The earthy smell of fresh brewed Guayaki Yerba mate greeted my senses as I awoke. It was our first day without coffee; and somehow I didn’t even miss it. That mate buzz was a cleaner, less jittery high that sustained without crashes.
I sipped mate on the porch and watched as Cyrus and Annie deconstructed an old Polaroid camera, ripping through the old film, which was separated and useless. Annie wanted to dispel the glorified myths of van life, and Cyrus was game to share a few gory details of the truth behind the perfect vistas and van scenes he often shot. Cyrus and Annie played “I’ll show you my van if you show me yours,” a fun comparison of the finer details of his Dodge sprinter van, with a wood-paneled interior, a hammock and surfboard storage, and Lady Liberty’s 30-year old German multi-purpose engineering.
After a quick stop for camp supplies at Whole Doods, we headed out towards La Push and the Washington coast. “The push to La Push” was our rallying cry for the day.
The road skirted the Olympic National Forest and Native American lands. The stark contrast between the wild, overgrown forest and the land that had been logged, all of the replanted trees exactly the same height and species. I wondered how long the forest took to regrow enough to be logged again, how much profit their was in logging a swathe of trees, and what biodiversity was lost in the process. Beauty certainly was sacrificed, but as a consumer of paper products I can’t really hate on responsible logging.
At the golden hour, we reached La Push and saw towering Native American totems in front of community buildings. The bus rounded a curve in the road and the coast opened up before us, a long cove with a massive, rocky headland covered in fir trees. The beach was strewn with driftwood trees stretching for more than 100 feet, with huge root burls that stood 20 feet or higher.
We made camp along the beach, mixed up some mate tequila cocktails and watched the stars come out.