Day 58: The Pacific Ocean

Monday September 9, 14.4mi/23.2km

Olympic Coast Trailhead (1178.8/43ft) to Third Beach camp (1193.2/33ft) (WA)

I set my alarm (for the first time this hike) for 3:45am, and I was hiking at 4:15am. Of course, it was very dark.

I hiked to the ocean, and I could hear the waves crashing on the beach. I hiked thru the beach section that is passable only at low tide, which unfortunately today occurred at 4:30am. After a mile on the rocky beach, I was back on a trail above the beach.

After two hours of headlamp hiking, the sun finally rose at 6:30am, and I had a view!

The trail dropped down to the beach, and I enjoyed some nice flat sand walking for awhile.

The Pacific Ocean is so interesting to walk along, there are these neat rock formations scattered around, I think they’re called seastacks.

This one even had some very determined trees growing on top.

More beach!

The trail again went back up into the forest, briefly this time. Usually when there is an impassable part of the beach, the trail ducks inland to get around the cliffs/rocks.

After I got back down to the beach again, the clouds had started to dissipate, and I took a break in the warm sunlight.

I stopped for a snack at a campsite, which had some nice benches to sit on.

And some interesting decorations too.

I hiked by an area named “Giants Graveyard”, with all these huge rock formations in the sea.

As I was walking along admiring the ocean, I almost tripped over a skeleton. Oops!

It must’ve been a huge sea critter!

It was only noon, and I was getting tired, but I pressed on to camp a few miles away. Sometimes when the trail descends back down to the beach, it is so steep that ropes are needed.

The last mile along the beach (for today) was relaxing and warm.

A cloud would hover over the mainland, but it was sunny on the beach. Strange!

I arrived to camp at 2pm, after hiking for almost 8 hours. I setup my tent, and took a nap in the warm sunshine.

I woke up at 4pm and walked down to the ocean. The water is very cold, so I only waded in up to my knees. I talked to a couple other dayhikers, and then went back up to my tent and made dinner. The sun set at 7:45pm, and by 8pm the moon was watching over the beach.

Goodnight, ocean. Two more days to finish the PNT!

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