Winter Madrone

Winter Madrone I
Winter Madrone II

I like Pacific Madrone a lot for their colors. (they aren’t so much a favorite if they are growing in my yard: they are quite messy all year round) But with a dusting of snow, the color really stands out.

The Lillian River Trail

The Lillian River Trail
Madrone on the Lillian River Trail

The Lillian River trail is one of the most seldom hiked trails in the Olympic National Park. Starting about the 4 mile point on the Elwha River Trail, the route follows the Lillian River for several miles until it just peters in the brush along the bank. It was originally used for fishing and might be again some day, now that the dams have been removed from the Elwha River.

It was quite brushy … and I expect the route is increasingly difficult to find, given the light usage. The lower photo of the madrone is difficult to scale appropriately to show the size of this specimen. It was a beautiful tree. I would like to go back and visit to see how it has weathered the years.

Wandering around the Elwha Valley

The Elwha Trail above Geyser Valley
Crossing a Side Branch of the Elwha

These are old images from before the Elwha River dams were removed. The Elwha River is in the Olympic National Park and the two dams were blocking passage of salmon into some of the most pristine forest in the lower 48.

The top photo shows Jeff looking for remnants of the Press Party blazes left over from the 1890’s. We were unable to locate any on this trip, but later I found some of the distinctive markings cut into the side of old doug firs.

The lower image shows one of the side channels and using a stick to keep your feet dry. Currently, this whole area has been changed, since this was between the two dams and now subject to the whims of the river and its reworking of the stream bed and channels.

Bristlecones

Old Bristlecone
Middle Age Bristlecone
Bristlecone Stumps

The miners in the White Mountains around the turn of the 20th Century cut down these bristlecones that were hundreds of years old … or more. They used them for mine timbers and to build cabins for the few months of the year they could live at 10,000 feet. A complete travesty. Thoughtless carnage in the pursuit of a hopeless dream. We can just be happy that there was no large seam of high quality ore. If that had happened, the bristlecones would likely have all been logged.

Looking West to the Sierras

Looking Wests to the Sierras

This shot is looking west from the White Mountains (the Bristlecone Pine area) towards the Sierras in late April. Much earlier and the road up the White Mountains is still closed from snow most years. Elevation here is over 10,000 feet.

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