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Saturday Sandblasting (or a hike in the wind….)

Originally I was supposed to be out backpacking this past weekend with my friend Dani. Well, those plans were dashed by a late-winter storm advisory, up to 2 feet of snow were predicted for the area we were heading to – but more worrying was the wind advisory. I don’t much care for hiking in forests when the winds are howling.

On a whim, Kirk and I headed up to the Island on Saturday morning. We needed to drop my brother off at the ferry dock so he could get home (he had been visiting), so we hopped on the Mukilteo Ferry and headed over. Dani was planning on meeting us via the second ferry run, which comes from the Olympic Peninsula. The wind advisory didn’t cross my mind. Guess it has been too many years since I moved off The Rock. The ferry we took is rarely canceled due to winds, where as the other one does get canceled. And yep, it got canceled for hours. She was sitting there hoping and it wasn’t happening. Having ridden on that ferry many times to go hiking, when it is windy…it is a barfo-tastic ride. So Kirk and I left the three kids with my Brother, at his place (he lives just up the road from Ebey’s Landing, in the Ebey Reserve).

Parking down at the water we wondered how stupid we were to go hiking.

(I felt like I was going to be knocked over, in this shot)

The sustained winds were 15 to 30 mph. It wasn’t cold though, it was in the high 40’s and sunny (shocking, eh?) but wow, were the waves coming in hard and fast.

We decided to do the loop in the usual way – up the bluff, walk the bluff and down the bluff to the water, then walk the lagoon back till it runs out. Then play ‘dodge-the-waves’. Yeah, all great but that last part 😉 With the wind blowing so hard, I tucked my good camera in my pack and left it there. My glasses were encrusted in a salty-sandy mixture within minutes. The few photos I took were on my mobile phone.

Kirk snapped this of me, standing below him on the trail, lost in my thoughts.

I have hiked this trail countless times over a span of 15 years, it never bores me. I love looking across to the Olympic Mountains and The Strait of Juan de Fuca. Maybe it is more pleasant on calm days, yet, there is something that makes you feel so alive during storms.

Looking down at the lagoon. Kirk decided we should walk the lagoon and beach back, so we went down the bluff trail. The wind was slamming and kicked a ton of gritty sand in my eyes and right ear. Kind of scary how much sand you can get in your ears! Who needs micro dermabrasion for their skin, when they could have nature do it for them? 😉

The lagoon was being pummeled by the wind as well – and was very high this year, meaning we had a few spots where we were log walking to get around. Great workout, lots of balancing!


Due to the wind, and a real lack of any shelter to get out of it, we didn’t stop for long, just long enough for me to grab a bar out of my pack and split it. I hadn’t tried Kind Bars before. This was due to the years of braces and dental work. These past two years, I am enjoying all the things that were off limit for years. I had received a review box of 6 flavors earlier in the week to try out – and wow, OK, why had I not picked these bars up before? The Almond & Coconut is delicious!

Finally, we had to cross over from the lagoon side to the beach, over the driftwood. I love looking into pieces of wood and finding the rocks tucked inside, from the winter storms.

The final bit of the hike was tiring, we were walking with a high tide. One eye on the waves, another on the tiny stretch of sand we had to walk on. There were a few quick jumps up on driftwood to avoid wet feet. I was glad to see the parking lot finally….

Sunday morning we got up and promptly took our minivan in to be washed thoroughly. Not a good idea to leave all that salt on our baby…..Sitting there, waiting for us in the parking lot, she had been coated in a fine salt bath.


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