Easter Weekend 2012 - Lake Ozette Washington
Ozette Lake is the largest unaltered natural lake in Washington state at 2,954 hectacres
The Makah name for Lake Ozette was Kahouk meaning "large lake." Eight miles long and three miles wide, Ozette Lake is contained within the northern boundary of the Olympic National Park's coastal strip. It is 29 feet (~9 m) above sea level and is drained by the Ozette River in the north end. Ozette, Washington lies at the north end of the lake. At 331 feet deep, its bottom lies more than 300 feet below sea level.
Before we bagn our paddle adventure, we toured the Ozette Campground. It was flooded.
Only 1/2 the campsites were available as the lake was 4 feet above normal. We have never seen the lake this full before.
Steve loading the gear in the boats. The actual boat launch area was underwater, so we launched from the grassy area near the ranger station.
Out on the water, Joahnn and Steve paddled like pros.
Our designated rest spot for a break was under water.
No place to land.
Steve took the lead.
Johann looked like one of the minutemen under George Washington's command as they crossed the Potomac.
Did we mention that this was Steve's first Kayaking experience. He did fantastic.
Johann coming in for a landing on Tivoli Island for the evening. The last half of our paddle became a bit rough as the winds picked up.
Johann demonstrating his paddle shirt. "Bomber Gear" was promptly displayed on the front with what appeared to be an arrow pointing down. We insited that he had the shirt on backawards. If you know anything about Johann, you would understand. He has been known to have a jet powered Kayak at times... seemingly from an unknown energy source :-)
Lots of campfire wood. We even carried some along, just in case. The wind was picking up, the wood was wet and we had a hard time getting the fire started. This is a rain forest zone, so the wet and damp wood should be no surprise.
We enjoyed our meals around the nice campfire. Not only did the food taste great, but later, we had some excellent hot cocoa and Baileys.
The next morning, the wind picked up and we took our time paddling to Ericsons' bay. Our intent was to take a very secluded trail through the thick rain forrest to the ocean beach. Unfortunately, this was the only bridge across the numerous bodies of water we had to cross. Our feet were soaked. At one point, Johann's shoe got sucked up by the swampy mud and when he stepped forward it stayed put, leaving him with a very wet sock.
There are many downed trees.
The trail is very overgrown in places and is in dire need of some serious maintenance.
As we got closer to the beach, we began to see artifacts like this. Not sure if it came from a mill or a ship.
Coming from the ocean, one can see this sign. The trail does dead end at Lake Ozette. One can go no further... unless they have a boat.
As far as hikes go, this was a tough one. Only 2 miles in length, but it was slippery full of water, mud, downed trees and we had to side step many swamps. I believe all of us fell at least once on the trail.