Thursday, June 23, 2016

Washington Coast Hike - June 6 - 10, 2016

North Hole-in-the-Wall (High Tide)
Once again, the weather cooperated with us on our June coast trek. The unflinching resolve of students in my group made this another pleasant journey. What better way to spend a week before the end of school?

For the past ten years, the hike between Rialto Beach and Cape Alava has been the main staple of the LMS Adventure Education program. This was, surprisingly, the seventeenth trip to the coast. There are many ways people mark time. This particular trip is one way I do.
Spruce Root Seat - Cedar Creek
On day one, the coast taught patience. We were on a stretch north of hole-in-the-wall when we found we could no longer continue due to the incoming tide. Students unpacked food, had a bite and explored the immediate area. The wait lasted a couple of hours as the tide flooded in and ebbed out. A few napped in the sand. Others spent time writing and drawing.

This group especially enjoyed quietly reflecting in their journals. Finding time to stop, think and live in the moment seems effortless when in a natural setting. I've been a firm believer in disallowing electronics on this journey. Being connected can take a higher form.
Rain Fire - Cape Alava
On the fourth day, we hiked to Cape Alava. Students scavenged wood, which is always difficult to find in the area, and built a fire. Later in the evening, a group of twenty-somethings gathered by the students' campfire. In the wet conditions, they couldn't get their own started. They were impressed that the LMS students were able to maintain a fire in the soaking conditions. They chatted and used the time to dry wood for their own fire. After realizing that our students had hiked over twenty miles while living on the coast for four days, I overheard one impressed woman say "That's epic! When I was your age, I was eating Cheetos in my basement." After having a chuckle, I reflected on her statement; youth, more than ever, need to be challenged by natural environments. We become better people on the Washington coast.

Below is a link to the hike photo album:

I would like to thank Tom Sage, Dr. Jo Moccia and Justin Stacey for trekking the coastline with our stalwart LMS students. This trip would have not been possible without your guidance.


Nels Bergquist

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Sundown - South Sand Point
Students' comments follow:

I learned that friendship is more important than I will ever realize and that I should never take for granted all of the things I have today.

- Joey

I loved being able to go and be on our own without technology and just enjoy ourselves. I will forever cherish this experience.

- Sam

Stop Complaining

It really helps no one
So just don’t complain
Enjoy the shining sun
Everyone goes through the same

- Sam
Steep Overland Route - South Chilean Memorial
The second memorable experience I had was climbing atop the rock at Cedar Creek. There was a trail that my friend Dexter and I took to the top of a cliff overlooking the bay. From the highest point, it was easily 200 feet to the ground. However, the danger was meek in comparison to the view. Blue ocean stretched on forever. Waves crashed against the beach, throwing up white spray. The view was so exquisite and pristine that it took my breath away.

- Levi


Waves roar on the beach
From a never ending sea
The cycle goes on

- Levi

I learned so much about me and my peers.  Once we got comfortable we were able to be our true selves and open up to each other.  I opened up and found parts of myself and showed everyone who I was and who I could be.

- Sarah
Bonding Below
On Tuesday night, we found a hole covered with dirt and leaves, so that it felt like a cave. We lit a campfire there, and talked way into the dark of the night. It was a very memorable experience for me, because I felt like I was part of a group bonded together by the waves, trees, and disgusting food of the outdoors.

- Liam

Coastal Waves

The waves roll overtop each other
A race to touch the sand
They smash onto the grey beach
Sending up a spray
Of foamy seawater
Then rolling back into the behemoth

- Liam

Every night before the sun set I would go to a place by myself and look down the coast or across the water and try to take it all in. I would think to myself about how lucky I was to be able to have this experience and that escaping from reality every once in awhile, can be the best thing you could ever do.

- Mallory
Flight Pattern
People spend so much time worrying about the past or focused on the future that they forget to just live in the moment. I remember one specific time this happened. We were waiting for someone to catch up and I was lying on a log looking up at the trees and the sky and I stopped worrying about everything and focused on the present that’s when I was truly relaxed.

- Flannery

Coast Love

The light breeze, and many trees.
The aqua blue and ocean blue.
The red, pink and purple sky,
The long nights and
Hard goodbyes.

- Flannery

I do feel that beard growing after that trip, and that chest hair coming out because of Mr. Sage’s pepper salami that he gave me and Dane.

- Julian

We learned about pushing our limits. We had to push the boundaries that we were used to.

- Dexter
The Gathering
There are so many enjoyable things I did while on this adventure, but the one I cherish most is the strengthened friendships. Living on a small island I know every single person in my grade and thankfully I am friends with most of them. What you sometimes don’t realize is how little you open up to people you see at school. Let me tell you, there is no way that you can go on Adventure Ed. and not come home with a whole new perspective on someone you thought you knew. Not only do I have new perspectives of the people I shared this experience with, I also feel as if I have a connection with them that only the ten kids who went on this trip could share. We spent five hard days together and the whole time someone was helping me or I was helping someone else. You relied on each other for entertainment, support and sometimes even food and water.

- Alison

The Fire

Orange sparks flying
Red embers shining brightly
A  fire is gazed upon

- Alison
Departure - Cape Alava
I think one of the most difficult aspects of the trek was hiking 6.1 miles in one day. Then pushing on another mile. So we hiked 7.1 miles in one day. I thought that was pretty tough. But it did make the next day a lot easier.

- Ethan

The Old Creek

The noisy old creek
A mirror of beauty
A blue heron jumps in

- Ethan

I found that we take what we have at home for granted way too often.  Hot, running water, electricity, and a warm, comfy bed are all things I tend to take for granted.  The coast has taught me to appreciate these things because one day we could hypothetically lose it all.

- Nick
Cedar Creek Pinnacle