It’s been quite awhile since my last post. Can’t say I’m sorry as I have been enjoying life being mostly disconnected. Feels good not being commercially analyzed by the internet demons such as Google, Facebook, and the myriad unknowns. Society has turned us into commercial cattle to be branded, bought, and sold. However, we don’t mind as long as they keep feeding us pleasures we are told we need and want.
It was nice to break through the fence and graze in open pasture for a bit. But alas, here I am, back with the rest of the herd typing out a blog post.
Today I am going to post my quick daily journal notes that I wrote using Momento journaling app on my iPhone as Barefoot Jake and I crossed the Olympics. It will serve as an introduction or table of contents for the much more detailed posts that will follow.
What I did during the hike was make quick Momento notes while on the trail. Just before going to bed I transferred the entries to Evernote. I also did a voice memo either in the morning or the evening, sometimes both. Evernote kept crashing when I tried to do the voice memo through the app so I ended up using the recorder that came with my iPhone and later adding that file to my Evernote journal.
So here are the unedited journal entries I made. There will be grammatical errors and confusing sentences I am sure. All I am doing is copy/pasting. The only thing missing are going to be a lot of the photos I took. The photos will be added later during future posts. The post may be a little confusing because at times I just made a few reminders for things I wanted to later expand on.
Saturday 4 August 2012
3:13 PM First water break before the next ascent to Aurora Ridge. This is one steep trail, about a 14% grade according to my compass if I am reading it right.
8:39 PM First camp was not at Boulder Lake as we had planned. There was only two hours left of daylight and we are still 4.5 miles away.
There was a change of location for the first camp and I did not recalculate. The new mileage count should have been 12.5. Jake and I had plenty of excuses why we should stop here where we did so the decision was easy.
It’s a beautiful spot next to a small creek with a waterfall. You can also see Lake Crescent from here. The sunset is spectacular tonight.
I am really missing Deborah and Jessica already. Edison and the pouch Deborah made for me with his ashes keep my mind at ease so far.
Sunday 5 August 2012
5:26 AM Alarm went off at 5am and I snoozed another 26 minutes. From what I can tell the sky is clear.
7:05 AM About an hour late on our start. It looks like 7am is going to be our usual time to leave camp.
I was watched by a curious deer this morning. Ears forward and alert. Followed me a bit. Maybe there was a fawn nearby.
Reached our first piles of snow.
7:16 PM We made it to blue lake. I have to admit I reach my physical limit. The hike up from Boulder Lake was tough and the main reason I am not a mountaineer.
The trail from Three Horse Lake vanished as we new it would. The route we chose was wrong and we ended up climbing straight up about 1200 ft to 5177 elevation through slide alder, skree, and snow fields.
Saw a bear grazing on a slope above Blue Lake.
Monday 6 August 2012
7:03 AM Woke up still sore and dreaming about a heard of grizzlies.
Started charging batteries while I did camp chores. Made breakfast and reorganized my food bag. Took some good shots of a duck in the lake. There are a pair here that fly back and forth to the open edges of the lake which is still mostly under snow.
Jake and I figured our a route for today and are hoping to finally reach the Bailey’s. We have missed reaching our scheduled campsites two days in a row. Yesterday we did 5 miles of difficult bushwhacking along with 5 miles of steep trail. It was a tough day and I am still feeling it. I hate to use age as an excuse but being nearly 50 has slowed me down a bit.
7:30 PM We made it to Appleton Pass after a brutal side hill and spine navigation.
We easily found our way from Blue Lk over the pass where could now see Mt. Appleton. We just had to cross the valley and once again chose the wrong route. A boulder moved under my foot as we were searching for a route and I fell smashing my camera on the boulders and destroying my 11-18 lens. The fall also broke my camera though it seems to be taking photos with my other lens. I’m sending it back when we reach Amanda Park.
I discovered also that I left a cord at Boulder Lk so now my solar panel is useless.
