|Avalanche Lily at Glacier Meadows|
JULY 19, 2012 – Thursday
The morning began as expected, however, we didn’t get out the door until around 1:30pm. After tracking a package from Really Right Stuff and noticing that my 7oz ball head was going to be delivered today. I decided to wait for it so I could bring it along on this trip. Unfortunately USPS routed the package wrong resulting in a predominately wasted morning.
We left the house and as I drove down the road I mentioned to Jake that I forgot my first aid/emergency kit. I chose not to turn around and just reminded myself to not have to use it.
Our focus was now on a sweeter package of donuts that were waiting for us at Cock-a-Doodle Doughnuts in Port Angeles. The only catch is that we had to be there by 3pm.
|Be Safe! Jake 🙂|
It wasn’t long before we were on our way to the Hoh River Trail. Made a stop for fuel, and then a stop for a famous ice cream at Granny’s Cafe on the way. The drive was nice but we were eager to put dirt under our feet.
|Day One: Hoh River Trailhead – Tom Creek Camp (2.9 mi)|
Our plan was to hike 3 miles up the trail to Tom Creek Camp and wait for one other guy to join us later.
|Packed and ready to go.|
|The leaves are turning already and summer has just begun.|
The camp was full and we made our way out to the gravel bar where we had camped once before earlier this year. Two girls had already made camp but there was plenty of space for Jake and I.
|Reached camp just before nightfall|
One of the girls asked if I had a first aid kit to fix a blister. I couldn’t help but think I should have gone back for my kit when I remembered it.
The lightning storm is incredible tonight! We are standing out here lost in amazement. I can’t catch it in photograph so I am video taping it.
6:00 AM – The GPS alarm went off this morning at 4:30 right on schedule. I did what any backpacker would have done all cozy and warm in their sleeping bag – I hit the snooze button. The wind and rain against my tent prevented me from fully sleeping.
|Day Two: Tom Creek Camp – Glacier Meadows (14 mi)|
|On The Edge of Ferns…|
|Bridge at 13 Mile Camp|
|Elk Lake Shelter|
|Edge of Blue Glacier|
Once I caught up, we walked the ridge above Blue Glacier. In the distance we could see the trail other climbers used to cross. It wasn’t long before we were standing at the edge roped together and ready to begin our trek across.
|Sitting atop Snow Dome. My Merrell Train Sonics worked well|
The ascent to the Snow Dome was quite a bit steeper than it looked from below. As I neared the crest the steepness hit me and began questioning whether or not I was into a section beyond my comfort level. But the top was just in front of me and my footing had remained solid so I decided to keep going.
Once on top of the Snow Dome I was was in awe at the breathtaking view, happy that I decided to climb instead of staying back at the meadows.
I sat in the snow, pulled out a few snacks, and enjoyed the view. It was a beautiful day.
There were a few items in my pack that I brought on this trip to test whether or not they would work for the 400 mile hike Jake and I are doing on August 4th. So I pulled out my solar charger and it work incredibly well.
Our return trip was much faster. On the way down a group of climbers had caught up with us. We had seen and talked to them many times during our hike up the Hoh River Trail. They decided to camp at the half way point whereas we had decided to camp at Glacier Meadows.
|Barefoot Jake heading back to camp after a successful ascent.|
We humans have such a skewed idea of what is important in life an most of it involves a little green piece of paper. It’s ominous how we’ve allowed it so much power over our lives. It controls our spirituality, family, desires, takes away our humanity and compassion. It gives us just enough hope to keep us enslaved. The whole idea depresses me.
Jake and I stayed, deciding that gaining an extra four miles towards home wasn’t worth pulling camp only to set up again in an hour or so.
Met Tony, Nathan, and Mike using the shelter for a gym. It always adds to the backcountry experience when meeting interesting people. We talked about camping gear and the book I am writing. I showed them some ultra light gear and pointed out how inexpensive it really can be to acquire.
Traditional camping gear prepares us to do battle with nature, conquer and attempt to control it. Taking the lightweight approach allows a person to be equal, balanced, becoming a part of nature rather than a part from nature.
Their water filter had broken so I pumped them some water and said that if they left their empty containers next to my tent I would fill them before I left in the morning. They were very grateful and I was more than happy to help.
One thing I have noticed is that once a person hikes beyond a five mile radius from the trailhead people become family. Civility returns and we become human. It’s a beautiful thing and a loving gift from nature.
JULY 22, 2012 – Sunday
6:00 AM – Woke up at 4:45 to get an early start but didn’t start down the trail until just after 6. Not sure what took us so long in getting ready, guess we really didn’t want to leave.
The hike out was uneventful and a loooooong flat march. I am thinking it is best to break this up into a couple days to make it much more memorable.
|Olympic Marmot above Glacier Meadows|