Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ozette and O'Henry's!

We are now half-way through our time here at Neah Bay. This has been a crazy realization for many of us because it feels like we just arrived yesterday, while at the same time feeling like we have been part of this community for much longer than five days. The warm welcome and generosity that we have experienced from everyone in the community has been amazing. Whether it's a wave as our white PLU vans make the trek down the main street, a trip out to Gary's smokehouse for a bag of "Makah candy", or another invitation to someone's house for dessert and stories, the community of Neah Bay has made us feel so welcome. Their hospitality and openness has in many ways made us feel like we are a part of the community for the eleven days that we are here.

While the weather during our time here has been nothing short of spectacular, our trip to Ozette yesterday really was the best day of them all. We began our one-hour drive out to Ozette Lake after picking up Glenn, our hiking guide--there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the air was crisp. When we arrived at the trailhead, Dr. Huelsbeck handed out the hiking "spikes" for their annual use. These spikes really came in handy on the slick boardwalk that covered most of the trail. The trail wound us through lush forest and a few open prairies here and there. After about 1.5hrs of hiking we arrived at the beach, looking right out to Ozette Island. The view was breathtaking.
Ozette Trail. Photo by: Anna McCracken

We followed Glenn and Dr. Huelsbeck along the beach to the the Ozette dig site. Their is a small cabin located there, along with a replica long house that is full of various bones and shells that hikers have found over the years. We ate our lunch on a log in front of the cabin, complete with Capri Suns and O'Henry's (some members of our group even got a bit of a sun burn...who would have thought this could happen in January on the NW coast of WA?!). After lunch Dr. Huelsbeck told us a bit about his experience at the Ozette site in the late 1970s and even pointed out to us his "secret" camping spot! It was incredible to see the place where all of the Ozette artifacts came from and to be in this place that we have heard so much about. Considering the sheer amount of artifacts that came from the Ozette site, I was surprised at how small the site actually was. After the talk, we had some time to explore the beach, say hello to a few local deer, and swing from a rope on the beach before heading back up the trail.
Dr. Huelsbeck telling us about the Ozette project. Photo by: Anna McCracken

Laura in awe of all the awesome finds inside the long house! Photo by: Anna McCracken

Our day of adventure at Ozette ended with delicious soup and dumplings back at Hobuck. While the resort directors here may think the cabins fit only four people, our group of 17 fits just great, especially when a good meal is involved! Today was our first day at our site placements, but we'll save more of that for later!

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