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GREATNORTHWEST'S HIKING PAGE

INNER CONSTANCE

HERE'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO LATELY

Nov 6, 2001, The Staircase area in Olympic National Park is beautiful in gorgeous Fall colors. It's a short hike, but beautiful on a cool, sunny day. Saw lots and lots of mushrooms, some familiar, some new. Water Oozels were working the streams and squabling over territory. As we got back to the car it started to sprinkle. We hadn't even noticed the clouds coming in.

Nov 1, We did the Mt Zion hike again. Warm and sunny on top. Views of Mt Townsend, St. of Juan de Fuca and the top of a sea of clouds.

July 31, We want to get a look at the rare Flett's Violets and Pipers Bellflowers that only grow in the Olympics, so we head for the pass between Mt Townsend and Silver lake. The Violets and Bellflowers show for us as well as many other spectacular blossoms. We are in fog most of the day, but the West side of the pass is clear.

November 2, 2000, On our way to Klaloch on the Olympic Penninsula we detour out to La Push for a hike on 2nd beach. It's a short pleasant hike. The sun is out and it's very warm for November. No wind, no birds, but the waves are breaking. We see large pods of Sea Lions laying close together in the water with their fins sticking up into the air. Resting on a dry driftwood log we watch a little Winterwren hopping about and looking cute. On the way back to the trail we see an Eagle fly over. Tonight we'll stay at Klaloch Lodge and tomorrow head for Lake Quinalt for a bike ride.

October 27, 2000, Watermusic Festival in Longbeach, Wa. No concerts on Friday, so we head to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach Oregon for a hike with hosts Gary and Sharon and friend Mary Jane. The trail is on steep hillsides and cliffs above the ocean. Giant Sitka Spruces tower above us as the trail snakes up and down steep ridges and along open slopes above the water. Offshore rocks, sea stacks and arches stand in the surf. Brief showers sprinkle us as we march along. Finally at the beach just a short distance from the car rain starts to soak us and we hightail it to Cannon Beach to find a bakery.

October 25, 2000, The Skokomish River Trail is pretty this time of year with maples showing their Fall colors. We see Chantrelles, Boletes, Russulas and other mushrooms along the path. Huge Maples in this valley have fantstice shapes. Some twist their trunks as they climb skyward. Some are distorted with bulges and lumps. Thick Spanish Moss hangs on their limbs and the tortured branches outgrab. Found a dry log next to the river for lunch and enjoyed the beautiful river view. A good mile of the trail is through the Beaver Fire burn area with huge dead or dying Firs. We reach the Flapjack Lakes junction (4 mi) in 2 hours. It's cool and cloudy with a few sprinkles, but no rain. Very nice easy hike.

October 15, 2000, The Ozette loop is a great hike. The 9.3 mile triangle loop takes you to Sand Point, then along 3 miles of ocean beach to Cape Alava, then back to the start at lake Ozette. Wind was from the South, so we hiked North on the beach. Tide was very high, so we had to climb over headlands and do some walking on driftwood logs. However, the high tide brought the Hooded Merganzers and Harlequins within 10 feet of shore. Spectacular! We also saw Oystercatchers, Black Turnstones, Whimbrels and a Marbeled Godwit in addition to the usual Gulls, Herons and Cormorants. The eagles hang out in the treetops above the beach and we were walking too close underneath to see any. We did hear one though. It was a cool day with lots of clouds, but the threatened rain never materialized.

October 5, 2000, We haven't had a good hike in quite a while. Tena suggests Deer Park to Elk Mountain, so off we go. It is a beautiful day for this hike on the Northern edge of the Olympics. The air is cold and crystal clear and we can see the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Grey Wolf Ridge, the Needles and all the peaks to Obstruction Point from a single vantage point. This hike has treacherously steep sections where if you slipped you would be gone for good. It kind of puckers you up to look down and think about it.

Aug 20, We hike up Mt. Zion in Olympic National Forest. This trail is only 1.8 miles. It was cloudy and cool and at the top the view was hidden by the clouds. We ate lunch and then it started to drizzle. By the time we got back to the car it was raining. There were a few wildflowers including Indian Pipe.

Aug 12, Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics calls us to 5,200 ft. I've just washed the dust of the last hike off the car and want a paved road to the trailhead. We hike to Klahanie Ridge. It's less than 4 miles each way and the trail goes along a ridge close to timberline. There are views of Mt. Olympus, The Needles, Graywolf Ridge and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Wildflowers covered the slopes, but the number and variety aren't as great as last year. The drought has hurt many of them. It was cool and clouds came in as we got to Klahanie Ridge, so we couldn't see Victoria.

July 5, Forests of giant Rhododendrons and fields of dazzeling wildflowers marvelled our senses in the Olympics. We hiked the Tubalcain mine trail through crowded Rhododendrons to the alpine meadows at 5,200 feet. Tiger Lillies were just getting started, but Lupine and Indian Paintbrush were well established. Saw one Chocolate Lilly. Columbine carpeted the meadow in one place. We saw the Littleflowered Penstimon, Blueflowered Penstimon and Showey Penstimon. Woodland Penstimon had not yet bloomed, but was there. Incredibly deep blue Delphinium waited for us above 5,000 ft. It was a sunny, but cool day, so hiking was very pleasant. I shot lots of video and got lots of closeups of the beautiful blossoms.

