Ikkatsu daily report – Wedding Rocks

Posted by Ken Campbell July 15, 2012 1 Comment 1394 views

While the media attention has tapered off since we got back from the second leg of the trip, there are a pair of notable interviews coming up in the next few days. On Tuesday, all three of us are going to be talking with National Geographic Radio which, I must say, is a serious thrill for all of us. National-for-Pete’s-sake-Geographic! I get chills. Also, on Wednesday, I’ll be going back up to Seattle for another NPR interview with Dick Gordon of “The Story.” I did one before we left on the first leg and this one will be a follow-up, a report on the progress we’ve made so far. I’m not sure when either of them will air, but I’ll post the info as soon as I get it. Meanwhile…
July 6, 2012
I awaken early to the incessant squawking of crows in the tree above me. I know there are those who cite the supposed intelligence of crows as a reason to respect them, even think of them with some fondness, but I am not among them. They are an unnecessary alarm clock that is constantly in scream mode, and just because their foul notes are natural (or something), doesn’t make the experience any less of an assault.
After breakfast we make the short hike down to Wedding Rocks, petroglyphs that have been carved into selected boulders near the small point just south of our camp site. Because Steve and Kiwi both worked for a while as backpacking guides along this section of shoreline, they have a pretty good idea of where most of the carvings are located. (I’ve been here in the past, but not as often as they have and there are several of the petroglyphs I’ve never seen before.) It’s hard to say that the place is sacred exactly, but there’s an aura of importance attached to the otherwise anonymous portion of beach somehow. At least, that’s how it feels to me.
The spaceman, the orcas, the faces, fertility symbols and the sailing ship. And the one of the gray whale mother and child, carved into the top of a flat rock sitting in the intertidal zone. All of these, and more, all here because some ancient artist with hard stone tools and talent took the time to put them here, as a testament to his vision and a monument to his memory. Sacred? Maybe. Moving? Without a doubt.
In the afternoon, we do a survey near our camp site. As elsewhere, we find plenty of debris, much of it from Asia, but nothing we can readily identify as coming from the tsunami. We count the plastic pieces and styrofoam nuggets, flotsam of all shapes and sizes. We have to shift a few logs above the high tide line to get to the debris lodged underneath and by the time we finish, my fingertips are bloody with slivers and there are a few abrasions on my legs. Science can hurt.
Later, Steve and I paddle out to Ozette Island. We go around the rocky shore, taking in the seals resting on the flats, the big surf on the western point, the quiet beaches on the east side of the island. We don’t come ashore; we just savor the place from our cockpits before heading back to camp.
The tide is high when we get back (which is good, since neither of us wanted to wade through the rocky tide pools, after all), and I stay out for an extra 20 minutes or so and catch a few waves. The slow rollers have perfect shape, 2 – 3 feet high, with easy, glassy faces and strong sets. I ride them in, dodging the submerged rocks and other obstacles, then turn aside before they shatter on the shore, paddling back out to catch another one. I finally come in as the water continues to drop and more of the rocky bottom is exposed. A good session, and a great way to end the day.
We’re going to have to get up early in the morning, since high tide comes at 3:30. If we can get out by 5:00am, we should be ok, but any later than that and we’ll be trapped again behind the beach boulder mine field. We pack what gear we can in preparation for the dawn patrol and we’re in bed before dark.

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