Torgesen Family Times


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Backpacking the Lake Ozette triangle

 

We went on a wonderful backpacking trip this summer.  It was Sara’s first ever backpacking and it was a doozy!  9 miles and 2 nights/3 days.  She was a champ!  She loved (most) of it and walked (most) of the way by herself.  This was Alex’s 3rd summer of backpacking with Daddy.  But now that Sara is old enough – we are going to go as a family!  We had such a great time that I’m sure we’ll go again next summer!

 

I wish I would’ve lugged my big camera out – it would’ve been worth it!  It was so beautiful.  But, alas, these were all taken with my point and shoot to save on the weight of things carried. 

 

I bought the kids some binoculars to share and they were quite a hit!

 

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The group at the beginning of the trip – Lance’s cousin, his daughter, and his Uncle joined us and it was so fun going as a group.  Gwen said to me how much she liked coming along with other kids to play with – and I agree!  Our kids liked having Gwen along too!  Since our kids don’t have any true cousins, since my sister has no kids and Lance is an only child, Gwen is a second cousin (Lance’s cousin’s kid) – we call them cousins.  They are basically cousins and are great friends.  It’s fun watching them all grow up together, albeit way too fast sometimes.  I remember when Gwen and Alex were just newborns!

 

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The first 3 miles and the last 3 miles of the triangle are mostly on boardwalk.  Which makes it really nice to hike through, especially with our novice Sara. 

 

 

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We made it to the beach after the first 3 miles and found a campsite.  The day was warm and the sun was just breaking out.  We enjoyed beachcombing, playing in the water, climbing the rocks, looking for crabs, tidepoolin’, finding a beach swing, climbing trees, Alex showing us his muscles, etc.  The weather was in the mid to upper 70’s and was glorious!  Don’t let this grey photo below fool you!

 

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One of the great things we’ve discovered is the Junior Ranger programs at the National Parks.  We started this way back in Moab, UT a few years ago.  The kids do a booklet that involves reading, puzzles, stories, lessons, etc.  They also go to a ranger program if it’s available and they “earn” badges based on completing age appropriate work.

 

My kids eat this stuff up!

 

I got three sets of booklets for the kids – the ocean steward booklet and the junior ranger one for Olympic National Park.  They had something to do during downtimes and when you turn your booklets in and take the oath – they give you free badges!   My kids loved this activity and Gwen got hooked!

 

We’ve put the patches on kids fishing vests with tons of pockets to put their treasures.  It’s a wonderful idea that Grandma Sandy came up with!

 

 

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We ended our first night with an AMAZING sunset!

 

 

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And awoke to more grey thick fog!  But, a very low tide…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The kiddos played four hours in the rocks of the low tide – discovering anemones, and all sorts of creatures.  I’ve read about the starfish wasting disease hitting the west coast and there were only a few (3?) starfish that I observed. 

 

 

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We spotted many types of animal tracks and used a book Sara got at the ranger station to identify them.  They were big cat looking prints, but with no nail marks…. a mountain lion/cougar!  Never saw it (!), but saw the tracks!

 

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We set off mid day to hike 3 more miles on the triangle.  But, this time – it was along the beach!  What took us ~1.5 hours the previous day, took us 4 hours this day.  It was a rugged beach, with sloping, soft sand.  Logs to go around, over and under.  Headlands to go over or around.  lots of things to look at (a lot of fishing debris) and generally a tough part to the hike.  We stopped for lunch and had a break, but otherwise we took it pretty slow. 

 

 

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Alex found a garter snake!

 

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Either Lance or I carried Sara a few times on this middle day – to get around headlands, logs or other areas.  But, it wasn’t too bad.  We made it work. 

 

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When we got to our campsite – it was so warm and sunny!  We were all hot and sweaty and Sara just went for it!

 

 

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We had a great night and dinner and went to sleep early.  We woke up to hot chocolate and oatmeal and had a great hike out. 

The kids found some “treasures” to bring back.   

 

 

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This is the hard part…. It was only 3 miles back, but seemingly slightly uphill most of the way.  Sara was tired.  really tired.  And Alex and Lance were up ahead.  I ended up carrying Sara probably ~2/3 of the way back because of this.  Which actually wasn’t as difficult as it sounds, but made for a tired Mama at the end of this trip. 

 

 

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1 comments:

MelissaFraser said...

We are taking our 7&8 yr old in 3 weeks. Would love to hear about the food you packed and how hard the bear buckets were!