We set off today with dreams of treasure in our eyes.
My brother and his wife were visiting from Alaska and wanted to hit the beaches looking for debris from the Japanese tsunami. I decided on Rialto Beach only because it was close and didn’t require a long hike to get to it.
We set off early in hopes that we would be the only ones on the beach. We were. There were no other cars at the parking lot at all and the moment we got out of the car we felt the blast of cold wind that was whipping up the coastline. I bundled up my two daughters that were accompanying us and we set off.
Immediately upon hitting the beach I knew that today would be an adventure. The sea foam was whipping up, swirling everywhere and the waves were high and breaking over the driftwood lining the beach. I was planning on walking up the beach, but the storm surge had us pushed up into the driftwood for the duration. It was slow going.
My brother kept tempting nature by walking along the beach in the surf zone. For the most part the waves stayed away, but as soon as we weren’t paying attention, a giant sneaker wave crashed up causing us all to scramble for high ground. Fortunately, the rain stayed away and all we had to deal with was the wind. Even that wasn’t so bad with our hats and jackets. Keeping on the move helped warm us up as well.
Our main purpose for this trip was to find beach debris. Strangely, the beach was mostly devoid of any foreign objects. Normally, while beach combing I always get at least some rope or something. Today we hardly found anything. My brothers wife is Japanese and experienced the earthquake in March of 2011 first hand, so we were really hoping to find something neat. The only Japanese haul of the day was a generic plastic buoy with someones name melted into it, a laundry detergent cap, and a piece of Japanese fishing tackle. Nothing really exciting.
Eventually, we mad it to the Helen Creek crossing. During the summer months, the creek doesn’t even make it all the way to the ocean and you can walk right on up the beach. This time of year, however, it rages on and we had to pick out way across the jumble of logs that lay across it. Kelsi didn’t like this one bit. She hates walking across logs. I had to coax her and show her that everything was all right. We made it without much trouble.
Up the beach we trekked. Before long we made it to our destination: Hole in the Wall. The tide was still high and the waves were crashing well up the beach, cutting off all access to the tunnel ct through the finger of land jutting into the ocean. There is a trail that goes up and over the point, but by this time everyone was tuckered out and didn’t want to climb the steep pathway. We got comfortable and ate our lunch.
Tierra wanted to build a fire to do an experiment with some bull kelp. I’m always willing to light a fire so before long we had a small blaze.
The weather was clearing up by this time as well. The breeze was dying but it was still present and the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds at times. I covered my eyes and dozed off on a log.
When I finally got back up I noticed the the tide had receded enough to access the hole in the wall. We went down and poked around a bit before gathering up our things and heading back to the car.
The return trip was MUCH easier. The tide had gone out opening up the beach to unobstructed traveling. We met several other people on their way north, exploring what we had already covered. I’m glad we set off early.
We had fun. We were tired from the exertion and navigating the miles of driftwood. It was a rewarding day despite not finding any Harleys.
Here’s the gallery of photos and videos I took Check them out, there’s some really neat videos showing how windy it was.
After spending the Fall and winter holed up in the house, getting used to my new hours at work and dealing with some back pain the likes of which I’ve never experienced, I decided to damn the torpedoes and get the heck back outside.
I packed up some of my home made dehydrated fruit, 2 quarts of water and set out to the Kloshe Nanitch trail for the day. At the moment I left the house the sun was out, however, about 5 miles from the trailhead the rain decided to let loose. Screw it I thought, I’m going and no rain can stop me. I had a new rain jacket I had to test out, after all.
The hike was routine until about a half mile from the top. Patches of snow covered the trail and my toe shoes did little to insulate my feet. I love those shoes and I’ve taken them over every type of terrain imaginable, but I soon found their limits. After trekking 4 miles in the pouring down rain, I was soaked to the bone: My torso in sweat, my legs from the rain and brush over the trial.
Soon the rain mixed with snow and then pure snow began to fall. At this point I could see the lookout but the snow was up to my waist and the steep terrain didn’t make the going any easier. I was stopping to catch my breath after every other step. I weighed my options. I couldn’t feel my hands or feet by now and the chill was creeping in to the rest of my body.
Screw it. I turned around and began my descent. This was my first outing in months and I could feel how out of shape I had become. I shall conquer this trail at a later time when I’m better prepared for its’ challenges.
I stopped for lunch under a cedar tree and changed my clothes to the dry set that I packed. They were slightly damp from my pack being rained on for the last couple hours. I was mad at myself because I’m normally so good at planning for these contingencies. Normally I have my stuff wrapped in heavy duty garbage bags to stay dry. Not today. Normally I have a pair of gloves in the pack. Not today. Not sure why I left so much at home, but it is what it is.
The trip down was quick and painless. My change of (mostly) dry clothes felt great compared to the sopping wet set I had doffed.
As miserable as I should have been I felt great up there. It’s amazing how liberating it is to get away from the rat race, if even for just a couple hours. I need to make sure that I do this more often. I pray for better weather, but I’ll take what I can get.
If anyone wants to get out and explore, let me know. I’m always looking for an excuse to get out.