MIKE MacFERRIN'S OLYMPIC SOLO TREK....July 19, 2004


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Rain showers keep OlyHiker & I pinned comfortably under our tarps until the late hours of the morning. By 10:30, we're packed and ready to go. High tide predictably strands us just in front of Cape Johnson (yet another impassable headland... you get used to these!) for several hours. It would be a pleasant place to stay, but alas, we're surrounded by approximately 7.3 billion little "sand fleas" (or "beach hoppers") blanketing the beach in all directions. It's impossible to lie down without having hoards of 1" crustations (they're actually not fleas at all, more like "dry jumping shrimp") hopping on your arms, legs, and face. They leap several feet at a time... not even the tallest driftwood pile is safe from their reach! By late afternoon, the pounding surf abates, and we're eager to be moving again.

As evening approaches, we needle our way through the Hole-in-the-Wall. Although I've seen pictures, I'm surprised by its size and stunning features! Once through the hole, we're only a couple miles from the Mora road, and we begin to see wide-eyed tourists once again. One dubiously misinformed woman asks OlyHiker if he knows where they can go to "see all the scenery." OlyHiker, in a moment of exacerbated exhaustion, waves his arm at the off-shore sea stacks and exclaims "Scenery?!? F*****g look around, lady!" She stands for a moment, agape with a look of astonished embarrassment. Perhaps it wasn't his best P.R. moment , but I can't help but laugh when he relays the story to me later.
Tomorrow we'll pick up a ride to take us around the mighty Quillayute River. Tonight we set up camp by Ellen Creek, just a mile short of the Mora Road. A strong wind is carrying dubious clouds onshore, and I spend considerable time tying my tarp taut on the sand with guylines and rocks... lots and lots (and lots) of rocks. We eat dinner over a pleasant campfire of abundant driftwood, and OlyHiker & I laugh the night away as we sit on the sand and watch storms roll in from the mighty Pacific.