MIKE MacFERRIN'S OLYMPIC SOLO TREK....July 18, 2004
Past Sand Point (the southern point of the Ozette Loop), we come upon a research team sifting through sand in a bucket. They appear to be digging core samples, and are tediously counting some life form in their plastic buckets. We smile and nod, and continue south. Soon, a safe distance beyond the Ozette triangle, the crowds predictably thin out. Solitude is ours once again!
By early afternoon we reach Yellow Banks, a beautiful stretch of light-orange sandstone cliffs. It's high tide, and we're stranded at a headland (it's become a daily ordeal!). We have a decision to make... we can either camp here and call it a day, or wait several hours (for the ebb tide) and continue south another five miles to the Norwegian Memorial. There are no water sources in between. We opt to push ahead, waiting out the surf in the afternoon sun.
The last 5 miles are hard. Long stretches of rocky beach (think bowling-ball to car-sized rocks, all considered "ankle breakers") take time and sustained concentration to traverse, and after a long day we're short on both. OlyHiker takes off, as if on a mission... I cannot catch him no matter how I try! We're tired and hungry when we reach the Memorial (a 15.3 mile day, a long stretch of beach), and take a site across the creek from a gaggle of college students. Seagulls congregate at the mouth of the creek, just above surfline, scavenging for salmon fry and other debris pouring from the creek. I spend my evening chasing the gulls and exploring the tide pools for hermit crabs & sea stars. Clouds looks threatening tonight, so we pitch our shelters and sack in early.