Flowers on a Fence

Flowers on a Fence

Along the Larry Scott Trail south of Port Townsend, there is a fence post that someone has appropriated for a flower holder. I don’t know the story behind it, but as a frequent user of the trail (either bike or hike), I appreciate the effort. Here are some of the various bouquets.

Winter Trail

Winter Trail

A private trail following an old railroad line. A public trail (which was following the railroad grade until this point) turns and cuts over to a different route.

After the Rain

After the Rain

This is a section of the Larry Scott trail outside of Port Townsend, Washington. There had been rain in the morning, but by the time I went out for my walk, it was clear and sunny. The reflection of the sun on the wet trail was brilliant. It was a good time to use some HDR technique. (HDR = High Dynamic Range)

If I had set the exposure to capture the detail on the trail, the shadows would have been totally dark. On the other hand, if I had exposed to capture the details in the shadows, the trail would have been totally blown out and over-exposed. The solution is to take multiple photos with variation in exposure and combine them. I did this in Lightroom, although there are other software options.

End of Trail

End of Trail

The Griff Creek Trail leaves the Olympic Hot Springs Road just behind the Elwha Ranger Station in Olympic National Park. It climbs nearly 3000 feet ( ~ 950 m) in about 2.8 miles (4.5 km). So, it’s pretty steep. It has about 35 switchbacks and then it ends up on the middle of a steep section of hillside. It’s a nice hike with a view at the end of the Elwha Valley and environs.

That’s the end.

Aurora Creek Trail

Aurora Creek Trailhead

The Aurora Creek Trail is one of the most seldom used trails in Olympic National Park … especially if you ignore the trails that need multiple days of hiking to access. The trailhead is a little over 2 miles from the Mount Storm King Ranger Station on Crescent Lake and starts right along the edge of US Highway 101. There isn’t a parking location at the trailhead, but there are some slow vehicle turnouts nearby that can be used. You can see from the photo below that there isn’t a shoulder on the opposite side of the highway.

Lake Crescent — Across from the Aurora Creek Trailhead

Adding to its lack of attraction is the steep grade of the trail. It climbs 3400 ft (1036 m) in 3.4 miles (5.5 km) … a steep grade for the entire length of the trail. Switchbacks are continual. There is no water access along the trail.

Aurora Creek Trail Switchbacks

And the sidehill is densely forested, eliminating most of the view.

Aurora Creek Trail Sidehill

At the top, the Aurora Creek Trail intersects with the Aurora Ridge Trail. It is also seldom hiked. And the maintenance is also infrequent. Why did I hike this trail? Just part of my goal to hike as many of the trails in the Olympic National Park as I can. Just to see what’s there … and try to imagine why the trail exists. My guess on this one is that it was created to get to the high country in the early days before any roads. It provides access to the ridge and the ridge is much easier traveling than the low country with its nearly impenetrable thickets of alder brush.

Aurora Ridge Trail near the Aurora Creek Trail Junction

Good luck with this signpost. My guess is that it doesn’t still stand upright.

Trail Sign on Aurora Ridge at the Aurora Creek Trail junction

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