Journey to the NW point of the US (excluding alaska)

Matt and I spent last weekend backpacking on the Pacific coast. Since the weather is very unpredictable, we packed for rain and we got clouds and occasional sun instead. I couldn’t have asked for better weather (although a part of me wanted hot and sunny so I could jump into the ocean) We hiked to Cape Alava late Friday night, where I learned that my headlamp needed batteries a bit too late. Luckily the trail is basically a boardwalk through a marsh the whole way and Matt bought a headlamp that day (his favorite one is mia). So we got to the coast and couldn’t find a campsite except the one directly across from the pit toilet…very smelly. So we quietly set up camp near some guy’s tent, hid the food in the bear lock box, and fell asleep. Poor Matt was cold the whole night–I attributed it to his 50 degree bag and my well-ventilated tent. The next morning we discovered it was because his pillow was comprised of the bite-valve for the Platypus. He was sleeping in a few inches of water.
But no worries, we broke camp around 7am, I found some campers on their way out and we got a very nice campsite all to ourselves, complete with perfect tree to hang best hammock in the world. But we weren’t alone; an island just off the coast was the party zone for the local seals and they barked all day and all night!
Saturday we hiked along the coast, explored some tide pools, waded in the water, and took a nap in our hammock, at another perfect hammock spot. Our Treehugger hammock is the best purchase I have made in years. It fits both Matt and I comfortably and is only 19 ounces. We had to wait out the tide to cross Ozette River, it was about 5 feet deep at medium tide. Waiting wasn’t boring, since we made friends with a cud-chewing deer and a sandpiper who had no fear of predators. We just sat and watched them do their thing until the tide went out. You definitely can’t hike as far as you think you can when it’s rocky and the tide controls YOU.
Sunday we hiked south on the coast to Wedding Rocks, which included over40 petroglyphs such as whales, faces, and lots of fertility symbols carved into the rocks. After that, we hiked back to camp, packed our packs and hiked out. I’ve always wanted to camp out there, and it was beautiful, rugged, and remote. Now I want to do a traverse from Shishi Beach south down to Rialto Beach, where Matt and I got engaged. For that, we will need more than 2.5 days.

I am an ice carving master!

My block is 20x20x5″, about 75 pounds. I get one day out of summer quarter to play with ice. (and it was the best day besides farm days–summer school has been very demanding. Planning the wedding will be cake..) My teacher, Keijiro Miyata, ranked 2nd in the WORLD for ice carving, is one of my instructors this summer. He is very humble and seems to have patience for our ice carvings. That amazes me because it must be such a waste of ice to him for us to carve butterflies and flowers and guitars. My carving was going to be a penguin, but two people this quarter already did penguins and I wanted something different. I carved two lovebirds sitting on a branch today and it was not as hard as I thought. The ice was softer than I imagined and I was able to get a rough sketch quite easily. The hardest part was making these birds three dimensional. Their heads were blocky but I only had so much time before the ice melted too much. I will do some finishing touches in the morning and get a picture to post. But for now, enjoy one of the sculptures my teacher has done.