South Fork Hoh River April 2003
This was a school field trip for my Old Growth Forest Ecology
class. There is nothing like going for a hike in an old growth
forest with an old growth forest expert and a couple of park
rangers (one of which was my boss' boss for this summer!) We
got to see
the world's largest vine maple and tons of big trees. Had lunch
by the river and watched the clouds roll over the mountains.
This is such an enchanting place!! I think the South fork is
prettier than the main fork of the Hoh. It was just so LUSH and
GREEN. There was just the right amount of drizzling rain to make
everything damp and glowing! Oh, and of course, there was a certain
amount of tree hugging going on too.
The photo in the upper left is Steph on a huge downed log,
on our way to one of our data collection sites. This place
is amazing. There is some sort of plant material covering
every imaginable surface. On this particular work trip, we
decided to also go to the beach. On our way out, along the
Hoh road, we saw this herd of elk. They could care less about
the people watching them. We caught the sunset at the beach
and did some beach combing. Not a bad way to spend the
weekend, especially when you are getting paid for it!!
The original plan was to go backpacking. Then we decided just to car
camp. This ended up being a good decision because I was having
major stove issues! We hiked up the east side of the North Fork
Skokomish River. Ryan wanted to learn about the trees, so I got
to go into full plant-geek mode. I even made him eat some miner's
lettuce I picked. He was a lot of fun to go hiking and camping
with. The river (as always) was beautiful and we spent a lot of
time just hanging out on the rocks and enjoying it. Seeing how
the forest is coming back in after the big fire (1985) was also
really cool. Staircase was where I did my first backpack and
everytime I go back I discover something new. It is a very special,
magical place to me.
Another great day hike. This is a trail in the Olympics
I had not yet hiked. It more or less follows the eastern
edge of the resivoir. Nice trail, but not remarkable. I
did find a really cool rock on the lakeshore. We determined
later that the veins running through it were probably
jadeite. Cool! The views of the mountains from the lake
was nice. We hung out by the lake for awhile, Ryan taking
photos and me id'ing rocks. On the way home, Ryan insisted
that we go to this little hole-in-the-wall seafood place
in Hoodsport. I've driven past this place a million times,
and had never eaten there. After oyster shooters, clam
chowder, and beer batter fried oysters (to help soak up the
beer from the previous night) we had just about eaten ourselves
into a full blown food coma. I'll be back to this place!!
Hoh River Trail June 21 2003
This was a solo hike to celebrate the first day of Summer,
so of course it was raining! Ah, well, it IS the rainforest.
I love hiking here, especiall in the rain. Everything
glows! And the new puncheon makes the trail much nicer.
Fewer mud holes. I went as far as the little stream
crossing (there's a secret waterfall here!) and turned
A good solid 6 mile day. Not many people on the trail,
so it was pretty peaceful. Everyone I did see on the
trail told me about an angry mother elk that was charging
them. She had given birth recently and was apparently
feeling pretty teritorial. I miss all the fun!
Elwha River Trail June 27-29 2003
I love this trail!! I'm doing my senior project here and this
was my initial data collection and scoping out trip. This was
also my first ever solo backpacking trip. I was blessed with
beautiful weather and a sweet campsite next to the river. I
was expecting camp to be really buggy, but it thankfully wasn't.
I camped at Lillian both nights and day hiked to Mary's Falls
on Saturday. Mary's Falls is in a stand of alder flats and is
probably one of my favorite places on the Olympic Peninsula. I
found a wonderful place off trail and next to the river to
read, eat lunch and soak my feet in the cold cold glacial river.
Saturday night I was camped between two boy scout groups, which
sounds a lot worse than it actually was. Sunday night, after I
got home, there was a huge thunderstorm.
Cemetery Point Lake Ozette June 24-25 2003
This was my first field overnight of the 2003 season. We
got boated into camp. The photos are the views from camp.
We speculated a lot about why this area might be named
"Cemetary Point." There were these crazy hummingbirds that
kept dive-bombing our heads. I think we might have been
close to their nest or something. The pic on the right
is of Tivoli Island. We spent the next two days sitting
on the lakeshore id'ing plants and enjoying the sunshine.
