I smelled the Pacific way before it was actually possible to have smelled the Pacific. We were climbing one of the five hundred ridges1 we had to climb to get through the Trinity Alps when I swear the air changed, suddenly it was wetter, salty and with a slight hint of fish. Or it was my imagination looking for something other than the endless loop then running through my head: are the house batteries really going to get us there (the alternator was was still dead).
Whatever the case, eventually we made it over the last ridge and then we really could smell the ocean and the Pacific in this region has a very different smell than say, the Atlantic we left eight months ago.
I didn’t really have any goals or lists of things to do on this trip, but, that said, making it all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific does have a certain feeling of accomplishment to it.
Here’s some meaningless stats:
The anticlimatic part was that we made it all the way to the Pacific, but when we arrived we couldn’t see it. As is typical up this way, the ocean was wrapped in a blanket of thick fog. After setting up camp we hiked down into the gloom of fog and spent the evening on the beach. The one place that will always feel like home to me.