Almost fell down a ravine. Took too low of a route that had nothing to hold onto and I began sliding. Stopped just before the cliff and I mentally lost it. My camera was broke, I was tired, and now I was about to slide off a cliff. Think I scare Jake when I yelled, “I’m not a f*&%ing mountaineer, I hate this sh*%!!”
Now that I am safe in my tent, I really don’t hate this sh*%.
Tuesday 7 August 2012
6:32 AM Slept good last night. Today we make our way to Cat Basin. We should be waking up at Eleven Bull Basin but are about two days behind schedule.
As with most long distance hikes thus one has been filled with many emotions. Mostly disappointment about my gear. Losing a key cord and breaking my camera. This is a setback for my book.
1:20 PM Made it to swimming bear Lk
– Watched bear graze on hillside next to us. In awe at bears.
– Just sat quietly on a rock airing our feet and watching the basin. Also where we hand just traversed.
– floating ice in lake.
– washed feet.
– feelings of last traverse.
– jake seems different, mentally.
5:45 PM Notes to talk about:
– met family on way to swimming bear.
– reached cat trail.
– started for catwalk.
– met group of guys leaving commented on Edison.
– passed by another group on their way to the baileys.
– we turned around. I wasn’t ready for more traversing.
Wednesday 8 August 2012
6:26 AM Sitting here in my tent contemplating our next move. The thought of heading out to Sol Duc makes sense but so does continuing on across the Bailey’s. I feel much better and ready to continue on. Not sure about Jake though. I fear I’ve confused the poor guy. I am not one to hide my emotions. They tend erratically bounce around from moment to moment. I am often surprised at some peoples perception of what they think I am feeling when it is almost always totally opposite of what they thought. Jake has misdiagnosed me many times so far this trip. To be expected as we are still figuring each other out.
Headed back. Jake didn’t want to do it. I don’t think he thought I was really into it even after I said I was ready to go. I left the decision up to him. The poor guy just hasn’t figured me out yet. I really want to keep moving forward and continue the Baileys but he isn’t mentally into it now. I feel bad as I am sure I was the trigger.
– met two guys on trail. Tag
– reached trailhead and ranger gave us a ride to lodge. He was impressed with our trip plans.
– The two guys gave us a ride to Port Angeles.
– Ate at Subway.
– Walked to library.
– Called Deborah, she’s going to meet us at hotel.
11:11 PM At a hotel. An expensive cheap hotel.
– ate at brewery. Chili. Watched g.volleyball. Town drunk.
– describe aqua green bathroom, small beds.
– Deborah and Jessica arrive.
– slept on floor.
Thursday 9 August 2012
6:24 AM Deborah and Jessica dropped us off at Whiskey Bend this morning. I sure wish they could do this hike with me.
11:08 AM At our first camp all set up and relaxing next to the Elwha River in a beautiful gravel bar that has been reclaimed by Sitka Alder.
There is a Mule Deer, aka Black-Tail, grazing around camp. It seems to be quite habituated to people.
Jake is doing laundry.
I was just taught the Barefoot Jake method of washing barefoot shoes. Cleans out all the dirt and sweat making them like new.
01. Dunk in water
02. Scrape and rub inside shoe to clean.
03. Hold shoe upside down in water as swish back and forth vigorously to rinse.
Friday 10 August 2012
6:09 AM Woke up to jake yelling, “Get out of here!”
A mountain goat tripped over his guy line and knocked his tent down. The goat walked past my tent and I didn’t even notice as I was sound asleep.
A few minutes after I pissed the goat came back to eat the grass. Goats have a strange taste for urine. It has been walking between my camp and Jake’s all morning.
All my food is cold for this section so I did not have to fire up a stove. I had nature valley pop tarts and xgt tea.
2:58 PM Made to camp Wilder. Boy Scouts were just setting up so Jake and I pitched on the gravel bar.
