Toleak Point: February 12-14, 2018
The date was set, now all we had to do was wait and watch the weather predictions. At first it was going to be cold with possible snow, then some rain but chances of sun. We were going to go regardless of what the weather was going to be, however, as every backpacker knows – Weather dictates what we bring and what our pack weight is going to be.
For me, the planning builds the anticipation. It’s like setting up the game board with all the pieces. In our case I didn’t have much to decide on because I already knew what we were bringing. Two new pieces of gear needed to be tested, a tent and a sleeping system.
There were six people in our group. Two we crossed the Bailey Range with in 2017 and two we were meeting meeting for the first time.
February 12, 2018
The Day Begins…
It was 30°F at our cabin in Quilcene, Washington. The morning alarm was everyone texting their location and meeting times. The weather report was also a topic of discussion. We were going to have beautiful weather with only one night of rain and it happened just as predicted.
Deborah and I had breakfast in Sequim then made our way to the Olympic Wilderness Information Center (WIC) to get the backcountry permit. Twenty minutes later Jeff, Jason, Tim, and his dad Mark arrived right on cue.
The Olympic Coast Trailhead…
Only Jeff and I had been to Toleak Point before. In fact, we had met on this very trail in 2013 and we have been hiking together ever since. This was the first beach hike that Jason and Tim have done. I am not sure about Tim’s father Mark but I thought he said it was his first time here.
February 13, 2018
Morning was pleasantly slow. We didn’t want to leave our sleeping bag it was so comfortable, however, we managed to get out of our tent when nature called.
After a breakfast of Perfect Oats Blueberry Muffin oatmeal, they are perfect by the way, we saw Jason putting hiker and beach trash in a plastic 55 gallon drum that washed ashore. For the next few hours we fit trash into a three inch hole and filled the container with rope, plastic bottles, styrofoam, and hiker trash.
During hikes we always end up carrying out a lot of trash left by disrespectful hikers. The beach is too overwhelming to be able to do this, so all one can do is organize it a bit to lessen the impact.
When that was done me and Deborah hiked south down the beach towards Goodman Creek. Climbed the roped hillside and had lunch with an incredible view!
When we returned to camp the guys had a huge campfire going.
Along Washington’s norther coast, it is imperative to be mindful always of the tide. Many points can not be navigated unless the tide is low enough. I figured we needed to leave by 8:30am and no later than 9am if we were going to make it to Scott’s Bluff before the tide pinned us. So from my tent I announced the proclamation.
February 14, 2018
We did manage to wake up early enough to be packed and on the beach by a little after nine. The sky was blue and the light was perfect for photos and we walked at a photographers pace which would prove to be a near fatal mistake.
The waves had us pushed up against the bluff and we were having to navigate mud slides, boulders, and fallen trees. By the time we reached Scott’s Bluff I doubt we had 15 minutes to spare before we would have been in serious trouble. We were quite lucky to reach our inland trail, given another ticket to visit again.