Olympic Coast: Shi Shi to Ozette

The bus ride went smoothly, picking me up along Highway 101 a mile from the farm. In Sappho I transferred to another bus for the rest of the journey to the city of Neah Bay, Washington. There was a heavy fog with light rain during my road walk from city limits to the Shi Shi Beach trailhead. After a few muddy miles, I would officially take my first steps in Olympic National Park and down to the sandy beach, on my journey south along the Washington Coast to La Push.

Editor's Note: Article part of an extended trek in the Olympic Mountains.

Neah Bay
A creature warns me of the perils ahead, during my road walk to the Olympic Coast.

Shi Shi Beach
After walking the coast for a bit, I would have to stay the night and wait for the tide to turn the next morning before continuing on. The beach was empty and I had my pick of campsites. Later that evening a group came in, just before dark. I offered to share my site, since it was the best and I was only going to sleep there for one night. They were staying for four, so I didn't mind. Unfortunately the group stayed awake all night chopping firewood. Luckily I always carry earplugs.
Point of Arches
Looking south to Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the lower 48. It would be my destination for the night. The tide cycle meant a late start in the day as some sections of the coast are only walkable at low tide. To safely cross the Ozette River, I would need a fast step south to cross when the tide was at its lowest. Last year I swam across and didn't want to repeat.
Baby seal
Baby seals can be seen nursing while walking south along the North Olympic Coast.
Olympic Coast Debris
After safely making it across the Ozette River, which was only ankle deep, camp was pitched. I returned to the ocean for sunset and evening reflections.
Locus Gear Khufu
My Locus Gear Khufu Sil in a haunted Olympic coastal forest.  
Ozette Triangle
The next morning, looking south from Cape Alava. For the next two days I would be walking on the Pacific Northwest Trail. I could see La Push on the far horizon, my next destination before moving inland into the rainforest. It would take me two full days of rock hopping to get there.
Yellow Banks
The section below Yellow Banks was one of the top three mental lows for me this year. The loose round rocks made for slow going. There is also limited fresh water in this area.  

Part of the 'Walking through the Seasons' Trail Series

Updated by Barefoot Jake in July 2015