The sun was too hot so after getting camp setup I found some shade and began eating some salmon. Jake washed up and when he got back wanted to hang the food to explore some cabins that where said to be around here somewhere.
6:20 PM Fireside.
We did find one of the cabins. Looks like the Park is restoring it for a new ranger station. There is a lot of recent work done on it.
A trail goes up the hillside where there is another shelf that is large and flat enough that it may have been where the other cabins were. We explored but found no signs. Followed an elk trail back.
It wasn’t long after we returned that we saw a herd of elk on the gravel bar. One was collared and a few tagged. They crossed the river just a little ways down from us, disappearing in a distant meadow.
I decided to do laundry and clean up like Jake had done earlier so Edison and I walked to the river.
Jake wanted to watch a fire, I guess it was up to me to do the honors of lighting it. The wood is so dry that it only took one match and seconds before we had a campfire so hot we couldn’t sit next to it.
I finished my salmon and decide it was time to retire.
7:10 PM Bed.
I’m laying here now watching the suns shadow slide down the mountains. Listening to the Elwha River race towards its new freedom. I am glad the dam is being removed.
Today we experienced.
- Found GeoMarker
- Boots under bridge. (only one boot)
- Saw Pablo, the ranger that gave us our permit.
- Stopped in Elkhorn to see what Jake called the “Best Privy” on the Elwha.
- I need to discuss the Sawyer design flaw.
- Stopped at Hayes for a break.
- Moved a dying chipmunk off the trail just before a family with two little girls walked by. It must have fallen from the tree overhead. It was gasping for its last breath.
- Saw a herd of Elk crossing just down river of us on the sandbar.
Jake is just finishing his dinner and going to hang his food and go to bed as well. It’s 7:47pm now.
Looks like it will be a 10.4 mile day tomorrow. I’m going to sleep now.
Saturday 11 August 2012
6:06 AM Awake but sleepy still.
4:30 PM Made it to Martins Lakes. Quite a climb but well worth it. The Mosquitos are vicious and numerous. According to my Audubon guide we are being attacked by Elephant Mosquitos. I haven’t experienced this many since I left Alaska.
Calculated mileage for tomorrow but can’t figure out my notes. I’ll just write add as I wrote them and maybe one day I will figure it out.
- 16 Mile River Crossing
- .7 to 12 Mile
- 3.4 to Trapper
- 1.6 to Trail Jct.
- 1.4 to Halfway House
- 2.6 to Wolf Bar
- 2.5 to Trailhead.
Sunday 12 August 2012
4:46 AM Watched the big dipper move across the sky and a meteor shower.
Tried to get photos but can’t with phone or pad. Need a little more light. We are getting packed and ready to head out at first light ahead of the Mosquitos.
During the hike I managed to poorly photograph a Phoebus Parnassian butterfly. It’s a beautiful white butterfly with gray markings.
Walked by the scout group for the last time. They made it to Low Divide last night and were going to day hike to Martin’s Lakes today. Jake and I will be off the trail at Amanda Park tomorrow and then heading up O’Neil Creek in the afternoon after we get our resupply.
– ownership of a vision.
5:52 PM Made it to Wolf Bar. Sixteen miles is the longest I have hiked in my barefoot shoes. I could have gone further but would not have wanted to. I am beat!
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is that every evening when I sit down to relax and have dinner, I drink a toast with Killepestich to my beautiful wife Deborah and our little boy. Both of which make my life possible. And to our little girl Jessica who has tried so hard to fill Edison’s paws. She does a good job at a most difficult task.
Monday 13 August 2012
6:24 AM Woke up rested on Wolf Bar. Looks to be another sunny day. The stars were out in full sparkle again last night.
I am almost packed and ready to pick up our packages at Amanda Park. Every day brings me closer to Deborah!
