November 7, 2015.
4 mi. | minimal ele. gain | 1:30 hr.
Aaron and I drove up to Washington to spend a weekend exploring a new area. Neither of us had really spent any time on the southern Washington coast, so why not check it out in November?!
We arrived at a nearby campground the night before and set up our tent in the dark. When we awoke the next morning to the sound of rain, we knew we were in for an interesting visit. I stepped out of the tent and noticed that we were sitting in a couple inches of water. Miraculously, there was not a drop of moisture inside. I’m not saying the MSR Hubba Hubba is the best tent ever, but I was shocked at how well it kept us dry in those conditions!
As usual, the sound of rainfall inside the tent is much worse than the actual rainfall outside. It was sprinkling as we made breakfast and got ready to hike.
At the trailhead, a color-coded sign illustrated a variety of hiking loop options from the parking lot. We chose the 4-mile loop that was also mentioned in the Sullivan book. It started off pleasant enough, in a pretty coastal forest. The sky and the ocean were shades of gray. The trail led to a short beach walk, where we watched the waves rolling into shore and the raindrops plopping into the sea. Thick, hardy coastal shrubs and trees created a natural buffer from the ocean weather and we soon dropped back behind the vegetation to join the yellow trail.
The forest was stunning. Mushrooms in all different colors, shapes and sizes grew along the forest bottom. Plants thrived in the moisture and nutrient-rich environment. The rain kept pouring down, but we were shielded from the brunt of it by the trees.
That is, until we hit the shoreline again. It was only a 0.7 mile stretch, though, so how bad could it…
Yeah, it was pretty bad. We battened down the hatches. Rain cover, check. Rain jacket, check. Rain pants, yep, you get the idea. Gloves, hats, everything went on. The wind was fierce. Now we were getting blasted with rain, wind and sand. The sand was the worst. It was comically bad, so we decided to have fun with it. I think we spent twice as much time as we needed to here because we were busy taking videos of the sand and waves, posing for silly pictures and generally laughing at the conditions we found ourselves in. Knowing the hike was only 4 miles long, and not like 14, we knew we were in no danger.
By the time we made it to the blue trail and back into the forest, we were soaked through. My camera lens was covered in water and all of my pictures after that point were blurry. The rain kept pouring down.
We sloshed ahead without a care in the world. When you’re already wet, what’s another puddle? It was evident that this area historically saw a lot of rain, based on the signage that we found on the ground.
Once back at the car we were able to dry off, change clothes and head into town for some normal-people activities. Like visiting the cranberry museum and visiting shops. And then, starting to dream up the next outdoor adventure.