Thursday, July 18, 2013

washington coast

oh where to begin. 
this post is so big it just might break the internet. 

It all started about two months ago.
A late night of conversation and dessert led to talk of adventure. 
Where to go. What to do. How to do it.
We decided we wanted to explore the Washington coast, you know, because it's so close to Utah (it's not. at all. oh well.)
We made travel plans, gathered gear, got time off work, and crossed our fingers for sunshine (it worked!)

Our day started at 4am when we loaded up the car and set out on our 1200 mile adventure. 
22 hours later, exhausted, delirious, and laughing at everything, we arrived. 
kind of. 
....we still had to hike. 
We  grabbed our packs, flipped on our headlamps and hit the trail in the wee hours of the morning.
Through the rain forest with shadows darting across the trail, we made our way down to the beach. As we got closer--we couldn't see it, but we could hear the roar and crash of the waves. 
We climbed up and over piles of driftwood, navigated our way around a dead whale (yes really), tossed up our tents and called it a day (we'd all been up for over 24 hours at this point....)

The next morning I woke up to this out my tent door
We ate our breakfast as the waves rolled in, loaded up camp and hit the trail again. 
at home I pre mixed rolled oats, almonds, coconut, chocolate chips, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and brown sugar. We boiled some water to add to our oats and threw in some cream packets I grabbed at the gas station.
We climbed up off the beach and into the rain forest. 
Every shade of green you can imagine--in every direction--with a leafy canopy overhead.
Back to the beach.....we basically had it to ourselves. We'd pass another hiker every now and then, a tent here and there, but for the most part, it was all ours. Bald eagles soared overhead and we even saw a deer run down the beach.....a deer! We see them every day here in the mountains, but it looked so odd and out of place on the beach to me.
We climbed over rocks trying to beat the tide rushing in.....and made it out salty and soaked up to our waists. 
We stopped for lunch in the sunshine where the forest met the beach and tried to take it all in...impossible.
smoked salmon and cream cheese on bagels
Rainforest, beach. Rainforest, beach. Repeat. 
We wove our way in and out for about 10 miles--crossing creeks, climbing ropes and feeling like we were in a foreign was just so....
beautiful, perfect......everything.
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We let our packs fall to the ground, shoulders and hips aching, but all the pain forgotten as we looked out over the bluff at our view of the ocean. It was all worth it.
We reluctantly dipped ourselves into the freezing creek for a quick wash and bundled up as the sun set. A fire was started, dinner was enjoyed as we overlooked the water.
I found a rice and bean mix to add boiling water to, and we put it in tortillas with some avocado and hot sauce. It tasted the like the best taco I'd ever eaten after a day on the trail.
We watched as the sun turned pink and sank into the sea, and then gathered around the fire to warm ourselves before bed.
We had a fairly easy day of hiking planned--just 5 miles this day so we slept in and took it slow in the morning. Breakfast (oatmeal again) on the bluff, and then we packed up and headed out for our next campsite.
My favorite day.
( I blogged more of the details HERE, along with the craaazzzzzy sunset)
Our campsite was right in the trees, a few steps away from the beach. We hung out in the sand, acted like kids exploring in the beach grass and driftwood, froze ourselves in the ocean and played played played until there was no light left in the sky.
We gathered around the fire again with the best conversation and stories and laughter while we ate our late night dinner.

lunch in the sand: 
apples, pistachios, jerky, Probars.
dinner around the fire: 
good old fashioned "just add water" soups. Teriyaki and Szechwan raman. 
Surprisingly delicious after a long day, and so easy for a quick late night meal.
We woke up the next morning, still a few hours of hiking left to do, but just a little bit heavy hearted that we had to say goodbye. I fell in LOVE with this place.
To say it was magical would be completely cheesy......but so true.

all photos taken on the coast of Olympic National Park in Washington.
50mm f/1.4. I felt limited that I couldn't shoot wide but I wore my camera the WHOLE time--it was so much lighter and smaller as I was climbing up ropes and crossing creeks than one of my bigger lenses would have been.
I'd like to thank my lovely and talented model friends and husband for letting me have my camera on them non stop. Robby, Mike & Ali, Shane & Monica you're the best.

other snacks:
chocolate. so much dark chocolate every night before bed. it just tasted so good.
lara bars. 
THIS jerky is awesome
we had extra tortillas from our tacos and I had brought some small packets of Justin's nut butter to put in the tortillas and we never ended up making them. 
dehydrated berries to eat with chocolate and put in our oatmeal.

This trip renewed me. To walk through a corner of the earth this beautiful....I just felt lucky. 
And to do it with the best of friends was even better. 
Robby and I haven't been on a trip together in years--it was so good to spend time together, and made me love and appreciate my kids so much more as I missed them.
I came home with a new appreciation for my family, a heart full of thankfulness, and a greater desire to live life more simply. pretty good trip.


Rachael said...

So awesome.
You're always so inspiring to read, and you always make me want to out and explore :)

Clandestine Road said...


Lauren said...

That sounds wonderful. This trip is now on my to-go list! And to go soon! The northwest is sooo beautiful.

Gentri said...

I can't even describe my jealousy... This is amazing. My heart aches to visit Washington, yet I have never been! These photos are so beautiful and it sounds like an incredible time.

Darcee said...

You just made me realize I need to stop procrastinating and visit WA. Gorgeous

Ashley Marti said...

I am planning this trip now, so beautiful!

heatherseattle said...

Love this post and your sunset post.. I tried to find specifically where you were but came up short. Can you say where you started and your turn around point? I've only done the Lake Ozette Loop and I would love to take something like this on... Thanks so much - love your blog... it's so inspiring!

M said...

This is gorgeous! I second 'heatherseattle'.
Where exactly was this? Always good to have some trail info from someone who's hiked it.

Bridgette said...

I've camped here! It's so beautiful, isn't it? I'm originally from Washington, and my boyfriend is from Utah, so I'm living here for a few months. I'm glad you were able to visit Washington. It's so beautiful!

Jackie said...

Our first trip backpacking this year in the High Uintas, you forget how sore your collarbone and hip bones get. Haha. I love backpacking so much, it truly makes you realize how much "stuff" you really need to be happy. But then it always feels good to come home and shower ;) Lovely read! Thanks!

Melissa E Photography said...

Our trip along the Oregon coast was breathtakingly beautiful. There is something magical about the NW and it sticks with you. I'm so glad you could experience it!

Ashley Sjuts said...

I cannot tell you how much your blog has inspired me to get out and get moving. I am a couch potato by nature but your posts and pictures really make me want to get out there and be active. I have a one year old and the happiest days she has are when we get out and get into nature and the world. Thanks for inspiring me to get off the couch and explore, even if it is just around our area of the world with a lot of corn : )

Hayley said...

gosh this is amazing!

Tysha Carter said...

My heart is happy you got to spend some time in the gem of that is Olympic National Park. I lived in Seattle for 14 years and have some of my most cherished memories from hiking and camping right where you were. We moved to Texas this past year and I can't tell you how homesick this makes me! But happy, too. If you lived it there, you need to add Pacific Rim to your list of future adventures(on Vancouver Island, British Columbia). The West sure is the Best!

jen johnson said...

the photographs are absolutely breathtaking, I can imagine how moreso it would be in real life!