I took a ferry ride the other day and while it was clear and sunny when we left the ferry dock, we soon moved into a fog bank. So much for capturing any whale photos! But during the transition to fog, there were some interesting photos of the shoreline as the fog burned off.
The removal of the Elwha Dams drained Lake Mills. One of the concerns was with the huge amount of sediment that had been trapped behind the dams and the impact that would have on the ecology downstream. A lot of careful planning has resulted in a rapid recovery … salmon and steelhead trout have already returned to the river. Not in the huge numbers that once were present … but quicker than many thought likely.
From the photos below (less than a mile below the upper dam), you can see that the river is now running clean and clear.
My friend Gary and I rode our bikes up the Olympic Hot Springs Road (also known as the Elwha River Road) … these days this entails a .7 mile bypass trail around a washed out section of the road. After the bypass, there is about 6 miles of road to get to the trailhead … the hot springs are another 2.2 miles of hiking … which we didn’t hike that day.
I have hiked through this area numbers of times over the last 40 years … but this was the first visit up the road since the washout happened several years ago. It brought back memories. The additional distance has had a dramatic impact on the number of people using the area.
The next post will concentrate on the river.
Recently my friend Gary and I rode our eBikes up the Dosewallips Road past the washouts and up to the Dosewallips Campground … a distance of about 6.5 miles (each way). We had great weather and were just doing a day trip … although regular readers may note that another friend and I have made several trips up the road backpacking.
I carried my camera and the day was a great success, based on how much fun we had. During the bouncy ride, I lost my lens cap, but that’s why they sell extras, isn’t it?
This is the abandoned car campground on the Dosewallips River. It makes a great spot to hike to and spend an evening or two while doing some dayhikes. It is also very interesting to watch the natural world reclaim the area. Stinging nettles are plentiful … that’s the majority of the ground cover in the near areas. But it makes a wonderful place to walk after dinner.