After ten hours of sweet collusion with our pillows, we wake in the fierce chill of early morning.
Not even hot chocolate can warm us. Sunlight is the only cure for the degree of cold dampness found in the rainforest.
Otis watches our preparations to leave with interest, while Murray remains buried beneath the down comforter.
By eleven o'clock we arrive at our new home for the next few days: South Beach Campground, right on the coast within Olympic National Park. This being a week day and early in the day (and after Labor Day, for that matter), we are surprised to find the grounds are nearly full. There are four tightly packed lanes for campers and all of the ocean-front sites are occupied.
But I don't give up easily. I see an RV pulling out of a coveted site, dash over, leap upon the picnic table and shout "I claim this site for Sputnik!", snarling at the other hopeful site-takers who are carrying an assortment of chairs, ladders and buckets to stake their claim.
Actually, I politely ask the departing campers if they are finished with this site, then toss our garish striped mat over the picnic table. After Hubs pulls around and we get situated and unhitched, we make for the beach.
From our site, a steep descent leads us to a stretch mounded with large rounded stones. Bleached driftwood lays all about on these stones, which abruptly gives way to soft sand.
The upper reaches of the tide can be seen in the litter of crab parts and Valella valella. I am saddened to see the needless death of so many crabs. If they had come to me first, I would gladly have eaten them instead of letting them perish so unnecessarily.
The pugs joyfully romp in the shallow surf and hunt for anything forbidden to them.
By early afternoon, the entire campground is packed. We seem to be the only people under sixty, and our rig sticks out like a sore thumb.
There are parts of this campground that I love and dislike. Flush toilets and a great view are definite perks, and the price of $10/night is reasonable. The sites are so tightly packed, however, that everybody is right on top of each other. On the bright side, if the Kraken should emerge from the sea on our beach, there will be more of us to fight it off.