Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tahkenitch Dunes

So, over post-hike dinner, I asked granddaughter Coral Rae if she thought the hike on Tahkenitch Dunes was a fail or a success. "Fail" she said. So I pointed out to her that things don't always go as planned and that she had hiked 5 miles with a backpack on, no mean feat for a slightly built 6 year old girl carrying a big ol' honkin' pack. Her face brightened, "Cool!" she said, "Can I have some pie?"

Little girl, big pack
This was supposed to be a short backpack trip with lots of beach time and relatively little trail time. We had purchased a couple of child-sized backpacks and I naturally wanted to test them out. Aiden was quite comfortable with his pack but alas, poor Coral Rae was swimming in hers. It was too heavy, too large, too bulky, and she really struggled with hiking beneath it. But she is a trooper and did soldier on for 5 miles so nobody gets to diss her. Besides which, this hike was undone not by an overly large pack but instead by a small grain of sand.  

On a well-shaded trail
It was a summer-like weekend, just perfect for some beach frolicking. Excited at the weekend getaway, we set out on the shady Tahkenitch Dunes Trail, making sure not to step on the numerous slugs slithering on the path. Rhododendrons were showing pink buds in a wonderfully shaded forest and life was pretty good, well at least it was pretty good until the trail started angling uphill.

All life should be barefoot
With frequent rest stops, we made slow and steady progress through the lush and green coastal jungle before catching a first glimpse of the ocean when the the trail spit us out onto Tahkenitch Dunes. The kids sprinted out onto the dunes, leaving me wondering "Hey, I thought you guys were tired!" Aiden's shoes came off and he was in his element, happily hiking barefoot the rest of the way.

A boy and his creek
A short walk on a sandy trail brought us to an overlook of Tahkenitch Creek and we set down our packs. Aiden wasted no time diving into Tahkenitch Creek for a restorative swim. Coral Rae was happy playing on the sand on the beach and I was happy playing with my camera. Happy, happy, happy...that was us!

On the way out
As the afternoon waned, we returned to where we dropped our packs and set up camp. The next item of business was cooking dinner and that's where things went awry. A small grain of sand had gotten into the threads of the food vault, locking the lid tighter than the gold vault at Fort Knox. I tried beating it with sticks and rocks but it simply would not budge. Since the only other option was not to eat for an entire weekend, we regrettably packed up camp and headed back out on the sandy path.

Want my pack, too?
It was late in the day and we really needed to hoof it to avoid darkness but we had a very tired young lady who required frequent rest stops. At one point, Aiden carried both his and her packs for a short distance before Coral Rae manned up and reshouldered her burden. We did make it back pretty much at sunset and as a reward for the hard work, both kids were treated to dinner at a Reedsport restaurant.

The light, it blinds us!
So, in the end, we had a nice hike, played on the beach, ate a nice dinner, and enjoyed each other's company. Doesn't sound like a fail to me!

What happens to misbehaving food vaults!
For more pictures of this hike, please visit the Flickr album.

My people

1 comment :

  1. Yup, it will be one of those stories that the grandkids will tell over and over through the years......we once went backpacking with grandpa, 10 miles, through the sand and heat, but since grandpa was too weak to open the food canister, we had to hike another 10 miles through the sand and heat, uphill both ways and barely made it out alive........yup, you have created folklore and memories!!!