Lake Ozette Camping Trip

This last weekend Nate and I finally went on our long planned camping trip to Lake Ozette which is located on the North Western part of the Olympic Peninsula. The trip started at 0330 when I woke up for a shower and to make breakfast. Nate arrived around 0400, we ate and embarked on our trip.

Most of the trip until that point was us driving. I was fairly tired but not so tired I was sleepy or too grouchy. We kept each other’s spirits up. The first picture is of a view from the road close to a town called Sekiu. It seems like a boater’s and fishermen’s’ resort town. Nothing remarkable but the view was nice. My cell phone stopped having network coverage about 30 minutes before this point and this shot shows sun light which will be the last sun we will see but for a brief glimpse later in the day.

On the road from the Northern coast down into the park where Lake Ozette resides. The roads were very windy vulnerable to slides reminiscent to old logging roads that have simply been paved over. I am not sure if that was the case. We took Nate’s truck to be able to bring along the canoe. We canoed for a few hours after we set up our camp. It was a fun trip although I was really nervous about tipping over. We took a break at a beach we found from the water which we have christened Beer Break Beach, for obvious reasons.

This is a view of the lake from the camping grounds. The grounds were $12.00 a night plus a $15.00 entrance fee for the night. Accommodations were a water faucet and a restroom complete with toilets, cold water, soap, and a single power outlet. There was a pay phone and down the road was a “resort” which rented cabins and sold various essentials. I am glad we opted for the traditional car camping experience as devised by the U.S. Park Service.

Through out the day we would come back a lounge in these very chairs. The best was late Saturday with a wonderful pipe filled with aromatic tobacco and brandy to sip. I lament the fact that I didn’t get to just sit and relax more in these. Perhaps more next time.

This river leaves the lake and heads to the coast. Many fish swim up and down it and you can barely make out the dock where we set up our chairs and fished for two hours. I had never been fishing before so it was nice to finally understand how it works. We did not catch anything but it was a relaxing moment indeed.

Ah, the beginning of our 6.2 mile forced march at which point I was happily photographing everything. I like taking pictures because I remember how wonderful it is that my father, having done the same, has set aside for me a collection of lifelong memories captured on film. Here is one section of the 95% of the trail which is covered by such boardwalks. This particular section is also very flat and smooth. Most of it is decayed, rotted, and curved which is very hard on the feet.

Here we pause on the trail in one of the prairies. We wanted to do the hike quickly to get back in time for some more fishing because the fishing is apparently better when fish swim up for feeding. I pushed myself too hard and my feet ended up being on fire the rest of the night. At night, my legs hurt so much that I woke from the pain of turning over in my sleep.

Finally! The coast! Not quite the Western most point of the contiguous 48 States, maybe it was or close enough. We took only a moment to take in the beauty as our sun light was going away. We were afraid of not getting back to camp before dusk which would be terrible without a flashlight. I will return sometime when I can take the time to soak in the sights and thoughts that such views seem to activate.

It rained that night but I must have slept through it. With a hearty breakfast in our bellies and our legs on fire from the hike the previous day, we made our way back home. Here we stopped at the straits between the U.S. and Canada. The sun was making its way out again. We stopped in Port Angeles so Nate can meet with an old coworker. I enjoyed the burrito. I helped Nate unload the truck and then he took me home. I think I got home around 1400 on Sunday and took a three hour nap.

Anyway, I had a good time. It felt good to get out and do things. It had been way too long since my last camping trips backpacking through the tundra plateaus of New Mexico or insane climbs up to various points in the Cascades during my years in the Boy Scouts. I cannot wait to take Crystal and Henry to some camping trips soon.

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