LA PUSH – RIALTO BEACH AND THE SALMON'S HUNT by Patrizia Lombardi and Lidia Diella.The day begins with a gorgeous breakfast at Cam/Francesco’s cabin. There is mist over the ocean, but the air is not so cold as I had imagined. We drive to Rialto Beach and find here a magic atmosphere: fogbanks and a grayish sea with its long restless waves. Gulls and pelicans hunting for fish nosedive in the water at terrific speed. On the shore hundreds of enormous logs lay motionless like sleeping giants, other, although dried and naked, still stand up like skeletons. Here and there little rocky islands, with pines on their peaks remind me of exotic landscapes, seen in the Chinese paintings. It is a wild, mysterious beauty. We walk along the shore, looking for shiny stones and pretty shells. In the low tide the beach is full of hidden life: crabs under the rocks and unusually (for us) colored sea stars and anemones. While the stronger hikers go ahead and reach the hike’s destination, our group (the lazy ones) stops for lunch break: we are a little bit tired and a delicious sunshine invites us to enjoy a very long rest. With the sun the landscapes has changed and is now bright and colorful. While we come back to La Push in the afternoon, Lidia with Cam is having an exciting adventure with the salmon’s hunt: the report follows.

 

At sunset, I thought my day’s experiences were finished, but I was wrong. The hiking along Rialto Beach had been beautiful, even if it had been hard to convince myself that a Kelp was not an alien creature, but an underwater grass. I was a little tired to jump on the rocks, looking at pelicans & seagulls, so I decided to go shopping with Cam. We were supposed to buy some fresh salmon for the barbecue. I thought we were looking for a store, but Cam knew very well that our mission wasn’t so simple. She drove directly to La Push Harbor, looking for any human being passing by. The place was charming at the sunset: quiet water, seagulls and the dark small islands with tall trees against the sky. Nobody was in sight. Then two young men came out of a shed: we asked them where we could find any salmon. At first they told us that Seattle should be the best place. In La Push it wasn’t the right day, the right time, the right place. In the end they indicated a building with nobody in sight. We found an open door and we went in. At a dark corner we saw a man who, first of all, told us that it was the wrong day, the wrong time, the wrong place for salmon, but any way we could come back in an hour or so and he would check out something for us. We were just about to leave, when he pointed at a small red boat on the sea and said to ask the old fisherman inside. We went out and we reached the boat as fast as we could. The boat was approaching the rocky coast-line and a man was pulling the fish-net behind. Cam called him from the road but he seemed not to hear us. She was about to fall in the water when he looked at us and he smiled: yes, he hoped to have some fish in his fish-net but we had to go back in an hour or so. Well, we had only to wait a little time so we were feeling better. In the mean time we could look for any smoked salmon, just in case…Cam drove to the end of the road, exploring the harbor for an hour or so. A wooden bridge was broken and we were at the end of the road, so we turned around back to the village in search of our fishermen. Suddenly, we saw a home with a sign, saying SMOKED SALMON. We jumped out of the car and knocked at the door. A young woman opened the door and told us to come back in TWO hours. More time to wait. So back we went to the illusive fishermen. The building was shut and no red boat, no one was in sight. At this point I was just ready to give up, but according to Cam, the hunt was not over. So back we went to the house with the SMOKED SALMON sign. Fortunately, as we approached the house, a huge Native American was waiting for us: he was smiling. Good sign but the problem was that he had no smoked salmon at all. Cam was a strong warrior and desperately asked him where we could find ANY SALMON. The man said: yes, I have fresh salmon for you. In the horizon the man showed us a bald eagle. It was flying to it's net at the top of a tall hemlock behind the house. It was a clear sign of our success.

 

FROM LA PUSH TO SEATTLE by Giovanni Tagliabue. Early in the morning all the components of Italian expedition: Anna, Giovanna, Lidia, Marcella, Patrizia, Emilio, Elsa e Giancarlo, Maria Teresa e Giuseppe, met together at Oceanside camp, cabin 34 with the American guides, the little Ian and the young Agnese, Twilight addicted. All the packs had been filled with food, drink and the other supplies necessary for the daily expedition and loaded on the coaches. The aim was to reach the Olympic National Park and to visit the Hurricane Ridge, 17 mi south of Port Angeles. The weather was rather cloudy. The large company took the way 110 towards Forks, the mythic place of Twilight epopee, crossing the blooming forest of great Hemlock tree, impressive rows of Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce. At the junction of the 101 way, the caravan deviated at right along the road 104, that goes through the Sol Duc Valley, in direction of Port Angeles. After about one hour and half of way the company reached the Lake Crescent. The scenery changed, the sun began to show his face and the cloud to thin; now the brilliant blue of the water and of the sky overlooks the endless green of the surrounding woods. Huge trucks carrying heavy logs run in the opposite lane toward us. We stopped at Port Angeles for a short break and then followed at right the road to the Hurricane Ridge. The way began to go up, large bends and narrow turnbacks led to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor center, elevation 1600 m. The sight was impressive, towards south we could see the deep and wild valley of Elwha River, surrounded by peaks of Mount Olympic, with its glaciers, meanwhile towards north the strait of Juan de Fuca was hidden by the cloud and the misty. Leaded by Ron, the company began to hike along the Hurricane trail. The track goes across steep meadows full of flowers: the violet lupine, the red paintbrush and the white of lilies and soon. At the top of Hurricane Hill, elevation 1775 m. where we stopped for lunch, we could see several wild animals: the small chipmunk, the smart deer, the shiny marmot and the great black bears. Late in the afternoon the company left the Olympic Park and took the way to go back to hosts houses in the east side of Puget Sound. From PortAngeles we followed at first the 101 way and then the 104 way until Kingston, where the ferry to Edmonds starts. After the landing the company parted and each guest reached his house with his host.

 

 

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