Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 13 - 14, 2006

Trailhead - June 13, 2006
Seventh grade Adventure Ed students arrived at the Langley Middle School at 8:00 PM Tuesday evening. Students enjoyed a game of basketball in the gym before heading to the library. Students made beds for themselves on the couches and floor of the library and computer annex.

Students woke up at 5:30 AM Wednesday morning, ate a hurried breakfast, packed their bags, cleaned the library and headed out to the district bus. The bus left Langley Middle School at 6:20 AM bound for the Keystone ferry. The group arrived in time to catch the 7:15 AM Keystone ferry to Port Townsend. From there, the group headed directly to Port Angeles.
In Port Angeles, the bus stopped at Olympic National Park headquarters. Overnight wilderness permits were purchased and students chose a bear canister to put their food in for the trip. The ranger told the group that raccoons had been a real nuisance at many of the campsites we were scheduled to stay at. The bear canisters would help thwart their thieving efforts. A stop at Safeway was made before heading to Rialto Beach on the Washington coast.

At Rialto Beach, the first Adventure Ed group packed food into their bear canisters, split the two-person tents, dawned their packs and headed north up the beach. The second group drove on to Ozette campground and started their hike down the coast.
Seal Found
Thirty minutes into the hike, students found a dead harbor seal. Several eagles were spotted in the surrounding trees. Each was awaiting a turn at the seal. After taking several pictures, students proceeded up the beach to Hole-in-the-Wall. The tide was low enough for the entire group to walk through the hole.

Throughout the hike, students witnessed pounding surf, rugged islands and numerous rock formations on the coast. The weather was overcast but the rain held.

Students hiked to Chilean Memorial, a spot that was marked with a plaque indicating the spot where a ship had foundered. The group picked a flat spot on the beach, set up their tents and started a campfire. Students filled their water bottles in a nearby stream. Later in the evening, the group sat around the campfire, prepared their dinners and dried wet garments.
Sea Stacks on Rialto Beach - June 13, 2006
After dinner, students explored the surrounding area. Many ventured up the beach in search of tide pools. Several students brought back mussels. These were boiled and eaten. Many students were drawn to this hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the early stages of the coast hike. Some did not relinquish this way of living until they boarded the district bus and headed back to civilization.

At approximately 9:00 PM, rain began to fall. Students picked up their belongings, hid bear canisters in various spots outside camp and crawled into their tents. Once inside, students wrote in their journals, played cards and socialized before falling asleep.
Writing Journals at Camp - Chilean Memorial - June 13, 2006

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