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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15995 | TRs

Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostWed May 04, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I left Seattle at 5 pm on Saturday, and drove out to the coast, towards Rialto beach, and turned onto Rayonier land, sign said "open for recreational use".  biggrin.gif  But when I got to my final road, #5600, it was not only gated but red-dotted, closed to all use. frown.gif  So, there went "plan A", a trip into Norwegian Memorial the easy way, with a scouting expedition to Allen's Bay on Lake Ozette. Next up, plan B, another private logging road that leads to a shortcut trail to Mosquito beach. I couldn't find it, at least I wasn't sure if I had found it, or maybe it was one of the gated or overgrown roads I saw.  huh.gif  By this time it was 1 am, so I found a likely spot and crashed in the back of the car (free, at least).

Sunday morning it was time for emergency back-up plan C. I drove south on 101 to the Moclips Highway, then north to Taholah, only to find my Quinault reservation road closed from 10:30 am to 3 pm as part of a really big road rally that was going on.  doh.gif  So, at this point I quit, drove down to the drive-on beach at Moclips, and took a long nap in the back of the car. Then I realized the road was now open, the tide was going out, and it was still a long time until sunset, so back to Taholah I went, stopping at the police station/jail to get my day use permit. Cash only, exact change only.

I crossed the Quinault river on the big bridge, then Duck creek on another huge bridge, then crossed Camp creek on the "pre-Columbian arch" from the movie Romancing the Stone.  OK, slight exaggeration, but it was a white-knuckle bridge for sure.

Pre-Columbian arch
Pre-Columbian arch

Then the road got really interesting, narrow, hemmed in by brush and saplings, and pothole after pothole after pothole. Really bad, deep potholes, and no way to even try to dodge them. This goes on for miles. Finally I figure I've gone way too far, but in reality not far enough, and I see a grassy spot on the left side of the road, with a car parked there, and a small trail heading into the woods like a low tunnel. I follow that, and there is old rotting boardwalks, and some stairs still semi-existing taking me down into a creek gully, and across a huge log over the bottom of the gully, and next to a cabin on the bluff. There are some people in the cabin, and I ask if I am OK to be here, and they say "sure, no problem", so I continue on the trail. It ends on a spine of land 100 feet above the beach, with a cliff on the beach side, and a cliff down into the stream gully on the other side.  huh.gif  But I scouted around, and worked my way down the spine of land to about 50 feet above the beach, and I found a series of footsteps carved or beaten into the bluff's dirt and rocks, and that takes me to a grassy hummock, and then down from that is another series of micro-steps, then a little rear-end scooting, and I was down to a pile of rocks that could be descended to the beach sand. Whew! Right away I could see that this is not a place to challenge the tide, as the high water crashes right up against the bluff, for a long way in either direction. I went a short way south just to see around the nearby point, then headed north, as I was a couple of miles south of my intended destination. It all was for the best, though, as I got good looks at Hogsback and Little Hogsback, plus a good five mile (R/T) hike.


Tunnel island trip 008
Tunnel island trip 008
The deadly descent
The deadly descent
Tunnel island trip 012
Tunnel island trip 012
Tunnel island trip 013
Tunnel island trip 013
Tunnel island trip 018
Tunnel island trip 018
Tunnel island trip 037
Tunnel island trip 037
Tunnel island trip 039
Tunnel island trip 039
Tunnel island trip 041
Tunnel island trip 041
Tunnel island trip 047
Tunnel island trip 047
Tunnel island trip 053
Tunnel island trip 053
Tunnel island trip 054
Tunnel island trip 054
The egg
The egg
Eroded beehive of rock
Eroded beehive of rock

Then I was at my destination: Tunnel Island and Elephant rock. If you love the Washington coast, and you've never been there, then you are missing out. Tunnel Island is located at the mouth of the Raft river, about halfway between the Quinault and the Queets. I will let my pictures do the talking here.


Tunnel island trip 089
Tunnel island trip 089
Tunnel island trip 096
Tunnel island trip 096
Tunnel island trip 112
Tunnel island trip 112
The mighty Raft river
The mighty Raft river
That tunnel is bigger than it looks
That tunnel is bigger than it looks
Tunnel island trip 145
Tunnel island trip 145
Tunnel island trip 146
Tunnel island trip 146
Tunnel island trip 160
Tunnel island trip 160
Big Hogsback
Big Hogsback
Tunnel island trip 229
Tunnel island trip 229
Tunnel island trip 225
Tunnel island trip 225

Holy cow, what a cool place. Morning light would be best, but I had to make do with what I had, luckily the sun went into some thick haze which diffused the light. Low tide is a must. I hung out as long as I could, based on daylight and the tide, then I high-tailed it back the way I came, up the cliff (easier going up), through the woods, and then out the awful road, hoping not to meet anyone coming in. In the whole time I was there, I saw no one except the people in the cabin.

