These photos are from the same day as my last post (River Bends). Nice day for a spring hike on the North Fork Skokomish trail in the Olympic National Park. The underbrush is still in winter mode… so you have more visibility at ground level. This section of the trail was originally a road until it was washed out about 50 years ago.
Some spots in the high country are easier to get to than others. The ones that are easy to get to tend to be crowded. The ones that are harder to get to are … well, harder to get to. The result is that there typically are a lot fewer folks and the impact is less. That also means the trails tend to be rougher … or sometimes look nothing like a trail so much as a track through the meadows. Martin’s Park is one of those … it sits in a remote portion of the Olympic National Park with a minimum of a 16 mile hike to get there (and that’s the short route). There are quite a few folks that hike close to it … it sits near the Low Divide, on one of the main routes for those wishing to traverse the Olympic Park. The crossing now runs just about 50 miles … so those doing the hike tend to not have a lot of extra time for side trips. It’s beautiful country, though.
These photos are from the Upper Duckabush area of the Olympic National Park. I really liked the Elephants Head … this was the only time I had seen it. Getting low to capture it allowed me to also get the ridgeline in the image, which really gives it a lot of context that would be missing otherwise.
The image below is a more typical mossy streamlet running through the alpine area. I enjoy the rich greens of the various varieties of mosses … a visual feast.
Bristle Cone Pines are some of the oldest living things on the planet. The oldest are thousands of years old. The ones that grow in the more harsh environment live the longest. The harsh environments mean slow growth and that makes them tough. There’s a good life lesson there.
Washington State isn’t known for a lot of fall colors. The flora isn’t primo and the weather usually doesn’t cooperate. But vine maple provides a lot of color on a reliable basis. Just in a smaller dosage than (for instance) the forests of New England.