June 30, 2001, The Mt. Zion hike in the Olympics is a good initial hike of the season. Only 2 miles. There are acres of Rhodys, lots of Columbine and the seldom seen Wild Ginger. Bunchberry (Ground Dogwood), Indian Pipe, Vanilla Leaf and even Penstimon are seen too.PICTURES

November 2, 2000, On our way to Klaloch on the Olympic Penninsula we detour out to La Push for a hike on 2nd beach. It's a short pleasant hike. The sun is out and it's very warm for November. No wind, no birds, but the waves are breaking. We see large pods of Sea Lions laying close together in the water with their fins sticking up into the air. Resting on a dry driftwood log we watch a little Winterwren hopping about and looking cute. On the way back to the trail we see an Eagle fly over. Tonight we'll stay at Klaloch Lodge and tomorrow head for Lake Quinalt for a bike ride.

October 27, 2000, Watermusic Festival in Longbeach, Wa. No concerts on Friday, so we head to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach Oregon for a hike with hosts Gary and Sharon and friend Mary Jane. The trail is on steep hillsides and cliffs above the ocean. Giant Sitka Spruces tower above us as the trail snakes up and down steep ridges and along open slopes above the water. Offshore rocks, sea stacks and arches stand in the surf. Brief showers sprinkle us as we march along. Finally at the beach just a short distance from the car rain starts to soak us and we hightail it to Cannon Beach to find a bakery.

October 25, 2000, The Skokomish River Trail is pretty this time of year with maples showing their Fall colors. We see Chantrelles, Boletes, Russulas and other mushrooms along the path. Huge Maples in this valley have fantstice shapes. Some twist their trunks as they climb skyward. Some are distorted with bulges and lumps. Thick Spanish Moss hangs on their limbs and the tortured branches outgrab. Found a dry log next to the river for lunch and enjoyed the beautiful river view. A good mile of the trail is through the Beaver Fire burn area with huge dead or dying Firs. We reach the Flapjack Lakes junction (4 mi) in 2 hours. It's cool and cloudy with a few sprinkles, but no rain. Very nice easy hike.

October 15, 2000, The Ozette loop is a great hike. The 9.3 mile triangle loop takes you to Sand Point, then along 3 miles of ocean beach to Cape Alava, then back to the start at lake Ozette. Wind was from the South, so we hiked North on the beach. Tide was very high, so we had to climb over headlands and do some walking on driftwood logs. However, the high tide brought the Hooded Merganzers and Harlequins within 10 feet of shore. Spectacular! We also saw Oystercatchers, Black Turnstones, Whimbrels and a Marbeled Godwit in addition to the usual Gulls, Herons and Cormorants. The eagles hang out in the treetops above the beach and we were walking too close underneath to see any. We did hear one though. It was a cool day with lots of clouds, but the threatened rain never materialized.

October 5, 2000, We haven't had a good hike in quite a while. Tena suggests Deer Park to Elk Mountain, so off we go. It is a beautiful day for this hike on the Northern edge of the Olympics. The air is cold and crystal clear and we can see the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Victoria, the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Grey Wolf Ridge, the Needles and all the peaks to Obstruction Point from a single vantage point. This hike has treacherously steep sections where if you slipped you would be gone for good. It kind of puckers you up to look down and think about it.

Aug 20, We hike up Mt. Zion in Olympic National Forest. This trail is only 1.8 miles. It was cloudy and cool and at the top the view was hidden by the clouds. We ate lunch and then it started to drizzle. By the time we got back to the car it was raining. There were a few wildflowers including Indian Pipe.

Aug 12, Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics calls us to 5,200 ft. I've just washed the dust of the last hike off the car and want a paved road to the trailhead. We hike to Klahanie Ridge. It's less than 4 miles each way and the trail goes along a ridge close to timberline. There are views of Mt. Olympus, The Needles, Graywolf Ridge and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Wildflowers covered the slopes, but the number and variety aren't as great as last year. The drought has hurt many of them. It was cool and clouds came in as we got to Klahanie Ridge, so we couldn't see Victoria.

Above Tubalcain mine.

Aug 2, A hike on the Tubalcain Mine trail leads us alpine meadows and wildflowers. Last year the road to this trail was closed by washouts. This year you can get to the trail by a detour via side roads. It's worth it. The trail is between Mt. Townsend and the Greywolf Ridge in Olympic Nationa Forest and Buckhorn Wilderness. We see Bog Orchid, Tiger Lilly, Columbine, Lupine, Delphinium, Oxeye Daisies, Piper's Bellflower, Bluebells, Indian Paintbrush, Olympic Onion, Monkeyflower and many others. We also see birds including the Townsend's Solitair. It's beautiful and warm and we hike 5 miles each way and climb 2,000 ft.

July 13, We hike up Mount Townsend in the Olympics. Tons of wildflowers greet us even though it's early in the season. Penstimon, Queen's Cup, Columbine, Paintbrush, Lupine, Checker Lilly and others I forget covered the slopes. Tena saw a skylark near the summit. It was cool and foggy on top.

