through boulder fields...

...alongside cliffs and fallen trees...

... and again through more boulder fields.

Until, finally, there was no more beach to walk on, and so up we had to go. This turned out to be a recurring theme throughout the trip.

Another theme through the trip was mud. And more mud. And still more mud. And then mud on that mud. And then some more on that other mud. And so on and so forth. 

But along with the mud and "ladder" climbing came sweeping vistas...

And pretty awesome forest discoveries.

A few ascents and descents later it was time to rest and wait for low tide so that we could get around some craggy points.

But soon enough, we were on the move. Crossing streams and rivers... 

... and yes doing more ascending and descending. 

It was around this time that I was getting pretty tired. Had enough of swinging my camera around as I navigated my way through over grown forest paths and down rope ladders. So I put it away until the next morning...

... when I woke up to the most amazing low-tide scene.

A glimpse at our estate.

Aaaaand another glimpse at the ethereal low tide morning.

And just for fun, a selfie! You know, just to prove I was actually there.

And then me doing something with my trekking poles.

Oh! Action shot!

Carolyn stopped to be photographed with the scenery and then we were off!

As if by magic this little guy seemed to appear just as Carolyn said, "I'm surprised we haven't seen any starfish!"

I guess we weren't looking hard enough?

We were joined by a hop on for part of our journey. He was pretty nice. Quiet dude though and a little jumpy.

One final ascent...

... followed by one final descent.

We waved good-bye to the coast...

... and soon were never happier to see that shiny white truck!

The End!

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