olympic nat park- coastal hike

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

hi there! we are headed up to washington state the begining of oct. for a visit with my MIL and while we are there, DH and i are going to "ditch" the kids with her and head over to olympic nat. park for a 3 or 4 day backpacking trip. we plan to start at shi shi beach and then see how far we can get since we will have to return the same way to get back to our car. has anyone backpacked here before? any tips or information would be great. DH and i visited olympic nat park about 12 years ago, but then it was mostly just day hikes and established camping.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I have hiked it over 30 years ago. Things have changed. Then it was an isolated walk along the ocean. The hike was called Ruby Beach back then. The most important thing is to get a tide chart so you don't get trapped. It is a good time to go there but there will be lots of people. Take a look at the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. A really nice place and few people. It is called the west coast trail.
Have fun and watch for the grey whales along the coast.

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

well, we are planning to do our trek during the week instead of the weekend. so i hope the crowds will not be to bad. plus it is in october, so most people are back to work and school then. our kids get a 2 week "fall break" the first two weeks of oct since they are on a year round school schedule. i do not know if any schools in the up in washington get that time off too.

anyways, we deffinently will get a tide chart. the park service also recomend keeping your food in bear canisters since the raccoons are so witty at getting to food hung in the trees and even opening zippers! they loan them out, at a suggested $3 per day donation, which is much cheaper then going out and buying one. i am looking forward to this trip since i love the coast so much.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

You will sleep well with the surf singing you to sleep. and have fun!

Beaverton, OR

I'd like to see some photos, if you bring a camera.

Enjoy yourself.

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

hi guys! we just got back from our trip on sunday. DH took some photos, not too many since the weather was mosty foggy or cloudy. the nicest day was the first day, it was a clear, blue sky and lovely sunset. i will post a link when he has them ready.

anyways, it was a challenging hike once we went south of Shi-Shi beach. we had to wait for low tide to access the 3 headlands (climbing up ropes that the park service provides) so we could get to the next beach. it was not as nice of a beach as Shi-Shi, but we saw very few people there. anyways, on our last day, on the way out, i ended up slipping on the rocks and tumbling down about 15ft on the boulders below. luckily i had my pack on, it saved my back from getting injured. i stopped my fall by grabbing onto a large jagged boulder. somewhere in the whole process of tumbling down, i banged my left knee up pretty good, along with cuts and scrapes on both legs and arms. luckily, i was still able to hike on my injured knee, but we missed getting to the headland before the tide rolled in. so we waited it out on an outcropping of rocks for 4 hours until the water receeded. we still had 7.5 miles to go to get to our car and we finally walked out of the woods at 8 pm. after all that, my knee began to swell.

i got home ok, but i could not walk on my leg yesterday morning and DH took me to the ER. thankfully, nothing is broken, but i might have some torn ligaments. we have to wait until the swelling goes down before they can do a MRI on it. so they sent me home with a knee brace, crutches and some pain killers. DH and i are both amazed that i was able to hike and climb out of there. guess i was running on adrinaline and now it is payback for all the hiking i did on that injured knee.

other then that, it was a good trip and the kids had fun doing stuff with grandma. but it sure is nice being back in sunny AZ. :)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Geez Kazooie nice recovery. It is always good to not die but then you have to live with the pain. Hope all is well with your knee. I'll ask the good Lord to keep you hiking. Kind of fun standing on a slippery rock for 4 hours in the cold-wet. LOL. the N. Sask was fine.

Thumbnail by Soferdig
KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

Kazoozie, that's something that I would do!! I am very clumsy and am always falling, tripping, or just hitting my knees on something just right so that it hurts. I keep waiting ot break a bone or tear a ligament but never have.........yet!! LOL. Get better soon!! And don't be stubborn and overdo it either!!

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

thanks guys! the swelling has gone down some and i am able to "hobble" around without my crutches some of the time now. i have a Dr appointment today and am keeping my fingers crossed that this is not something more serious that will require surgery. anyways, the way i look at it, i am glad that it is fall and i have until next spring or summer to recover fully before we decide to do another big trek.

Lombard, IL(Zone 5b)

Kazooie, hope you are alright. 15 ft is a nice tumble to be able to walk away from. Smart move not pushing the tides. Good luck with the MRI.

Bill

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

thanks bill, glad i was able to hike out of there...i had no desire to stay on those rocks for any longer then i needed to. i am still waiting to have the mri, so i am still not sure what the extent of damage to my knee is. the swelling has really gone down, but it feels like i have jello for a knee.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Kazooie we are wondering what is happening. Are you in a body cast? Hope the knee is getting better.

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

hi sofer and all! not in a body cast but might as well be.... no, actually, i have been out of the loop becuase i had surgery last week (hysterectomy) and am trying to recover from that along with my knee. finally had my mri today, so i should get the results in a couple days. since it is still giving me problems, i am starting to think that maybe something is torn. i have an appointment next tuesday with an ortho dr.

anyways, DH got a few of his better photos posted on his web site from this trip if you would like to see them:
http://www.walkaboutgalleries.com/thumbs/Olympic-1.php

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

hi again! got the diagnosis for my knee. the good news is nothing is torn. there is acute bruising on the back side of the petella with some fluid buildup. the orthopedic dr gave me a cortisone shot to help take down the swelling and some anti-inflamitory pills. what a difference i can tell in just a day from getting the cortisone. she told me to expect about 3-4 months to recover fully from this. so plenty of time to get ready before the next backpacking trip. :)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

You are blessed Kazooie. Good news. Enjoy the next hike and remember how fortunate you are.

Lombard, IL(Zone 5b)

Next time bring a light knee-brace in case something aggravates it. A knee problem or pain can ruin a trip. My favorite field improvisation was a makeshift knee-brace out of a couple of pairs of the elastic portion of socks. Got me through a week in Canyonlands.

Good to hear no permanent damage.

Bill

Chandler, AZ(Zone 9b)

thanks guys! i actually have thought about bringing the light knee brace that i am using now on my next trip just incase it does act up. sounds like you made yourself a good improvised brace, bill. i will have to remeber that, just incase.

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