8:39 AM On our way out of camp we stopped to chat with some Scouts. It happened that they were heading out as well and offered to give us a ride to Amanda Park. Which they did when we met again at the trailhead. Took some photos for them and later found out they are from Poulsbo.
On our way out we happened upon a bear no more than 30ft from us. It was having berries for breakfast, I felt bad about disturbing its meal.
11:03 AM Exchanged contact info with Scout leaders. They want us to teach some light weight alternatives to backpacking.
Picked up our boxes and I had a letter inside from Deborah that made me cry. I love her.
11:49 AM The Internet Cafe
Picking up our resupply at Amanda Park.
Picked up our boxes and I had a letter inside from Deborah that made me cry. I love her.
6:51 PM On the South Fork Quinault River Trail (sfqrt). Only a couple miles up the trail. It’s been a long day. Our camp is right off the trail.
In Amanda Park I purchased a sew kit to fix a seam that was coming undone on the shoulder strap of my Mariposa Pack. Jake also needs to fix a hole that a mouse chewed in his mosquito netting of his tent.
I got to talk to Deborah today. Wow, was that nice. I am really feeling homesick for her and Jessica. After mailing some things back and sending her a letter, Jake and I hit the road having to walk the entire 2 miles to the lodge because no one would pick us up.
Just before the lodge a guy from Japan caught up to us who had been walking the trail and was now walking the road back to his car. His name is Hideki Morita and he was eager to give us a ride to the trailhead. It’s sad how selfish and inconsiderate most American tourist are. Being way too busy with their own pleasure to stop and give someone a lift. Fear is no excuse.
Tuesday 14 August 2012
6:43 AM Slept in this morning. Only a nine mile day today. Couldn’t get comfortable last night but managed to get some good sleep.
Melted my boathouse container. Sad. Still works though. At least I know it can’t handle to much heat.
Talked about having Deborah seed me a onesie pajama to sleep in. Leopard skin print. Lol.
11:18 AM Short break again. Airing out our feet, have to baby them, they still have 27 days of hiking to carry us.
11:44 AM At Noname Creek.
12:20 PM First view of O’Neil Peak.
12:35 PM At Pyrites. Just a little ways up the trail we get we get a good look at a Noname peak of LaCrosse Basin. We will be there tomorrow.
1:10 PM Famous tree
2:06 PM At Lamata Creek
2:55 PM Made it to the Enchanted Valley Chalet. Our next camp.
4:43 PM Finally! At camp. We walked about another 1-1/2 mile to find a camp spot that wasn’t taken. On a gravel bar next to where Anderson Creek merges with the Quinault. We have.a view of glacier below west peak of Mt. Anderson. No name for the glacier on the map.
Clouds are forming. Looks like our streak of sunny weather is about to end. It’s going to be a much different hike having to deal with rain.
Wednesday 15 August 2012
6:14 AM Been stirring for about an hour but still in sleeping bag. A little slow in waking up this morning. Going to be a long climb today and my feet are still a little tender from yesterday’s march.
The clouds are gone so it looks like we escaped the rain for another day.
9:10 AM West peak view
9:44 AM O’Neil Pass Jct.
10:27 AM White Creek Meadow.
11:24 AM Chimney Peak view
We eventually reach a place on the hillside where we could see the gravel bar we camped at.
12:20 PM Quinault Valley view were we started this section.
12:34 PM Our first bear sighting since we left Cat Basin.
1:01 PM Stopped for a foot care session. Walking with no socks seem to be working out well.
Just did some more side hilling after we saw the bear.
2:13 PM Reached a small tarn.
2:36 PM Manchester Mountain view.
3:48 PM Made it to O’Neil Pass. The longest 7 miles I’ve done. Well worth the trip. The hills are alive with the sound of music!
5:33 PM At camp. O’Neil pass. Going to be here a couple days so decided to day hike into LaCrosse instead.
You can’t see it but in one photo we have been watching a bear on the hillside.
Thursday 16 August 2012
5:30 AM Sunrise.
