September 23, 2017

Miles: 2

PNT mile 1179

Camp: The mouth of the Hoh River…on the beach! Olympic National Park

The morning always goes too fast in hotels. There is always the last things that need to get done and it all takes time. Before you know it, it’s time to check out of the room and move on. We certainly dragged our feet as much as we could, but we were done with chores and were hitching back to the trail just shy of 24 hours after we arrived.

Two girls on vacation gave us a ride and were fun to talk to. One girl was from Australia and the other had lived there but was back in the States now. We had some fun conversation about cattle on public lands and same sex marriage in Australia. The ease of the ride had us back at the trail earlier than expected. Since our permit tonight is for the trailhead, we didn’t really have much hiking to do.

We sat by the Hoh river while we ate leftover pizza and cinnamon rolls in the sunshine. After studying the maps and having the ocean within sight, we decided to at least check out the beach and see if we could make any headway. We have to study the tides for this section and make sure we don’t get trapped in the wrong place at high tide. The section just north of here is one that requires passage only at a low tide and we wouldn’t have a low enough tide until after sunset, so we set up right on the beach in some piles of driftwood with another hiker named Gerry.

It’s hard to believe we have made it to the ocean. 4 days from now we will be coming to the end of the hike. The hike just started being so good and exciting and now it is time for it to end. It’s been a strange hike, but upon reflection it has been a wonderful and challenging experience. I like how it has enhanced my skills and taught me new ones, how it has worn me down and built me up…but mostly wore me down, the rugged beauty, the raw wildness, the PNT is something special. I’m very excited to embark on the coastal section even though it presents whole new challenges, that’s what makes it good.

(Pictures uploaded in backwards order…oops)