Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Olympic National Park Day Hike

First off, right out of the chute, let's play a numbers game:

1)   Clicking on the pictures makes them bigger.

2)   What I type might have something to do with the pictures or it might not.

3)   A link to all the pictures I took can be found below somewhere if/when I remember to include it.

4)  Now onto the stuff:

Monday was a holiday for me.  I was done with my medical recertification and wanted to be outside.  The weather cooperated nicely and I was off to Olympic National Park.

I departed Port Orchard cutting through Belfair and Hoodsport.  The road to the park skirts the approximately 1 mile wide and 8 1/2 mile long (about 4,000 acres) Lake Cushman.  I stopped long enough to take a few pictures of the lake.

Not too far past the end of Lake Cushman the sign for Olympic National Park is found.  Monday I was in the southeast corner known as

the Staircase area.

I decided to do a day hike on the North Fork Skokomish River trail.

I really didn't have a game plan other than that.  I thought I'd hike for a bit and when I thought it time, turn around and hike back.  I was just enjoying being outside, having no agenda, and being along with my thoughts.

After the first 1/2 mile I took off my fleece jacket.

After another 1/2 mile I took off my merino wool bike jersey and was down to my Capilene base layer.  It was quite cool when I started but I think it got up to about 50 degrees on Monday.

I've been on these exact trails a few times this past summer.  Most of the pictures I took are probably quite similar to the pictures I took then.

I did bring along my little tripod with the flexible legs thing.  I was able to take a few selfies without holding the camera in my hand and extending it as far from me as I could.

This time of the year I almost had the park to myself.  I did run into a few people on the trail.  I did see three O.W.L.S.  I don't know if O.W.L.S. is a real organization or not.  I'm guessing not since I sort of made it up on the spot when I saw these three people.

The three people I was were all 70 to 75 years old (I'm guessing) and were a group of three women.  They had day packs and trekking poles.  When I first passed them, they were resting by the side of the trail and giggling like old college roommates telling "war stories."  Perhaps they were some time ago and this is their annual hike.  Or, perhaps they're locals and they do this often.

At any rate, they seemed to be having a large time.  I thought it interesting there were three elderly women doing this.  I said "hello" but made no further inquiries.  Sometimes one's imagination can concoct a better story than reality.  So, I labelled them O.W.L.S.  I decided O.W.L.S. stands for Old Widowed Longjohn Society.  I couldn't come up with a better word using "L."

Before I knew it I was at the trail that one would take to get to Flapjack Lakes, or, four miles from the parking lot.  I had chores to do back home so I decided to head back.  About 30 minutes heading back down the trail I stopped, moved aside, and let the grinning O.W.L.S. continue with their hike.

It was a great day to hike and get some fresh air.  All the pictures are HERE.

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