8:35 AM Sitting here having breakfast. Strawberry oatmeal and via French roast coffee. Today we day hike into LaCrosse Basin.
Watching a rainbow in a waterfall.
9:20 AM White Mountain. West peak of Mt. Anderson just to the left. Mt. LaCrosse to the right and behind. Barely visible.
10:21 AM Zero day hike through LaCrosse Basin.
11:06 AM Marmot Lake view.
11:46 AM LaCrosse Lake view.
12:13 PM Mt. Steel view.
12:21 PM Hart Lake
3:50 PM Met Dave and Nick from Hillsboro. One just retired from Intel and the other still works there.
6:31 PM Back in camp now listening to birds and waterfalls.
8:46 PM Settling in for the night.
Jake and discussed plans during dinner. He would like to come out a day early. We could easily do that. The type of hiking we are doing is really not his style. It is not challenging enough for him nor long enough miles.
He wants to get into some good grub before we begin more casual hiking when we meet up with the others on the 25th. He’s worried about getting grumpy. Plus, he’s feeling guilty about such a long hike without contact with his son.
I told him this hike is no way in hell more important than his son and we should do whatever he feels is right.
There always comes a time on every distance hike where a person question’s why they are hiking. I think Jake is having his moment. He usually pounds out miles during a weekend trip so he can get back to his blog. The longer days on the trail are too disconnecting I think. I may be wrong though.
Friday 17 August 2012
6:26 AM Awake and almost packed. Watched another sunrise. The color is beautiful but without clouds not spectacular.
As an American with nearly 50 years of toilet paper brainwashing, I have to admit that it was a real adjustment but I am really liking the Boulder Bidet
It’s clean, much more environmentally friendly, and weighs much less that toilet paper.
8:02 AM Standing at O’Neil Pass waiting for Jake to get packed and catch up.
Just had a hummingbird visit Edison. About 2ft from me.
12:15 PM Back at White Creek Meadows. Sure was much quicker coming down than going up.
Went by a family on their way to Hart Lake.
Dave and Nick are just now catching up.
1:12 PM At Anderson / O’Neil Jxt.
1:41 PM Avalanche debris.
2:36 PM Anderson Pass
3:15 PM Shelter
3:27 PM We decided not to go to Anderson Glacier. Now we are heading down the Dose until we get tired.
3:38 PM Honeymoon Meadows/Lacrosse Pass Jct.
3:49 PM Honeymoon Meadows. Stopped here for a rest.
Met John from Port Orchard.
4:05 PM West Fork Dosewallips River.
5:19 PM Dose Log Jam Course.
5:42 PM At camp. Not sure which one but it does have a bear wire.
I think we are at Diamond Meadows Camp. Not really a meadow though.
8:20 PM Going to hike out tomorrow, a week early. Jake doesn’t like the idea of having to hike the Dose twice. I’m not much keen on it either but would have.
We will be off the trail a week. I miss Deborah and Jessica so it is fine with me.
Going to wake up early.
Saturday 18 August 2012
5:25 AM Just waking up. Going to hike out today.
6:22 AM On the move.
7:20 AM At big timber
7:58 AM At bridge
8:24 AM At Anderson Pass Trail/Hayden Pass Trail Jct.
8:58 AM At ranger station. Met Carl the ranger.
9:19 AM Dose Falls
9:45 AM At Constance Lake Trail Jct.
11:06 AM Off trail
12:14 PM Sitting on the Dose. We got a ride to Kingston with the only catch being that we wait a couple hours for them to do some fly fishing.
9:21 PM Edison get’s a bath after a 15 day hike.
December 21, 2012
Ending here for now. Getting tired of copy/pasting.
We were off the trail for a week and used the time to catch up on things.
Jake went to see his son and I drove to Portland and was able to see my son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter as they visited from Alaska.
I managed to get my camera insured and purchased a new one to use for the next leg of our hike.