Ikkatsu daily report – Mosquito Creek to Ruby Beach

Posted by Ken Campbell August 17, 2012 0 Comment 1267 views
August 9, 2012
We get up by 6:30, and on the water just before 8:00am. Unlike the rest of the days on this leg, the skies are blue and the sun is shining, and there is no sign yet of the 25-knot winds that are supposed to hit later in the day. We poke our way along the shore just outside the surf zone, dodging through the rock gardens until we get to Hoh Head. There is a little cove with a beautiful sandy beach just before the point that pulls me in for a closer look and I can’t help but breathe a little more deeply, trying to soak up and hold as much of the place as I can.
Hoh Head is a sheer outcropping of stone that stretches vertically out of the water and skyward for a hundred feet and more. The waves today are gentle rollers but it’s easy to see how the area could be quite different when the weather is more inclement. This is another of the coastal sections that hikers cannot see. The trail cuts into the woods at Jefferson Cove, just south of Hoh Head, and doesn’t reconnect with the beach until Mosquito Creek, which means that the whole first part of today’s journey runs along a wild scenery that the walking crowd will never lay eyes on. (I suppose that means that they see a portion of forest that we can’t, but we’ll gladly keep the status quo… Hoh Head is incredible.)
The cliffs are gone once we get to Jefferson Cove, and the shoreline turns completely to sand shortly thereafter, at the mouth of the Hoh River. We set a direct course for Abbey Island, 2 miles down the coast, with Ruby Beach right behind it. It doesn’t take long before we arrive, surfing one last dumper into the beach and climbing out of the cockpits onto the sand, where day-tripping tourists take photos of us – for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend.
And just like that, it’s over. True, we still have the matter of a paddle out to Destruction Island next month, but the coastal run is done. We need to put together the information we’ve collected along the way, collate the results of the surveys into something that can be used by NOAA and the rest, and there’s still the matter of the documentary… in some ways the work is just beginning.
Still, there’s a part of me that wishes I could just turn the boat around and head back out into the surf, point the bow north and do the whole thing again.

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