Then I drove up to the Queets to spend the night (free!), and Monday I drove over to Kalaloch in the rain, and hung out in the back of the car, looking out at the turbulent ocean, and all the myriad birds.


Tunnel island trip 230
Tunnel island trip 230
My version of the shoe shot
My version of the shoe shot
Tunnel island trip 250
Tunnel island trip 250
Tunnel island trip 257
Tunnel island trip 257
Tunnel island trip 275
Tunnel island trip 275

Tuesday was much nicer, so I did some more hiking on the local beaches, and saw some nice things.


Tunnel island trip 278
Tunnel island trip 278
Tunnel island trip 281
Tunnel island trip 281
Tunnel island trip 286
Tunnel island trip 286
The pleasures of 18X zoom
The pleasures of 18X zoom
Tunnel island trip 293
Tunnel island trip 293
Tunnel island trip 298
Tunnel island trip 298
18X zoom
18X zoom

Then it was home, with several stops, like at La Poel on Lake Crescent.



Tunnel island trip 323
Tunnel island trip 323
Tunnel island trip 326
Tunnel island trip 326
Tunnel island trip 336
Tunnel island trip 336

Another nice break in Port Angeles was very scenic.


Tunnel island trip 348
Tunnel island trip 348
Tunnel island trip 349
Tunnel island trip 349
City Pier in Port Angeles
City Pier in Port Angeles
The Rocktopus
The Rocktopus
My dream van
My dream van

Then I stopped at Shine Tidelands, a good spot to take a whizz.


Hood Canal bridge
Hood Canal bridge
More "Pleasures of 18X zoom"
More "Pleasures of 18X zoom"

And of course the ferry home from Kingston.


Where's my gold, ferry system?
Where's my gold, ferry system?

I really liked the four wheel drive camper van I saw in PA. The perfect trail head vehicle!

Even though I didn't manage plan A or even plan B, and it rained huge amounts on Monday (most but not all of the day) and Tuesday morning, it was still a great time, and I accomplished something that's been on my list for a couple of years, and that's always a good thing. I left the dog home, planning on backpacking in the NP, and I knew the camper van was unsuitable for plan C, so at least I made a few good decisions amongst the failures.  hmmm.gif

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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flatsqwerl
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PostWed May 04, 2011 2:23 pm 
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That looks like a great camping setup with that van you have ...4wd too nice!
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Davidą
Token Canadian



Joined: 25 Jul 2002
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Token Canadian
PostWed May 04, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Nice!  up.gif

Thanks for posting this.

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Warning! Posts may contain traces of sarcasm.

Hiking Website: http://members.shaw.ca/karenanddavid/Index.htm
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onemoremile
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PostWed May 04, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Cool.  Like the rock islands.  There is a van, similar to the one in your picture, in Sequim that has a small lift kit and big tires.  It also has a rack on top for all kinds of additional gear--including a small boat.

--------------
“Arbolist?  Look up the word. I don’t know, maybe I made it up. Anyway, it’s an arbo-tree-ist, somebody who knows about trees.”  G.W. Bush
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostWed May 04, 2011 2:26 pm 
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I wish that was my van. It belonged to some kayakers in PA. I was in my Subaru.  frown.gif

I just noticed I only uploaded one picture of the magnificent Tunnel Island. doh.gif  More to follow.....

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
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Turtle Hiker
PostWed May 04, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Precarious bluff descent!

And your "shoe shot" pic - it looks like you sleep in the cargo area of your Sube, with the rear seats folded down?  I didn't think there was enough room?
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15995 | TRs

Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostWed May 04, 2011 4:58 pm 
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I have a twin size futon in the back of the Subaru Legacy. The cargo area is exactly 6 feet long. The futon sticks out just a tad, keeping the rear gate from closing all the way, but that's OK as I need air anyway, and the rear hatch's downward slope sheds the rain. In a strong wind, the end of the futon on one side can get a bit, um, damp. If I want to close the hatch all the way, I can, and I just have to sleep catty-corner on the futon (I'm 6' 3"). It really is a comfortable way to sleep, almost as good as a real bed, or my camper van. Since I got the van I rarely car camp in the car anymore, but it is still useful for sleeping at trail heads the night before a hike. I use a mosquito net I got at REI to keep out the skeeters during that part of the year. Mombasa mosquito net. It's big enough to cover the whole back end of the car, or all four side windows.

In that shoe shot picture, the rear hatch is only about half way up. If it was all the way up, you wouldn't see it in that picture.

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



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Turtle Hiker
PostWed May 04, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Boy, that is super useful info - thanks a zillion Slugman!  Yer gonna laugh - 2 weeks ago we tried to sleep in our Sube's front seats, that was sure a no-go, I figured that out in about 5 seconds  embarassedlaugh.gif

Our cargo area is pretty dirty and full of stuff tho, gotta do some rearranging and cleaning.

