First Day on the Coast

I am leaning back on a trunk that is at least five feet wide. What kind of a storm washed up this kind of driftwood? Then again, this is the Pacific coast of Washington. After all, my trail passes several memorials, Norwegian and Chilean, in honor of ships wrecked in the early 1900’s. But really there is no trail. I am backpacking along the coast with enough food for at least six days. The terrain varies. The first few miles were pebbles that sink your feet and make every step feel like three making the brief stretch of unstable sand feel like heaven. Exposed tide pools at low tide are full of life and fun to walk through in boots – you’ll be sure to lose a toe or two on the jagged reef like rocks. When the tide is up, you jump from one knee high boulder to another. I actually really enjoyed the jumping, unless they were wet and slippery.

A rocky beach

A rocky beach

Sunset

It is hard to believe I am a witness to this sunset. The sun slowly disappearing behind the blue sea and islands far away is mystical. And just like that, the sun is gone.

Islands in the sunset

Islands in the sunset

The sky is cold and gray with only the unwieldy fire stinging my eyes and keeping me warm. To tell the truth, I wish I had someone to share this moment with.

A grey, majestic sky - surreal

A grey, majestic sky - surreal

The tide has been coming in for a few hours and is now just about ten feet from my tent. I decided to move to higher ground but had very few options. My only option really was a sand perch full of rock. I undid all my effort to stake out the tent with rocks and tying it to branches and lifted the tent with all of my equipment inside. I was grateful my sleeping pad could hold up to the rocky bottom. I do my best to promote my cheap, foam Thermarest! The whole scene was like a tent sandwich, think Philly cheesesteak with meat and cheese falling all over the place once you unwrap it. The tide was just a few feet from my fire as I could now calmly gaze at it. I probably would have been spared by the tide by just a few feet, but I wouldn’t take the chance of being swept out into the Pacific Ocean.

My blue tent is to the left amidst driftwood.

My blue tent is to the left amidst driftwood.

The sky is clear and the stars like snowflakes dot the Earth’s canopy. I can smell the wood burning and give my full attention to the constellations.

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