Monday, August 22, 2011

{ We interrupt your regularly scheduled posting to bring you...La Push }

Last weekend, Mike and I went camping with a group of friends from church. Mike's sister Amaryah also came, which was great fun! And this was no ordinary camping trip: We camped on the beach at La Push, on the Washington peninsula. That may not sound very impressive--but La Push is the westernmost zip code in the lower 48 states! Betcha didn't know that. I didn't either till about 5 seconds ago.

Anyhow, in order to camp on the beach, one must first hike 0.75 miles on a trail through the woods to the beach, climb over massive driftwood logs, and then walk about a half mile down the beach to the spot where our friends set up camp. Did I mention that you have to ride a ferry over to the peninsula and then it's a 3+ hour drive to La Push after you get off the ferry? And that we weren't able to leave till after work on Friday evening? And that the wait for a ferry on a Friday night is horrendous? And that none of us in our car {Mike, Amaryah, me, and Amaryah's friend Tojo} had been to La Push before? And that none of us had backpacking-type camping equipment? And that it was 11:45 pm before we reached the parking lot at the trail head? And that once we located the trail, lugged all our stuff {including a cooler full of refrigerated goods, ice, and beer} to the beach, and climbed over the driftwood, we couldn't remember whether we were supposed to go up the beach {to the right} or down the beach {to the left}? And that once we found our friends' campsite {praise God!!}, it was approximately 2am?

In spite of the exhaustion and drama of our wee-hours-arrival, I enjoyed this trip so much! Last summer, Mike and I made a "bucket list" of eight things we wanted to do during the summer of 2010. "A weekend camping on the Washington coast" was one of the items we didn't get to last year, so I was really excited to be able to go with a group of friends and my SIL.

One word for La Push: Gorgeous. Another word for La Push: Balmy. There was very little wind {very surprising}, and it was warm enough for just jeans and a t-shirt most of the time. I've been to the Oregon coast a few times, and buffeting winds are a primary memory. And while La Push looks remarkably similar to Cannon Beach and Twin Rocks in Oregon, it was so calm. Enough with the rambling...let's get to the photos!

A sunflower sea star, which I had never even heard of before! {Mike's foot included for size reference. You're welcome.}

Mike inside the cave seen in the photo prior to this one.
And the photo below is looking out the mouth of the same cave.

Mark, our friend and real-life neighbor, made various interpretive structures with assorted sticks. This is "the line," with individual sticks representing how far over "the line" different people had gone in our conversation that afternoon. {I think this was shortly before I told my Little Mermaid joke: Why does Ariel wear seashells?.......Because D shells are too big, and B shells are too small!}

Impressive Batman logo in the idea who made it!

On Saturday evening, while Mike, Tojo, and another guy made a "run" up to the car for more supplies--it's cruel to call it a "run," really, since it takes at least an hour and you kind of want to die after schlepping stuff through the woods and over the beach--some of us went out to the two largest/closest rocky islands you've seen in the photos above. When the tide is out, you can walk most of the way out to them on solid sand, though we ended up having to wade through knee-deep icy water in one area.

The rocks were covered with starfish and sea anemones--literally hundreds of starfish everywhere!

Wading back across to the beach--that water was colder than you can imagine! I only LOOK calm!

I'm not sure what kind of a pose Nathan asked us to assume before snapping this photo, but I like the results. That's Amaryah on the far left, me on the far right, assorted friends--some old, some new--in between.

Here you can see part of our awesome two-sided driftwood shelter. Apparently the first guys in our group to reach the beach, took it over when the previous group of campers left, then added to it. There was a firepit in the middle, a shelf for a kitchen of sorts, and an old float from a boat hung from the highest beam. It was pretty sweet.

We had a really big bonfire that night. Spencer is in this photo for scale. Spencer is very tall.

Before we left on Sunday morning, we ate, burned, or gave away as much food as possible to lighten our load. Someone rescued the last two bananas I threw in the fire, and used them as decoration. Here Mike is helping Mari lift a hot pot off the fire using sticks in lieu of hot pads. That's Amaryah between them. Don't you love the look on Mike's face?!

This, my friends, is how NOT to pack. 'Nuff said.

One last look at our sweet fort.

I won't bore you with details of our eight-hour--yes, eight-hour--journey back home. Suffice it to say that if you're trying to get from the Peninsula back to the Seattle side on a Sunday afternoon and decide to drive around rather than wait in line for the ferry for at least two hours, make sure you know which highway will get you home the fastest. Just sayin'. And you shouldn't always believe what map apps on smartphones tell you. {That's part of the reason I refuse to get a smartphone. Sometimes they are just plain evil!!}


  1. Looks like so much fun... Thanks for sharing :)

  2. LOVE all the starfish and anemonies uh - anemones? (man I have a hard time spelling that word!) Such neat colours and so many of them! Glad to see you weren't attacked by vampires or werewolves... ;)