Sorry for the thread drift, and back to the beautiful beach trip regular programming!
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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Mid Fork Rocks
PostWed May 04, 2011 5:14 pm 
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I like that giant Hershey's Kiss rock perched on the bluff (white chocolate variety). Thanks for this report -- that's an amazing looking place I've never heard of.

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Trevor
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PostWed May 04, 2011 5:28 pm 
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Thanks for the info on a rarely-photographed area!

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Trevor Anderson Photography
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seawallrunner
dilettante



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
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dilettante
PostWed May 04, 2011 5:55 pm 
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wow, what a great place !!! would love to see that area with my own eyes...

and I loved your description on how to get there:

Quote:
Then the road got really interesting, narrow, hemmed in by brush and saplings, and pothole after pothole after pothole. Really bad, deep potholes, and no way to even try to dodge them. This goes on for miles. Finally I figure I've gone way too far, but in reality not far enough, and I see a grassy spot on the left side of the road, with a car parked there, and a small trail heading into the woods like a low tunnel. I follow that, and there is old rotting boardwalks, and some stairs still semi-existing taking me down into a creek gully, and across a huge log over the bottom of the gully, and next to a cabin on the bluff. There are some people in the cabin, and I ask if I am OK to be here, and they say "sure, no problem", so I continue on the trail. It ends on a spine of land 100 feet above the beach, with a cliff on the beach side, and a cliff down into the stream gully on the other side.  huh.gif  But I scouted around, and worked my way down the spine of land to about 50 feet above the beach, and I found a series of footsteps carved or beaten into the bluff's dirt and rocks, and that takes me to a grassy hummock, and then down from that is another series of micro-steps, then a little rear-end scooting, and I was down to a pile of rocks that could be descended to the beach sand. Whew! Right away I could see that this is not a place to challenge the tide, as the high water crashes right up against the bluff, for a long way in either direction. I went a short way south just to see around the nearby point, then headed north, as I was a couple of miles south of my intended destination. It all was for the best, though, as I got good looks at Hogsback and Little Hogsback, plus a good five mile (R/T) hike.

Priceless !!
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half fast
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Location: Living the dream in my motor home
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PostWed May 04, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Slugman wrote:
...But when I got to my final road, #5600, it was not only gated but red-dotted, closed to all use. frown.gif  So, there went "plan A", a trip into Norwegian Memorial the easy way, with a scouting expedition to Allen's Bay on Lake Ozette...

Bummer about plan A Slugman !!

also plan B...

but... plan C looks like it was a pretty nice alternative... up.gif  up.gif

It was just pouring out here right before the earth drops off from early Mon. morning on - it actually woke me up -  I was hoping you didn't drown out there...  clown.gif

Nice photos...   thanks for sharing... biggrin.gif

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It's all about the fun, oh and maybe the chocolate - half fast
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Sore Feet
Random Quippy Bit



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Random Quippy Bit
PostWed May 04, 2011 9:27 pm 
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Slug, I've wanted to get to Tunnel Island for years.  The beta in this report alone is worth a beer or two.  up.gif

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Bryan Swan
Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanswan
Waterfalls - www.waterfallsnorthwest.com
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostWed May 04, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Thanks all, for the kind words. I had seen the area on the topo maps of course, but never knew how cool it was, or that it was accessible, until I read a trip report here a couple of years ago. It was by charmer, who has only posted 8 times, 2 of them trip reports. But his Elephant rock report struck a chord in me, and I had to go see for myself. I'm glad I went in where I did, and walked the beach the last two miles, as it seems that driving all the way to the Raft river leads to some pretty muddy trails to the beach, and you'd have to walk the miles anyway to see the rest of the cool stuff. The road appears to be worse now than when he drove it two years back.

So I go into the police station to buy my day-use pass for the reservation (no overnight camping). You go up to the same window that visitors to the jail use. It is glass so dark you see nothing, and a disembodied voice comes out of a speaker. I'm looking around like muppets hearing the announcer's voice in Pigs in Space, not even sure the voice is talking to me. Finally I realize they are asking for $5 and some ID. I pass it through to the invisible person, and they pass back a receipt and my ID. The receipt is generic and says nothing about what the money is for. The whole thing was weird but not creepy or unpleasant. The residents of the reservation that I met were all very friendly.

On the drive out I saw three fat chicken-sized birds, brown colored, maybe grouse? I also saw several rabbits. I could have lived for a week just off what I saw driving out. I may be "pro-bunny", but I'm also "pro-barbecue".  embarassedlaugh.gif

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Cle Elum
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed May 04, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Hey Slugmeister, I met the owner of your dream 4x4 at the Grange in Issaquah filling up with B50 biodiesel. She told me they have a place on the coast and they go there all the time.  They bought their truck used (60,000) as opposed to new (100,000) She was a nice lady.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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