Vacation is nearly over and what a time it has been! After leaving White Sulphur--once again threading our way through the gauntlet of Mirror Harbor--we cruised up the coast to what Joe and his family refer to as "the long sand beach." In order to reach it, Kyrie and Sandpiper anchored in the south forty of Hoktaheen Cove, which is an area they spent a lot of time in while Joe was young and they commercial fished the nearby waters. The weather was beautiful and the kids had been begging for a campfire and hot dogs on the beach some time on this trip. Perfect time to do this! We packed up everything and loaded up the skiff for a trip to the shore.
That wasn't our target beach, however. "The long sand beach" is a trip through the woods, across a small peninsula from the beach we landed on. On both sides, there is a ton of brush to bushwhack through, but inside, it is like fairyland. I've only been through those woods a few times, but each time I have a sneaking suspicion there are elves and fairies watching our passage from behind the trees and humps of moss. Something certainly lives in those woods, judging from the well-used trails. My elves and fairies are most likely of the brown furry types--some with teeth and claws and others with hooves and horns.
Our exit required some hacking through the brushy trees at the end and then there was the beach! The tide was going out as we arrived, so the beach kept getting bigger! Shoes and boots and socks came off and the kids ran off to explore. Staying in sight wasn't a problem, but the big bear tracks convinced us all to not go too far from the rest of the group. I have so many pictures from that visit alone! The kids found a gigantic buoy to roll along the beach, there were crabs everywhere, along with little needlefish, left stranded on the sand when the tide retreated. We all collected wood for a campfire, but agreed it was too warm for a big one. We contented ourselves with enough wood to cook our hot dogs and marshmallows.
All too soon, the sun disappearing behind the trees announced it was time to head back. I, for one, had no desire to find my way back through those woods in the dark.
After wrestling the skiff from its place high up on the beach, someone noticed the sunset. I don't have professional photography equipment, so there was no way to capture the sight. I had never seen a spire of light shooting up from where the sun had disappeared below the horizon before. It was an awe-inspiring sight and definitely made it worth leaving the beach, because the spire wasn't visible through the trees.
The next day was quiet and relaxing. Joe and his dad went ashore to walk in the meadow beyond the beach. His mom and I and the kids stayed on the boats to read and play games. Levi, Rachael and I got out at separate times in the kayak to explore a bit. Later on, we made the decision to move farther up the cove, hoping that position would be less rolly. Same as the previous night, a bunch of trollers anchored up in the south forty also, although Joe and his parents both said there were hardly any. They remembered nights when there were so many boats, it seemed as though one could walk from boat to boat!
Joe discovered that the Pacific Horizon, the packer his friend and boss from last summer runs, was anchored on the other side of the rocks from us, so he and his dad went over to visit.