For our third annual Goren-sibling summer backpacking adventure, we made our way to the Olympic Peninsula—one of the most unique landscapes in Washington state. After four hours in the car, a quick ferry ride, and a few warm pastries in Sequim, we were on the Ozette Loop trail making our way to the beach. There are few things I love more than a wet, mossy forest that breaks out into a rugged coastline.
After three miles hiking through the woods, we hit the beach, and immediately felt like we were on another planet. Four more miles until our campsite, and nothing but long stretches of sand, sea stacks draped with yellow and green kelp, soaring seagulls, and the big blue ocean that seemed to go on forever.
If it weren’t for the pull of the moon and mom’s voice in each of our heads whispering: did you check the tide charts? we would have collected rocks, combed for shells and beach wood, swung on buoy-swings, and forded rivers until nightfall. But our campsite called, so we carried on. Our second day was misty and grey—but “that’s how the coast is supposed to look,” we told ourselves. Luckily, the rain stopped later that afternoon, and we got to enjoy what seemed like a private viewing of the sun sinking into the ocean.
Being on the beach with nothing to do but smell the salty air, play imaginary Chopped, and explore with my siblings is a kind of simple happiness that I feel lucky to know.