We've been to the Blue Mussel Cabin several times, but this was our first overnight trip. The weather report called for snow squalls, a gale warning with gusts to 40 knots, and waves to six feet. I convinced Mr. X to leave the packrafts at home.
We met up with Brad after work and drove out to Bridget Cove State park near the end of the road. Part of the road is dirt and shard because they are still widening it.
The first part of the trail (i.e. 2.5 miles) was covered in snow. After the first mile I put on my yak tracks. We hiked through Cowee Meadow and were met by six or seven swans hanging out near the beaver den.
We took a break at the Cowee Meadow cabin and were greeted by a nice, if territorial, golden retriever.
The going was good until we crested the small hill to the beach. Then the wind hit us and I was ready to make run for the trail through the trees. I was pretty cold. Don't ask me how Mr. X managed. He was wearing his swimsuit.
We hiked along the bluff, through the trees passing lichen and hearing varied thrushes in the bushes. We came upon a windfall and collected firewood - guess we didn't need to carry the two duralogs.
After another twenty minutes we dropped down to the beach near the cabin. The Chesire cat moon and remains of sunset greeted us. The first stars began to glitter in the sky. And yes, there were 6 foot crashing swells.
We all split up doing camp chores. Brad got the fire going right away and Mr. X spent an inordinate amount of time splitting wood with his kukri and newly carved mallet. I unpacked bags and got fresh water coming off the cliffs directly behind the cabin.
After a snack we went out to the front deck and looked at the stars. Brad knows alot of constellations so we spent time looking at Bootes the Bear chaser, Lyra, and many others that I don't recall. We spotted three satelites and noted the light pollution from the Kensington Mine across the water.
About 11:30 I spotted some new lights in the sky and asked Mr. X what they were. Brad confirmed our suspicions that they were northern lights. We watched the white-green lights dance over Berners Bay and the surrounding mountains.
You're really supposed to bring a gallon of diesel #1, but I don't like how that smells in the car and we don't have a place to store a gas can, so we opted to use the "emergency" mini wood stove. You can see the oil stove next to it in this picture.
In the morning, I gazed out the windows at the waves crash on the beach in front of cabin and the brilliantly white Chilkats across the Lynn Canal. Around 8 am, I started a duralog in the stove and got some heat going. Brad and Mr. X took a walk along the beach looking in tide pools. After some chores I followed them around the point, scrambling over the boulders.
With the rough seas we didn't see much in the way of wildlife. Just some eagles and gulls catching the air between the sea and the bluffs.
With that we packed up camp and headed out. By the end of the hike I was pretty much toast. I've got to figure out why I've stopped sleeping on these trips. Otherwise, some of our hiking plans might not work too well this summer.
If you look close at this picture you, can see the blue mussels on the rocks. They look kinda-purple.