Tahkenitch Dunes - May 31, 2008
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Ray Jensen

11 Lucky souls, including one new hiker, hiked the 6.5 mile Tahkenitch Dunes Loop on a cloudy, moderate temperature day. We never saw the sun all day but at least the wind was light and it never got cold.

We started at Tahkenitch Campground and did a clockwise hike on the loop trail. We proceeded thru the fir/hemlock/shore pine forest to Three Mile Lake and then out over the dunes and foredune to the beach. Going up the beach we enjoyed lunch among some driftwood logs after the new hiker, Dan, constructed some great seats for all to sit on.

We went north as far as the mouth of Tahkenitch Creek, viewed the considerable sea wall damage and debris piles and rerouting of Tahkenitch outlet due to some winter storms, then backtracked a bit and turned inland on the newly constructed trail off the beach. The old trail was destroyed by the reroute of Tahkenitch Creek so luckily the FS or BLM had constructed a new one. The beach had a considerable quantity of remnant shells from various shellfish and many Dungeness crab carcasses. We speculated whether this might be due to some ocean eco system change in the nearby waters or just natural die-off.

The trail inland eventually divides and one fork goes back across the dunes, thru the forest and back to the campground. This trail is like walking thru a tunnel in places with overhanging bushes. Most Rhodys were in their last blossom stage with many barely hanging on to their blossoms but they were still beautiful along the trail and rising high above the dense underbrush under the forest canopy. They get really tall and spindly in these growing conditions and stretch mightily to get to the sun’s rays.

Identified Douglas Fir, Red Cedar, and Western Hemlock, in the heavily forested areas and thick Shore Pine areas behind the foredunes.

It was a very enjoyable hike for all. 

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