Starting off in the early morning in the high country of the Olympics, it can be a little be chilly, even in the summer. When I took this image, I thought there was something odd looking through the viewfinder. After clicking the image, I checked the lens and it had acquired a thin layer of condensation on the lens. I cleaned the lens, but the image was a keeper anyway. This is the West Fork Dosewallips trail … frequently hiked by folks coming up the East Fork Quinault and crossing Anderson Pass and exiting the Dosewallips Trail on a cross Olympic National Park hike. (we were dayhiking up LaCrosse Pass from Honeymoon Meadow)
Old Picnic Table
The old picnic table sits near the beginning of the East Fork Quinault Trail that runs up to the Enchanted Valley and Anderson Pass in Olympic National Park. The road used to continue to this point, but it is now trail. The table sits so close to the trailhead that once folks are ‘loaded up’ there isn’t much interest in taking a break at this point. So it’s abandoned to the moss and lichen and time is working its magic.
One of the challenges of camping/backpacking in the Olympic National Park is keeping food away from mice, jays and ground squirrels or chipmunks. While the park requires bear-proof containers or elaborate hanging rituals to keep food away from the black bears, the same containers also protect your food from the smaller critters like the Townsend’s Chipmunk shown here. (in some areas raccoons and crows are even bigger pests)
Critters on the Trail
These two photos were from the same hike, the same day. Below shows hiking the Hayden Pass Trail (in Olympic National Park) … and you can see a momma bear and cub crossing the hillside just below the large rock outcrop. On the other side of the pass we had an Olympic Marmot on the trail … and we were very glad it was a marmot and not a momma bear and cub. (neither bear nor marmot attacked)
Happy Lake and its Ridge
The photo above is Happy Lake … a seldom visited spot in the Olympic National Park. The Happy Lake Ridge Trail is seldom hiked, but it a wonderful loop hike, ending at Olympic Hot Springs. It’s a longer hike now … since the road is washed out 5 miles or so before the Olympic Hot Springs trailhead. Happy Lake was quite buggy … but mid-July tends to be that way. Notice the left over snow and the Avalance Lilies.