Backpacking without a Plan

  For the last few years, around my birthday I try to spend a week outdoors.  I figure it is the best thing I can do for myself when this time of year rolls around.  What better way to ground myself and start each year out right?

 Those of you that know me personally know that am a planner.  Well, this was one of those trips that nothing went according to plan.  I however felt that it was good for me to be more flexible.  Moving around each 'rock in the path' like water.  As wise men tell me all the time, 'Its not about the destination, but the journey'.

  Without a doubt  it took more out of this trip than most solo hikes; since there were five parties involved for sections of this trip.

  Group consisted of a various people, with a variety of personalities.  This made for a very interesting and memorable group indeed.

PNW road trip
Group for the Week (missing one in this picture) 

lake crescent maple
Mysterious Maple 

Part A:  Olympic National Park Coast

  We shuttled out to Rialto Beach for a relaxing coastal hike.  Ended up spending a few days relaxing.  Lots of conversation, exploration and just watching nature unfold around us.  It was nice to have no agenda.

rialto beach olympic national park
Rialto Beach

Hole in the wall
Through 'Hole in the Wall'

backpacking rialto beach
Great Core Workout

beauty washington coast
Taking it all in

ultralight coast footwear
Best Ultralight Backpacking Footwear so far created by Man

Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter on the Coast (see small Deer?)

My Short Video Clip:

Part B:  Hoh Rainforest 

  After a few days on the coast, we moved upriver into the rain forest.  It was a nice night just relaxing on the gravel bar.

 Once Camp was set up, we headed off upriver to find the One Square Inch Rock.  The game trail starts under a unique tree and leads you through the forest.  We found the rock, but no 'Jar of Thoughts' that was described by the author.  Perhaps the Park Service carried out this jar?

The sunset bounced off the ridge tops and peaked its head through the forest floor.  I slept like a baby; even through all the rain that fell later that night.

one square inch
One Square Inch Trail Entrance

one square inch rock
One Square Inch Rock

tarp hoh rainforest
Eve before it Rained all night under a Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter

My Short Video Clip:

backpacking hoh rain
Hiking out in the Rain the next Morning

As a Storm Passes:

  Nivaun and I originally had a plan C to 'Baby Fastpack' the North Olympic National Park Coast in two nights.  This section is over 30 miles of coastline.  Napping only when the tide was at its highest for a few hours and then powering the whole section out.  This route would be from Rialto Beach to Shi Shi Beach near Neah Bay, Wa.  The weather however did'nt agree with our plans.

  72 hours before we would need to start this Adventure a two day long rain storm, was forecasted to hit the peninsula.  Being that it takes an estimated 24 hours for the rivers to lower to normal heights.  This would mean that there was chance that we would have to swim the Ozette River; so we decided on a last minute Plan C to the Pacific Crest Trail.  This crossing is best done when the tide is at its lowest point for the day.

Updated May 2015