This unique backpacking trip is geared towards creating a welcoming, inclusive environment where students can be whoever they want for the duration of the trip. Participants are encouraged to bring and wear costumes for as much of the trip as they feel comfortable, to choose their own names and characters, and describe as much of their character’s backstory as they prefer. It doesn’t matter if you have a novel’s worth of background information, or you simply want to go as a pirate named Jeff, the goal of this trip is to allow students to express their own identities, no questions asked.
Costumes and Characters takes place on the Olympic Peninsula on the trail known as the Ozette Triangle, in the ancestral homeland of the Makah people. About halfway through the second day of hiking, the trail passes the Wedding Rocks, the site of petroglyphs depicting whales, sailing ships, hunters, and priests. Ozette is remote, less visited than many other areas on the Olympic Coast, and is characterized by wild and rugged coastline views.
We provide all needed gear, including boots and clothing if notified 4 weeks ahead of time. Food from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day is provided. Transportation is provided from the meet location in Edgewood and back.
Costumes – Tidepools – Wildlife – History – LGBTQ+
Easy: Moderate elevation gain and loss, 9 miles over three days, some scrambling over wet, slippery rocks, uneven and steep trail.
Includes gear rental, food, transportation, and all entrance fees, permits, and passes.
Our mission is to make outdoor recreation accessible to all. If you cannot afford the total trip cost right now, send us a brief message to request a trip discount form.
“On the brink of extinction, drums and hearts still beating!~John Pritchard III, Makah slam poet
. . . telling me not to speak my language
well we’re still speaking
don’t sing my songs
well we’re still singing
telling me it’s illegal to dance
well we’re still keeping it moving”
Historically, the Makah were highly skilled mariners, using sophisticated navigational and maritime skills. They carved canoes from western red cedar and used them for a myriad of purposes. There were war, whaling, halibut, salmon fishing, sealing canoes and large cargo canoes. There were even smaller canoes which children used for practice. The canoes had sails so that paddlers could use the wind to their advantage. When they landed, it was done stern first so that, if necessary, the paddlers could make a quick exit. The canoes and their contents were never disturbed as the Makah were taught from an early age to respect the belongings of others. The Makah were tireless paddlers and traveled great distances to obtain food or trade their wealth. Today, the Makah maintain their traditions of traveling by canoe.
The tradition of whaling is a source of great pride among the Makah. Whales were hunted for their meat and blubber, and nearly every part of the whale was designated for use. Humpback, right, sperm, gray, fin and blue whales were among the species traditionally hunted by the Makah. Oil rendered from the whale’s blubber was a valuable commodity, earning whaling families great wealth. The bones of the whale were useful for making combs, spindle whorls, war clubs, bark pounders, shredders and personal adornments. The Makah work with NOAA Fisheries to maintain their treaty rights of whaling in Neah Bay while still following marine mammal regulations. “The Makah people have an enduring relationship with the sea and all marine creatures, but that connection is especially strong with whales, which are central to our identity as a people.” (Patrick DePoe)
~ This information found on Makah.com