Swept to sea
It was 2:13 am and the tide rolled in fast and hard. The first set of long crashing waves breeched the lower walls of our tarp tent and rushed in – soaking our sleeping bags with the sea. We woke suddenly, but knew just what to do. We had rehearsed the emergency plan in our minds. We both quickly evacuate the tent, leaving our gear inside. We are lower on the beach than Bill & Tim – so must alert them too. Theresa's job is to roll the rocks off the pegs and free the lines, while I drag the entire tent and its contents to higher ground. There we will collect our wet gear and take the emergency scramble up the steep cliff to the bluff. We will assess the situation in the dark and decide if its safe to go back and retrieve the food.
It started raining sometime during the night, and we woke up to a light but steady drizzle on the tents. So far, we had successfully avoided getting wet from above, but it looked like our luck was about to change for the worse.
Tim was quick to break out the umbrella and tried some advanced “tuck the handle down the back of the jacket” maneuvers. They didn’t work out so well.
A Lazy Morning
5am came fast, and we were
woken by the sound of footsteps trudging on the pebble beach. We watched from the safety of our cozy sleeping bags as many groups started to eat breakfast and break camp to get an early start on the trail ahead. The group of four that were ahead of us were shooting to be done in 4 days – and so were off to an early start. We didn't pass anyone else on the Day 1 and were first to get on the trail and last to arrive at Camper – we figured that all of the other groups must be heading South to Gordon river. Getting an early start to ensure they make the ferry crossing before dark.
We chose the lazy morning option – this was a vacation after all. We were the last to arrive at camp and close to the last to leave. Were we setting a trend for the remainder of the trip? Certainly we lived up the the last to arrive part, as you will discover…
An Early Start
Our trip started early. We awoke at 5:45 am, took a quick shower and headed down to the bus depot at 700 Douglas St. to catch the 6:30am trail bus.
It seemed like a nice clear morning. We arrived at the bus and waited for others to load their packs to the driver at the back. Two girls were there discussing a “fuel issue” – they had forgot to bring fuel for their camp stove and were wondering if there were options on the way to the trail head. Fortunately, they had a stove that could run on gasoline so we were able to make a pit stop and get some on the way. They were hiking the shorter Juan de Fuca trail instead of the West Coast Trail. When we mentioned we were hiking the WCT they looked at us with great confusion – “then, how come our packs are so much bigger than yours?” … and so began a trend for the rest of the trip.
On Labor Day weekend 2006, Theresa and I hiked the Copper Ridge Loop in the North Cascades.
This is an amazing hike. Without a doubt the second best hike I have done in Washington, with the Enchantments taking first place.
We hiked 35 miles over 3 days with some serious elevation gain. Read on for the full scoop.