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Olympics 2002
 
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Cape Alava/Sand Point Loop May 2002

Full moon shining on the whitecaps in the middle of the night, viewed from the top of Sand Point. Very crowded, but still lovely. We found the campsite that has a hammock! Lots of bird watching, tide pool searching and relaxing on the beach. Did a short day hike with Lacey to Yellow Banks.



Mt Zion June 2002

This was our Annual Father's Day hike. The Rhododendrons were in full bloom. They looked like pink torches against the evergreens. I think there are nice views from the top of Zion, but it was too cloudy to see them. I'll probably be back to this one.



Elip creek Loop (Quinault) July 2002

Irely lake is beautiful. The beargrass and heather was in full bloom and lined either side of the trail. There were flowers everywhere. Beargrass is said to have a significant bloom year every 5-7 years and this was supposed to be the year.   We   did the lower loop. I plan on coming back to finish hiking the rest of the Skyline trail. Three lakes (where we camped the first night) was beautiful, but we got eaten alive by bugs and the water source/quality was questionable.   The last leg of the hike to Three lakes was challenging, but definitely worth it. The second night we camped by the river and did some exploring. The huge, smooth white rocks had been warmed by the sun and were a wonderful place to chill out and read. We saw deer in the lower part of the forest on the hike out. Everything in this section was GREEN! Lovely.



Pyramid Mountain July 2002

This is a nice, but steep in places, forest trail. It was too foggy at the top for good views of Lake Crescent and Mount Storm King. The sun coming through the trees in streaks was beautiful, magical. There is an old shelter at the top (with broken glass and mouse scat everywhere!) which was pretty cool. I saw calypso orchids. We ate lunch   on the rocky ridge top.  



Olympic Hot Springs August 2002

Another great day at work. Ate lunch while soaking our feet in the hotsprings. My knee was bothering me, so I missed out on seeing the naked guy soaking in the upper pool. Easy trail to hike. Its paved for most of the route. We found the pool that wins the "most romantic" award. it was in the shape of a heart.



Royal Lake and Basin August 2002

What an amazing place! Lacey, Dave and I had a fabulous time exploring both the lake and the upper basin. Dave had *insisted* on bringing our dinners for both nights, and included in that were some surprises. The first night, at Royal lake, we had pasta with pesto and he pulled out chocolate and   a nalgene full of red wine. It was hot and dusty during the day, but we were blessed with a full moon, so we went for an evening hike around the lake with nothing to guide us   but the light of the moon. Fish were jumping like crazy in the lake that night. The next morning, we started our day by going skinny-dipping in the lake. Is that the ranger watching us? Yes! *blush* (I had met him at Siren's a few nights before...) We packed up and hiked to the upper basin. The   views and rocks up there are amazing! We did a lot of bouldering and exploring   and camped on top of a HUGE rock that sat above one of the tarns.   That was fun, but climbing the rock with full packs was probably not the brightest move ever. Dinner that night took forever to cookk   (someone didn't read the package very well, did he?) so we skipped dessert and had it for breakfast the next morning. I highly recommend having cheesecake and coffee for breakfast in the backcountry. YUM!   I could have easily spent a week or more exploring the upper basin. No wonder the Park has made this a 'quota area.' The bugs near the tarns in the upper basin were unbelievable at night, btw.



Staircase/Home Sweet Home/Flapjack Lakes August 2002

Oh, so you call this work? Okay! I got sent   to help   my coworker, Paul, to do a 'compliance survey'   for the Park at Home Sweet Home to make sure that there weren't any rare/endangered plants in the area where they wanted to rebuild the shelter. Four days of backpacking! He also helped me with my vegetation surveys that I was to do at Flapjack Lakes.

The hike in was a long one! But it was definitely worth it. We saw a meteor shower (the annual one in August...called?) and I saw, very faintly the northern lights! COOL! We had a boyscout troup camped next to us and one of the older boys identified constallations for me (that was so cute, he was trying to flirt). We really wanted to sleep out under the stars, but it was just too darn cold.

The second day we hiked back out and camped at Camp Pleasant. Paul found out the hard way that the mice can climb the bear wires here and they won't eat white chocolate out of your trail mix. They do love soy nut though. The third day we hiked to Flapjack Lakes via the Black and White Lakes trail. Thank goodness for huckleberries! YUM! Man that trail is steep, but the berries kept pushing me forward. This trail doesn't get used a lot, so there were lots of berries left for me. =)  

We got an early enough start that we got to Flapjacks pretty early in the day. Paul went for a solo hike and I hung out around the lake, went skinny-dipping and did a little exploring. We had the entire place to ourselves. It was fantastic.   The lake is beautiful   but cold.   The ranger (yes, the cute one-and no, he didn't see me swimming) there came and had dinner with us and brought us some chocolate! He pointed out the 'mouse-eating-cheese' rock formation above the lake. The fourth day we hiked out. It was an easy downhill and we were taking our time because we had to stop and 'survey' the vegetation (for work).



Bogachiel River August 2002

What a beautiful place! Not as abused as the main fork of the Hoh.   Annie and I   had the whole place to ourselves (we were *working*). We camped on the gravel bar, and accidently found a bees nest in one of the logs! I didn't get stung, but Annie did a couple of times. There is lots of evidence of deer and elk here, and we watched tadpoles in one of the little pools.



Deer Lake via Little Divide September 2002

The boardwalks here are a fabulous place to botanize! You'll have to pardon the mosquitoes, it is a wetland and the are horrendous! The lake is beautiful and we found a great campsite with a view of it. Watched a father and son team try to fish. I don't think they had any luck.



Hoh Lake via Sol Duc October 2002

Another *work* day. We saw two bears!! Why does that one have orange ear tags? We camped at Deer lake and day hiked up to Hoh lake. The boardwalk section at Deer lake is wonderful. I love trying to identify plants here (despite the tourists asking me questions~maybe that is a good thing?). The fall colors around the lakes were incredible, and huckleberries were still out. YUM! It rained pretty hard on us during most of the night, but I don't remember it being too bad while we were working or on the hike out. Just a drizzle maybe. I'd like to hike up to Hoh lake from the other side (22 switchbacks!) next time.




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