Every year for the long Thanksgiving weekend my friends and I rent cabins on the Olympic Peninsula coast. We go whitewater kayaking on the rivers and creeks of the OP, kayaking surfing on the ocean, play games, eat tons of food, and play lots of games. Every year it’s an amazing time and always comes with an adventure. This year was no exception.
This year the forecast was rain all four days, so I was expecting (and hoping) to spend most of the daylight hours at the Mosh Pit. This did not happen. Instead, we had all of the rain on Thursday night and mostly sun for the rest of the trip.
We got to the cabin early enough to go kayak surfing in the bay, but the swell period wasn't that great and the waves were pretty big. That usually makes for a beat-down session, so we decided to stay inside.
On Friday, 5 of us loaded up our creek boats to go paddle the Upper Sitkum. We had beta from locals that the ideal level was 2,500 cfs. That morning it was 4,000 cfs and rising very fast. So we decided to go run the South Fork Sol Duc (Class IV+), because we've never seen it too high before and it was close by. The water level was perfect, but the river was not. There were many, many trees and logs in the river. Our group had 2 swims, 2 lost paddles, and a lost boat. It was an adventurous day, but everyone made it off the river.
The next day, the river levels in the area had dropped to normal levels. Since we were missing some gear and had enough adrenaline for a while, 6 of us decided to go paddle the Main Sol Duc (Class III). The level was medium and most of us had a leisurely day. We got back to the cabins early and some decided to go kayak surfing in the bay. I was feeling lazy and decided just to chill for the rest of the day.
Sunday was our last day and we had to take the ferry back to Seattle. I knew if I didn't get a surf session in on this trip, I'd regret it so I woke up early and was out in the waves by 8:00 am. The surf was on the smaller side, but the period was great and the sun was shining. It was the tail end of the storm, so some of the waves doubled up, which usually helped getting out past the inside breaks. I caught a lot of really fun waves, including a 12′ face on the last ride in.
All in all it was a really fun trip and I can't wait to do it again next year (minus the swims and lost gear). Plus the view from the ferry on the way back was phenomenal. From the upper deck, we could see Mount Rainier, the Cascades and the Olympics. It was a great view.