Sunday, April 26, 2009

Skagit Tulip Festival

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Natalie and I went up to the Skagit Tulip Festival today and all I can say is wow!! It really looked like walking through a painting. The fields looked fake just like I think Mount Rainier looks like a fake backdrop for a movie.

Not too much to say about the trip except we had a great time. I would go back next year in a heartbeat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to the, back to the beach y'all

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Note: Tons of pics (tried to keep it down to 50) due to the good weather. I kind of went nuts on the boardwalk photos but they are cool so there.

Well it was strike 2 in the search for the whales. With the weather promising to be extremely nice I decided to head back out to the peninsula this past weekend for solo hike take 2. It is prime time for whale migration so I thought I might see a few but instead I ended up with another great weekend of backpacking and lots of sun as the icing on the cake.

I went to the same trailhead this week but at the rangers recommendation I headed south instead of doing the loop.

So the wildlife list was; a few seals, several bald eagles, lots of star fish, elk, a few snakes, and some type of heron.

Check out my pics and you can see the super sweet campsite I grabbed too.

It was a great weekend. Dan, Laura, Frank, and I are trying to get another trip together in three weeks so stay tuned for more.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gortex is great!

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This last weekend I went out to the peninsula to hike the Ozette loop on the coast. The hike is a 9 mile loop on the coastal section of Olympic National Park and is beautiful.

It was misting when I showed up at the trailhead around 2pm Saturday and kept it up until about 30 minutes before I got to my campsite when it really started raining. The hike out is a 3 mile boardwalk through old growth forest and a few bog areas. One description I read about the hike said it was like hiking through Jurassic Park and now I can see why. The trees were massive in places and I have never seen so many huge ferns in my life.

Once I got out to the beach I realized I had picked the tides pretty badly because there was no coast to hike. I got up onto the coastal park of the trail that is washed away in many places. After fighting up and around several washouts I was soaked through from breaking through ferns. After a little while the tide receded and I was able to climb back down to the beach and hike there.

I got into my campsite about 6, quickly setup my tent and tossed everything inside. After changing into head to toe gortex, grabbing my block of cheese and beer I had brought along, I headed out to climb one of the many short sea stacks and watch a seal search for dinner.

Once it started getting dark, and raining harder, I retired to the tent and read until bedtime around 9:30. To many people this sounds like hell but I cannot think of a better place to be.

I got up Sunday morning to more rain but a bone dry tent. I made a little breakfast and tried to explore the tide pools. When I got to the beach I realized the wind had picked up to about 30-40mph and it was nearly impossible to see where I was going. I reluctantly headed back to camp, picked up my pack, and headed to into the wind toward the trailhead that would take me back to the car.

Fighting the wind and rain while stumbling over the rocks on the beach was tough but was over quickly enough. I made a little detour to try to find some indian petroglyphs (sp?) over at wedding rocks but gave up after about 15 minutes. I will wait until the sun is out to find those.

Once I got off the beach it was a short hike back to my car and warm dry clothes. The weather is supposed to be nicer this weekend coming up so I am kicking around the idea of heading back out.