Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shi Shi Memories

Name the best memory that pops in your head. That's my new favorite question to ask around a campfire. I came up with it to counteract the scary ghost story session we had on our previous trip. (fun in it's own right; but I needed to be able to get to sleep!) I absolutely love the sometimes funny, sometimes touching, sometimes unexpectedly strange answers that help provide a window into someone's life. Of course, I'm not going to disclose any of them here; but I will say that Shi Shi beach may be the memory that pops into my head from this time forward.
Okay, not really...it just made a good intro. Watching my grandson come into the world changed my life--I can't even talk about it without getting teary. Although, I will say that Shi Shi (pronounced Shy Shy. I've been saying it wrong for years!) is up there in the top 20. When you have such high expectations, and they are actually met...well, we all know that is a rare thing.  
Almost there!
The ropes down the last quarter mile to the beach
are not nearly as extreme as I was expecting. I might even
call them unnecessary.
This was my 2nd trip to the area (my first being a day hike on the Ozette Triangle; another top 20 memory) and my 2nd attempt at Shi Shi. (because of a chicken out this January due to weather) Now that I have a full time job, I can't fly by the seat of my pants quite like I used to. Three weeks ahead I have to put in my time off requests, and then pray to the weather Gods for favor. And did I ever score this time! I could hardly believe the 0% forecast; and no sacrifice was even made!
The first campsite you come to is huge;
but who wants all that traffic?
Gotta hunt for a site on the beach!
The first thing you have to know about planning a hike here, it is all about the tides. Low tide = good experience/High tide = tent being washed out to sea. I'm sorry you have to copy and paste, but here is a great site (http://kaleberg.com/tides/lapush/index.html) because the good tides for hiking are highlighted in green, making it somewhat idiot proof. 
3 measly miles and they are conked out!
Another mile or so of sand walking to get to
the famous rock formations
A mile is a long way, apparently.
But worth it!!!
Second thing to keep in mind, a ferry ride will mostly likely be part of the plan, which always has the potential to screw you over. My convincing Heather we did not need reservations at 7:30 am on a Saturday (why???) almost ruined everything. 

Third thing to know is to bring your dollars. $$ for the ferry, $$ for the wilderness hiking permit at the Information Center in Port Angeles, $$ for the Makah recreation pass in Neah Bay, $$ for the parking on private property.
Fun at the Wilderness Center! The permit is 10 BUCKS, ha ha!
(actually, I think that is an elk)

$20 for overnight parking in somebody's yard.
The money box is right by the house.
This is not a cheap trip--which is why it is not a good option for a solo hike. Sharing is caring! And besides, if you're looking for solitude, this is not the place you want to be. I understood a weekend would be busy, even in May, but my goodness!! I can't even imagine what a weekend in the summer must look like!
Lots of peeps! Zoom in and you'll see some are SWIMMING.
No thank you!
Though, for me at least, it really was part of the fun. From the first step on the beach with a "full moon" view of a sunbather changing into her suit, to the late afternoon group yoga show, to our girls taking turns carrying an older woman's pack up the very steep 1/4 mile incline on our way out; Shi Shi was not just about being in nature, but being a part of humanity.
Downward dog, everybody!!
Looking like a pro!!
I loved watching all the different groups of people--family and friends, young and old, making memories just like we were. Though, we all need to be better about leaving no trace, or I'm afraid Shi Shi may not always have all the freedoms it has now. 
Junk art in the trees is cool! That's called being resourceful! 
But left behind booze bottles and toilet paper is not cool!
We can do better!

"Leave no trace" does not mean you can't make a little seat from a stump.
Thank you whoever did this; I loved my chair!!
It is a privilege to get to camp ANYWHERE on this beach (again, be mindful of the tide line) as well as be able to make whatever kind of blazing fire you want. Let's not wreck it for future generations. I hope my daughter can come back some day, maybe even with her own kids, and be able to tell about her favorite memory of her first trip to the glorious wonders of Shi Shi. 

P.S. Hiking lesson #50: (geez, it seems like it should be more profound!) Never trust a 0% rain forecast. A poncho weighs next to nothing; thank God I threw one in last second, and Heather brought 2 as back up. Even a drizzle makes for a lot of wetness in a big hurry. 
Bye, Patrick!!!


  1. So glad you guys had fun! When I first read "full moon," I thought to myself, "Awesome! She didn't tell me they had a full moon!" That's when it clicked. Haha. Duh.

  2. So awesome!! Loving all the pictures, and I could feel the excitement in your writing that y'all had too much fun! It looks GORGEOUS there!

  3. I've been following your trips for some time, and I'll just that it's so wonderful that you've been able to have so many great experiences with your daughter!