Showing posts with label Forks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forks. Show all posts

Hitchhiking and Public Transportation - Olympic National Park

  For the last 2 years I have used the bus system to get me around the Olympic Peninsula.   Choosing not to drive; public transportation is my primary source of travel when not walking or cycling.  I wrote previously on this topic, but want to shine more light on the topic in hopes that it will be valuable to travelers.

  During the '30+ Days in the Olympic National Park' trail series.  I relied heavily on hitch hiking and the bus system for my resupply.  Deciding after week 1 to only carry the maximum of 8 days worth of food at a time.

  This would mean I would have to come out to Lake Quinault, Forks, Brinnon or Port Angeles.  There is no shuttle system in place to get me from any of these towns to the trailheads.  Meaning I would walk the road until a nice person picked me up.

  A 20+ mile service road walk would be necessary if it weren't for kind people.  Nobody wants to walk a road after they have been on the trail all day.  Especially for someone in minimal shoes.  Man made crushed rock roads aren't the kindest to tender feet.

  Once out on the the main highway system that circles the Olympic Peninsula I catch various buses heading north or south.  This came in handy when I was trying to 'leap frog' or go to bigger stores for more food variety.  I also sometimes chose towns with a public library for communication purposes; since I do not own a cellphone.

  The public library system is a very valuable resource for someone drifting in the mountains.  The ability to check weather reports, look at tides, and talk to family are all pluses for a successful trip.

Olympic National Park bus
Unloading my bike in Amanda Park while Bus - Bikepacking 

Backpack the South Olympic Coast

  Looking at the Forecast for the weekend.  I had one mission in mind.  To get as much Sun as  possible and to do as little as possible.  I managed to accomplish all of these things with a few extra little memories.  That is the best thing about Outdoor Adventures.  They are never the same twice.

coastal trash
Chief Buudda Budda helps keep away the Raccoon's 

Camp at Rialto Beach

rialto beach

   I usually try to avoid popular places such as the Coast.   I set my sites for 'Hole in the Wall', which is North of Rialto Beach.  The weather the last few weeks have been marginally good for this time of year.  Just as long as you don't mind the cold.  I also have never took advantage of the bus route to do any Beach Camping.  I trusted the weather forecast, even tho it was pouring down rain in Port Angeles.  Crossing my fingers I packed my Winter Overnight Gear and recently tuned up Hard Tail Bike.

  In the middle of a cold damp rain I loaded my Bike onto the Forks Bus.  From Forks I transferred to the La Push Bus.  I was surprised on the size of the La Push Bus.  I was expecting a little shuttle, not a full size Bus with room for 3 on the Bike Rack.
  I was on a mission to Peddle the 5 mile road section to make the Coast for Sunset.  I just broke clear of the trees just as the sun sunk down behind the waterline.

bike rialto beach

  I arrived to the Coast at low tide, so it should make easy travel.  There is only so fast however you can travel in wet sand.  I had to hustle and find a campsite before it became completely pitch black.  Relying on headlamp to scout a campsite isn't as easy in the dark.

backpack rialto beach

hike rialto beach

   I arrived at my camp spot with a sliver of light left.   It was a very damp cold area.  Signs of recent Storm Surge that pushed lots of wood and debris into the trees were the sites were located.  I thought of it as a plus because i wouldn't have to go far to gather camp wood, but I would not want to be in there in a storm.  Yikes.
  It took me a good 30 minutes working on starting a fire.  With such a damp environment and all the 'Fuel' being completely saturated with water.  Once I had it going tho.  I had a blazing heat source to keep me 'warm' on a 29 degree night while I enjoyed 3 Adult Beverages.

rialto campfire

  The next morning I arose an hour or so before sunrise.  To start another Fire before the Sun came up.   I wanted to focus my attention into Photography and playing with my new Camera.  Before bed i stuck some really wet chunks of wood on the fire to try leave some coals for the morning.  Sure enough, I dug down into the ashes and found a chunk still smoldering.  With some little Tender and lots of lung power.  I had another fire going.  I love doing a 'no match fire' , I guess it makes me feel more Caveman Like...idno.

rialto camp

  I will note that I've never seen heavy frost on the Sand before.  The whole Coast Line was covered with a blanket of frost.  Even the Sand was coated with a Powdered Sugar type look.   Don't let the sun fool you.  It was cold.  Probably a why I never seen anybody on the Beach the whole trip.  In the summer there would be dozens of tourist in this spot.  Just a reminder that it is Winter after all.

frost driftwood

winter rialto

  The photography that Winter type camping reveals is breathtaking tho.  If I get super motivated I will return to a similar spot to do some more before Year end.

rialto sea stacks

rialto beach

  One of the highlights of the trip was finding a little Treasure.  A Japanese Fishing Float that may have been at sea for some time.  It was wedged in between some logs, probably from the last Storm.

coastal debris
Japanese Float

  While waiting for the tide to go out.  I spend a few hours in camp for a time of self reflection, think about my Lover and Son.  I also enjoyed a few cups of tea to help me stay warm.  I was thankful that I brought a bar of Chocolate to enjoy as well.  Can't be bored if you have Chocolate, that's for sure.  

rialto camping

  After tide went down I made quick work at breaking down camp and walking back down the Coast Line. The sun once again was starting to get low in the Sky.  As I got back to my bike, the temperature was already back around 32 degrees.  Judging by the Frost, Frozen Mud Puddles and Ice that was starting to form on my Beard during my ride back to 'Three Rivers'. 
  Once there I enjoyed a huge gut bomb consisting of a Chili Burger and a Basket of deep fried Curly Fries. Took a few hours for that thing to digest, I'm not going to lie.  At least it was all under 10 dollars.

three rivers resort

  The Bus ride back consisted of warming my body, reviewing pictures and listening to my MP3's.  I was back showered in bed with 15 minutes before I had to go to sleep for my usual 4am wake up call the next day.  

FootwearCamera and Hiking Guide used.

Overview:  Even tho it was cold, just like any other Winter Camp.  The rewards of not dealing with bugs and tourists were priceless.  I plan on going back soon.  
p.s. Total out of pocket travel expense was $5 round trip ;-)