A long, somewhat convoluted, ride up from Eugene to the Washington Coast was how I spent my day last friday and it couldn't have been better. We took our time on the drive and went the scenic route along the Columbia River. It was a nice day getting on towards evening as we arrived at Willapa Bay. We met up with the last remaining crew member and Due to the time of day we decided to post up camp at Cape Disappointment. It was a beautiful place covered with vegetation and some great camping spots. Little oceanside towns dot the coast line as you drive along the peninsula. This is the same place where Lewis and Clarke finally found the Pacific Ocean at the end of their long journey. I wish I could have seen this place as they did.
We woke up to the sounds of birds at about 5:30. I lay in my sleeping bag trying to separate the birds I was hearing from the birds of my dreams. I heard Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Nuthatch (not sure if it was red or white-breasted), Winter Wren, and a Downy Woodpecker. The rest were either fantastic imaginative birds concocted by my unconscious or simply calls that I do not know. A quick breakfast of couple-day-old bagels and we went out in search of a canoe. After chit-chatting around town Keaton had found a man interested and renting out his huge orange canoe to six 20 year olds for the night.
Long Island 5/1
Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge of Long Island from the mainland and we were there. We didn't want to waste any more time so we quickly dropped the canoe in a safe spot and packed in to the interior of the Island. A couple miles in we found the path to Smokey Hollow Campground. At the site some Kayakers had just beaten us to the primo spots but we were only momentarily put-off as the next site down the line was a cozier counterpart to the first two.
Still midday and with hours of sunlight left we made our way north on the inner island path to see if we could reach the far side. I was a long walk and we took our time to really observe the surroundings closely. I would have to say that the highlight of the day for me was when someone spotted a Barred Owl and we got a nice long look at it. What a beautiful and silent bird.
Bald Eagle and Juvenile
This trip was a well needed excursion into the wild for me. I am still waiting on more information about my Alaska job and this short pack trip was the perfect amount to get me re-stoked and prepared for it. I now know that I need gators, socks, a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and batteries. Im sure there is still more and maybe i can squeeze in one more trip before i leave. Camping, even for a day, can both raise spirits and restore sanity.