July 28: We hiked up Mt Zion in the Olympics.

THE FOLLOWING ARE HIKES FROM 1998 AND 99

July 31, 1998, We hiked up Mt Townsend in the Olympics with friends Tom and Polly. Dazzled by acres of brilliant wildflowers, but encased in fog all day we had no view.

Aug. 26, we hiked at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. We did the easy Klanhanie Ridge trail to the edge of Mount Angeles. The day was beautiful. We enjoyed great views of Mt. Olympus, Greywolf Ridge and most of the Northern Olympics.

Sept 3, We did Tena's birthday hike to Marmot Pass in the Olympics. Met our friend Tom near the pass. He and his old backpacking buddies Bob and Harvey were in the 4th day of 5 day backpack trip from Obstruction Point to Dungeness via Constance Pass. They enjoyed excellent weather for the whole trip. We appreciated the good weather too and saw a few wildflowers and some birds. Huge specimens of Grass of Parnasis bordered the trail at about 5500 ft. There were Speedwell, dwarf Fireweed, Indian Paints, Magenta Paintbrush, one Columbine and a Woodland Penstimen amoung others. The birds worth mentioning were Bandtailed Pigeon, Varied Thrush and lots of Ruffed Grouse. We finished the day with Tena's birthday dinner at the Timber House in Quilcene.

Sept 12, We hiked the Tubal Cain Mine and Tull Canyon trails in the Olympics. Didn't make it to the top of Hawk Mtn, but got to about 5,800 ft. Tena had to drop back and when I got a few hundred feet above, fog started coming up the canyon. I didn't want to be separated if we lost our visibility, so I gave it up. Tena achieved a milestone on this hike: her steepest trek since the injuries and on the roughest terrain so far, including a miner's way trail and steep alpine meadows.

Sept 17, We hiked the Maiden Peak trail in Olympic National Park. Started in rain at Deer Park, but it soon stopped and the mountains of Gray Wolf Ridge showed themselves. Wildflowers were limited to Pearly Everlasting, a few Bluebells and one Paintbrush. A few mushrooms appeared along the trail, including a button Amanita Muscaria. We turned back early when it appeared we were walking into a storm. Got a glimpse of Victoria accross the Straits and through the clouds from the saddle between the summits of Maiden Peak.

Oct 18, We hiked to the top of Pyramid Peak above Crecent Lake in Olympic National Park. 3.5 miles and 2500 feet elevation gain took us to great views of the lake, Strait of Juan de Fuce and Victoria accross the water. Slides and a washout made part of the trail a little hairy. The park is a safe place to hike during hunting season, though we did see one nimrod on the trail along the park boundary.

Oct 23 - 25, hiking, beachwalking and baroque music at the Water Music Festival on the Longbeach Peninsula (not to mention the excellent food and fine wine). Friday and Saturday evenings we heard the Bach cello suites played by Dimitry Yablonski in the historic Oysterville church. Friday morning we headed for Saddle Mountain on the Oregon coast. It was a beautiful hike through brilliant fall colors in bright sunshine. The summit offered views of Astoria on the Columbia River, the Oregon coast and the coastal mtn range. Saturday and Sunday we enjoyed concerts by a guitar trio, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, a group who played 16th and 17th century music on reproductions of ancient instruments and the highlight of the weekend, Katia Skavani on the piano. She was brilliant. Friends Gary and Sharon have hosted us at this event for 12 years where we stay at their vacation cabin. It's always a great time with beach walking and sometimes clam digging, bike riding or canoeing thrown in for good measure.

Oct 31, Returned to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park with son Brian and his wife Wendy to hike the trail to Klahani Ridge. It was cloudy, windy and cold with occasional mist and light rain. But we enjoyed the outing and the excercise.

We haven't been getting out much for a few weeks. Tena has been working on our 1999 Current and Tide Tables. They will be ready for distribution starting December 8. I have been working at the REI Flagship store in Seattle as a cashier in the ski department. REI has changed alot since 1958 when I worked there as a college student. My first job was mounting bindings on skis. That job has changed alot too, and now they have up to five ski techs working at one time instead of just one.

Aug 11, 1999, A hike up Mt Townsend in the Olympics with old college buddies Larry and Tom. We haven't seen Larry in over 25 years. Tom and Larry and I did some climbing in college, including Glacier Peak, Mt Olympus and Mt Rainier. Tena was concerned that she couldn't keep up with three strong guys, but she did just fine. It was cool and cloudy, but the wildflowers carpeted the meadows with and endless variety of color and shapes. Especially noteworthy were Columbia Lewisia and Elegant Camas.

Aug 28, 1999, had a great hike with Sylvia and Chris and David. David packed a gourmet lunch for all of us and carried it up. We climbed the unmaintained trail to Knapsack Pass in Mt Rainier Nat. Park and up the ridge to First Mother Mountain. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed excellent views of the glaciers on the North side of the mountain. The never to be forgotten lunch included two kinds of delicous sandwiches, humous, French wine, organic peaches, watermelon and chocolate.


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