Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Beach Hike to Toleak Point

This year's beach hike was one for the books. We left the Third Beach Trail head with beautiful sunny dry weather on a Friday morning.
That's me, Mike, Matt, Will, Mark and Faye. Christopher took our photo.

The first 1.4 miles to Third Beach is the easiest part of this hike. We made it down to the beach and had to cross a log jam.
Christopher was so pleased to have William join us on his first beach hike. For a boy who likes to be on the computer all day long, he had quite the outdoor experience!
I took so many photos of them walking side by side.
Will's first rope climb...pretty easy.
Will's first ladder climb. I think he opted out of the ladders and just used the rope. Ladders suck big time.

Matt and Mike's turn.

After our first inland hike, we came down steep terrain to a little stretch of beach only to encounter 2 more rope climbs pictured far left.  There was a large group of Gonzaga students sitting on the log here that were eating lunch making their way out. We were quite relieved that we wouldn't be camping at Toleak together.
I think this was Will's third rope climb.

Will taking a little nap getting ready for his last and most strenous rope climb. By this time we had taken a lunch break and decided to wait for the rest of the crew, but after much concern about beating the 4 ft. tide area we decided it best to keep going.

We made it safely around and Will was pretty beat so dad offered to carry his bag. So close to Toleak now.

Chilling at our camp site. Mike and Matt made it in shortly after us without Mark and Faye. I think the rope climbs were more than Faye had bargained for and they camped a few miles north of us.
 I love this man so much!
 I spotted these deer next to our camp.
Matt making a grilled cheese almond butter sandwich.

I love that it was dry until we went to bed. I have no problem being in the tent dry with a heavy down pour. I got up at 9 am and it was dry again which is another plus in my book. Unfortunately for Mike, he had a leak  and had lakeside property in his tent. He and Matt decided to cut their trip short and hike out. It was a little disappointing, but we totally understood.

As for our day, it was spent hanging out at the fire, exploring the beach (Christopher found a dead seal), making a trek to a river south of us to filter our water, or soaking up the sun on the beach.

On Sunday morning it started to rain hard. We packed our gear up and began our 6.4 mile hike back to the car. From the get go, Christopher's day started out pretty miserable. His rain jacket started to leak pooling water in his sleeve and pants. We hiked on and he never complained at all. Our rope climbs were slick with mud and made for an adventure. As I approached the ladder climb, I was quite surprised to see Mark and Faye making their journey back too. By the time we made it back to Third Beach, the river crossing proved a little difficult. We climbed over several logs to find the safest one to walk across. I was the first over and watched as Christopher and Will made their crossing. It was pretty nerve wracking. Will slipped once falling back onto another log. Christopher was with him the whole time making sure they didn't fall into the river. I hope that part didn't ruin Will's experience of ever wanting to go hiking again. We will see.

Our last 1.4 mile up hill was a monster. Christopher slipped and fell on a stump leaving him a big ol' bruiser on his belly. He fell so hard he thought he might be bleeding, but thank God no blood. Christopher just looked at us and said, "We are not stopping- let's go!" I picked up the pace and made it back to the truck very happy to change into new clothes. By the time Christopher and Will made it to the truck, Christopher was suffering from mild hypothermia. He was so cold and soaked to the bone shaking. 

We drove to the nearest restaurant for a hot meal and made the 4 hour trip home only to find out there was a serious wind storm. It was completely blacked out and we were crossing our fingers that we had power so we could take a nice hot shower. And wouldn't you know it, our street had power. Thank you!

And that's how it went.... here's a link to all the photos 2015 Toleak Beach Hike

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rattlesnake Ledge

Last weekend, we went hiking up the short and very crowded Rattlesnake Ledge Trail. It's about 4 miles round trip making it a quick day hike. The weekend prior, Christopher took Elizabeth up and this time  we took Megan and William. Very doable for kids unless they tell you from the start they don't want to do it! I would have bet money Megan wouldn't make it to the top, but thankfully I would have loss that bet because she did. It's nice to know that she can look back and feel accomplished that she didn't give up.
Here's a picture that totally captures how busy the trail is.
February 20th weekend atop Rattlesnake Ledge. Photo: screenshot YouTube video “Rattlesnake Ledge, North Bend, WA” by Lucky Skies

So looking forward to another weekend....