The final day

On the last day of our hike we got up and immediately had a headland to scramble over. It really was just up and over, it was very short. But… very steep on one side!

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Look! Starfish! I feel like I saw or read somewhere that they’re an invasive species… But I think they look cool anyhow.
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After a shortish beach hike we had another impassable headland to go over. While pausing at the bottom for a short rest and to check out some potential tide pools, some guys hiked past us out around the headland. They looked like they were hiking with a purpose, so we figured they were going to check out the further tide pools or something. I don’t remember this headland being overly strenuous, but the ladder on the north side was missing some rungs. I think this was our final ladder!
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I don’t have a good overview picture of this, but there was a huge landslide which had crossed the last beach, and it was an interesting scramble over it. We later found out from a ranger that it happened in the spring, and it had been an even more interesting scramble earlier in the year before there was an established path. We barely made it under this fallen log with our packs on.
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During our lunch break we saw a coast guard helicopter and boat come by, clearly interested in something around the last impassable headland. Ken posited that it was those hikers who went by us which was later confirmed. They’d tried to hike around the headland and when the tide came in and they got stuck they jumped in with their packs and swam. Somehow that decision worked out for them and they, along with their ranger escort, passed us on the way out. Anyway, that was the drama of the trip. Carry a map and tide table when you hike. There are signs proclaiming that everywhere, but apparently some people don’t read? Also, if I felt my life was threatened enough to jump into the ocean I think I’d leave my pack behind.

Anyway, shortly after lunch we came to the final hike up and out to the car. It was somewhat steep, but the trail was wide and well used with no ladders. After our experiences it seemed like a six lane highway.

The end.

I feel like I should write some summary words, but I’m not sure how to summarize such a wonderful experience. It was fantastic. I was so impressed with how well everybody did, so thankful for the great weather we had, and awestruck by the incredible beauty. I hope I have as much energy as my Dad in 29 years. He hiked all the tricky portions of the trail three times, once with his pack, and then twice to go back and get Mom’s pack.

Let’s end with a cute picture of my parents, since it’s thanks to them that I got exposed to the great outdoors, and backpacking in particular, at an impressionable age.

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October 2013
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