Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Washington Coast Hike - June 16, 2006

Seventh grade Adventure Education students woke up at 8:00 AM to a light rain. Students scrambled out of their tents and prepared breakfast.

After breakfast Mr. Scoles and Mr. Bergquist took two students to the lookout spot. This time, cell phone coverage was good. The school was called and messages were left at home. After a short stay, the group returned to camp.

Camp was broken and the hikers left Cedar Creek at approximately 11:00 AM bound for Yellow Banks. Mr. Daley accepted the honor of throwing the message-in-a-bottle into the sea. All looked on as the bottle cleared the exposed rocks and splashed into the surf.

The group hiked north to Norwegian Memorial. This memorial marked the spot where Norwegian sailors were buried after their ship sunk off the coast. Mr. Scoles successfully contacted Mr. Snelling’s southbound group from Norwegian Memorial. They had gotten an early start and were working their way over rocky coastline twenty minutes north of where our group stood. Students shouldered their packs in anticipation of meeting the southbound group who had not seen, or heard from, in several days.

The northbound group met the southbound group approximately ten minutes after leaving Norwegian Memorial. Students grouped together and immediately started telling stories and asking questions. Chaperones and teachers chatted about what was ahead among other things. The group meeting lasted approximately thirty minutes and helped boost moral for the difficult hiking day ahead.

The northbound group said their goodbyes and continued up the beach. Hiking was slow for several hours because of the extremely rocky coastline. Breaks were taken at regular intervals.

Yellow Banks was reached at approximately 4:00 PM. The tide was too high to cross the headland leading to South Sand Point. There was no easy overland path. Small groups split off in different directions to explore the area.

Mr. Bergquist and several students found a group site located on a bank high above the beach. This site was difficult to gain access to because the climb was steep. It was determined that ropes were necessary if the site was to be used that night. Students found a wide variety of ropes littering the beach. London and Lainey spent thirty minutes untangling several long ropes. These ropes were tied to trees, which allowed the majority of the group to gain access to the top unencumbered by backpacks. After climbing to the top, Mr. Scoles walked through the site and found a rough path leading down the backside that was much more accessible. This new trail had not been heavily used and was very difficult to see from the beach. This path was used in transporting supplies to the site.

At approximately 6:30 PM students carried their backpacks to the group site. The ground was littered with sticks and debris. Students and chaperones cleared the ground by throwing large branches into the woods and sweeping small debris with their feet. Tents were set up and dinners were made. A stream, emptying onto the beach, was used to clean dishes and fill water bottles.

At 9:00 PM, students climbed in their tents. The group worked on journals and talked before going to sleep.

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