I'm quickly learning my wetland plants!! Carex, Juncus,
Scirpus... It looks like I will be spending a lot of time
at Lake Ozette this summer...
North Fork Skokomish River July 4-6 2003
Day 1. Meet two girls I don't know, one of which is a friend
of my friend. We hiked in to Camp Pleasant, about 7 miles
up the north fork of the Skokomish river. We made amazing
time. It only took us 3 hours and we thought we were going
pretty slow! Got to hang out around camp, take a nap, swap
stories...especially about men! Guess that happens when you
put three single women out in the woods together. It was a
great way to celebrate "Independence Day!" We all got along
great, and I got to go into botany professor mode (and stayed
there for the weekend) and taught the girls about the trees
Day 2.The super-long day! We hiked from Camp Pleasant, up
the Black and Whites way trail to B&W Lakes, Kat decided
to go back to camp because she was having a problem with
her boot/ankle. But Kristin and I hiked from the way trail
junction to Flapjack Lakes, up to Gladys Divide, down the
Flapjacks trail and then back to camp. About 16 miles and
12 hours total for the day. By that time, it was getting
dark and Kat was getting worried. The flowers were blooming
on the way trail...Beautiful!!! Beargrass, pink heather,
white rhododendron, huckleberry and mountain ash. And at B
W lakes we saw shooting star, violets, pedicualris, lupine
(not blooming yet) and these weird dragonfly looking things
that looked like they had just molted or something...Very
strange indeed. The trail to Gladys Divide also had tons of
wildflowers...Anemone, avalanche and glacier lilies, gentian,
buttercups, violets, valerian...
Day 3. Hike out from Camp Pleasant. We ran into the volunteer
ranger that we had seen at Flapjacks Lakes. Very nice man. He
had let us use his water filter. The rangers are great! :)
After we made it back to the cars with our very stinky selves,
we went and had a late lunch at this little seafood/hamburger
place in Hoodsport. Yum! Greasy food is the best after a long hike!
Madison Falls and Wolf Creek Trails (Elwha) July 2003
Sometimes work is really fun! We got sent to do plant
surveys at Madison Falls and Wolf Creek. Its great
being outdoors, looking at plants and getting paid
for it!!! :D
We hiked in the 4 miles or so to Grand Lake. I don't
know what my problem was on this trip, maybe it was
the hot weather, but this hike kicked my butt!! I had
great hiking company though. Kat, Kristin and Patrick
were a lot of fun to hike with! Patrick packed in his
guitar, so we had a sing-along after dinner. Someone
forgot the oil for making the cinnamon rolls...they were
a little...shall we say lumpy? The views were amazing,
as always and sticking our tired feet in the cold cold
lake was wonderful. We somehow got the bear wire tangled
up and had to cut down our food bags. Dinner was unbelievable!
Patrick hiked in fresh pasta and two different kinds of
homemade sauce. The meadows in Badger valley were in full
bloom and beautiful! We saw vetch, lupine, indian paintbrush,
pearly everlasting, asters, cow-parsnip...Fantastic! :)
This was another work day. Josh and I got sent to do a wetland
plants inventory at James Pond. It was more of a wet marshy area
than a pond. The sedges and rushes were about waist high and ducks
would run out and scare me as I was tromping through in my waders.
Yes, I looked like an oompa-loompa that day. We found some really
cool plants!! Unfortunately, we also found that the reed canarygrass
on the north side of the pond is spreading. It is a beautiful place
and especially special if you are a bird or insect lover/watcher.
The dragonflies here were especially incredible. There were ones
that were thin and fire-engine red, big fat purple and black velvety
ones, bright turquoise ones with shimmery wings and delicate little
Blue Mountain August 2003
Work again. :) We were sent here several times over the summer.
We mapped the self-guided nature trail with GPS units and planted
more plants as part of the on-going restoration project there. The
view are amazing! If you look closely at the bottom pic, you can
see Mt. Baker in the distance. Also seen from Blue Mountain are
the peaks of the Cascades, the cities of Sequim and Port Angeles,
Dungeness Spit and the San Juan Islands. The most incredible thing
(I think) is the line you can see in the forest where the National
Park meets the National Forest lands. It is very distinct.