Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kayaking to Atsena Otie

Russ and I joined about 20 people for the Hidden Coast Paddling Week kayak trip to the island of Atsena Otie. It is a 2.7 mile paddle. We started on the beach in Cedar Key, paddled over choppy waters to the beach on the island and took a break to swim (me...too many mosquitoes inland for me) or hike (most of the other folks) and have a little picnic time. Then we paddled around the island and back through even choppier waters to Cedar Key. As you might imagine, we waited to take pictures until we were past the waves and safely near shore, in the flat water. 

Atsena Otie is the original site of the town of Cedar Key. When the town was washed away by a hurricane in the 1890s, it was rebuilt in its current location on an island closer to the mainland. The day was sunny and lovely...and wore us out! There have been other paddling events all this week on the Suwannee River and various creeks. Maybe next year we'll do more than one day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hoh River Trail in the Sunny Rain Forest

My definition of an awesome day might be: Sunny, 60s for hiking, blue sky, puffy clouds, snow capped mountains in the distance, not too steep hills along the trail. Bingo.

Today we drove to the Hoh Rain Forest, and it did not rain. Perfect weather. Fantastic trail. We hiked a bit more than 6 miles after having stopped at Kalaloch Lodge for wonderful brunch. The first photo is at Kalaloch, on a cliff over the beach/shore. The rest are along the trail at sunny Hoh Rain Forest.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lake Quinault, the Temporate Rain Forest, and Ruby Beach

Wednesday was a travel day. We drove south past the clouded and invisible Mt St Helen's, west along the Columbia River Valley, and north to the Olympic Peninsula National Forest and Park. We passed through Hoquiam, and former lumbering town. We have never seen a more boarded up, desperate looking town. It was an amazing sight.

We are staying at the Lake Quinault Lodge. The lake is 10-15,000 years old, formed by a 1,000 foot high glacier. Thursday we hiked about 8 miles in the Temperate Rain the sunshine! Friday we hiked about 5 miles along a couple of stretches of the ocean shore line. Hard walking there, for sure, but beautiful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mt. Rainier

The rain had not yet begun when we woke up at 7:00 and we had another great view of the snow-capped Mt. Rainier out our window. We donned our backpacks and headed out to grab a bit of the forecast-to-be-awful day. We hiked about 4 miles of the Wonderland Trail, through Fir, hemlock, and cedar again. The aromas of the woods were almost the best part. But the amazing numbers of fallen trees were also surprising. They must take forever to rot because there were tree trunks all around us that were so big that three people could not have hugged them finger-tip to finger-tip. It showered enough that we wore our raingear, but not enough that the rain dribbled onto our pant legs. A fantastic morning outing.

While I was doing laundry…the Inn had free washers and dryers for guests…an employee came in to do his wash. Jason is working here for 4 months to help fund his university tuition in Jamaica. He bought The Summer of a Thousand Cheeses! I was fun to sign his copy and tell him to tell his mother for me that she’d taught him well how to do his own laundry.

The rain finally came in heavily. It has been a steady downpour since noon. People have been filtering in who are hiking the long trails. They are eager to not spend the night in tents. Wet backpacks are everywhere. People are sharing rooms with strangers to avoid the night outdoors. Having shared bathrooms and showers seems not even a hardship compared to their arrangements!

Wednesday we headed for the Olympic National Park. We'll report on that next.