Wandering South of La Push

  I had some free time to get outdoors. So I set my sites on the South Olympic Coast. I would first go online and check the conditions before heading out.

 There are a lot of variables when hiking the coast, especially in the winter.  You must deal with tides, rain storms, winds, high surf advisories, coastal flooding and higher water level river fords. Pre-trip research is critical for a successful and safe trip. Be sure to check with a local ranger, before heading out

Strawberry Bay
Looking across to Scott's Bluff

  I jumped off my finial bus and made a direct beeline for the coast.  I wanted to make every minute of daylight count, since it was my first time to this section.  There would be close to a 50/50 ratio of beach to hike and inland trails to navigate.  I figured it would be best to travel without headlamp and much safer.

  Third Beach was a nice view of a south section of coast, with lots of sea stacks to be seen.
Walking there was an easy hike of that section of beach.  I can see why it is be of tourist in the summer months.

third beach la push
Looking South on Third Beach

third beach waterfall
Third Beach Waterfall

  After my casual stroll down a beach. It came time for me to navigate inland on a long section of swampy trail.  I didn't mind all the mud actually.  Let me do some more product testing for my new favorite trail tool, the Vibram Seeya.

south coast ladder
Cool Rope Ladder

south coast rope
Roping Primitive Muddy Hills

south coast boardwalk
The only elevated Footpath

   I think whats cool part of any inland trail, is the moment you come out from the dark forest and see daylight.  The old steps, foot logs and various primitive creek crossings are also fun exploring.  Especially when you can feel every bit of in under you.  That's why I'm a big advocate for barefoot backpacking.  What better way to experience the outdoors, than feeling every root, rock, soft forest floor and step in the mud;  feeling the temperature of your surroundings also add to the experience. 
 Would you rather put on virtual  reality goggles  and see all this beauty on earth?  Wouldn't be better to feel, see, smell and hear everything that is going on around you?  Wouldn't that make for a better experience?

scotts bluff
Muddy 'Scott's Bluff' Rope

  After another short section of very enjoyable beach walking.  Came time to ascend the rope of Scott's Bluff.  A few trail reports I read online lead to believe it to be a horror.  Some people chose to turn around rather than climb.   I found it to be a fun upper body workout; if you didn't mind the clay mud.  Fun all together.  I could see that if you had a few extra pounds on you or had a 75lbs Backpack.  It would not be fun at all.  (Always do things inside your own Safety Zone)

  After the climb up the rope, I would walk inland again to go around the bluff.  Before I even went up the rope, the sun was already falling down.  I had to hurry if I wanted to find a campsite before dark. 

  I did however make Scott's Creek to catch the last bit of sunset.  Found a nice little spot just in the tree line; as the temperature dropped.

sunset la push
Sunset 3/7/12

   The moon was really bright this night.  It shined through the coastal trees; just like a lighthouse would for passing ships.

 Made a warm fire for the evening with the last little light.  It was easy collecting since there was wood everywhere from all the resent Storms and coastal flooding.

beach campfire
  After sleeping like a baby on the forest floor.  I woke and looked up though my bivy to trees rocking back in forth in the wind.   It seems it picked up overnight.  I had to shove down breakfast and get moving if I wanted to catch the low tide to make traveling easier.  

  Made some coffee with my little Esbit Stove and went out for a little pre sunrise coastal enjoyment first.  Shame to walk through all that mud and not enjoy it, before heading home.  I wish I could of spent a few days walking the coast.  One night just isn't enough.

footwear coast
Taking my Luna ATS for a pre Sunrise Stroll

  Did a lot of time thinking on my hike back to the road.  Made it out in a short time and walked the road to La Push.  I ended out jumping on public transportation back to Forks.  There I enjoyed lunch, coffee and book exploring in the local Library.  I was back in Port Angeles before dinner.

Updated May 2015