Moby Goes to Olympic National Park

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.

–Henry David Thoreau

Last June (2017), Larry and I met my three daughters in Olympic National Park.

From the “Better-Late-than-Never” school of blogging, here are some pictures.

The girls and I did 20-mile backpack while Larry stayed in camp to fish and read.

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Larry and Family Plant enjoy a sunny morning in camp. I bought this plant when my son was an infant. Now he’s 28. Family Plant shuffles between family members, wherever there’s time and space for a plant. After surviving several near-death experiences, Family Plant is currently thriving in Seattle. This is her first camping trip.
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We hiked the coast from Shi Shi Beach to Lake Ozette, making a 3 day / 2 night (20 mile) backpack trip. Part of Olympic National Park, the Pacific coast in northern Washington might be the most scenic coastline I’ve ever hiked.
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This section of coast feels fabulously remote. There is no road access–you’ll see hikers and wildlife, but no cars. You’ll hear the ocean, but no traffic.
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There isn’t a proper trail–it’s more of a walk down the beach. Headlands and high tides make some sections impassable, so ropes are used to help hikers climb up and over the headland and drop down onto the next beach.
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It’s steeper than it looks!
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Some sections of beach are impassable at high tide. We got stranded on this little beach during high tide and enjoyed a sunny afternoon waiting for the tide to recede.

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The mouth of the Ozette River is too deep to cross at high tide. We crossed at low tide–no problem!

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The trail from the beach to Ozette Lake runs through dense rainforest with sections of boardwalk built over wetland.

After the backpack trip, we reunited with Larry and camped near Lake Quinault.

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The world’s largest spruce tree is 58’11” in circumference, 191′ tall, and about 1000 years old.
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Bigfoot is alive and well on the Olympic Peninsula.
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Lake Quinault Lodge was built in 1926 and was designed by Robert Reamer, the same architect who designed Old Faithful Inn (Yellowstone National Park).
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The trails near Quinault Lodge meander through stands of old growth forest.

In a bout of insanity, the girls convinced me to do a 26-mile day hike into Enchanted Valley. The trail follows the East Fork of the Quinault River.

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More giant trees!
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The Enchanted Valley Chalet was built in 1930, all materials packed in over 13 miles of trail. Hikers and horse caravans could stop here for meals ($1.00) or rooms ($1.50). The Chalet was closed during WWII and later used seasonally as a ranger station and an emergency shelter.

I was going to abruptly end this post right here, but Larry says I need a better ending, something about how wonderful it was to spend time with my daughters and how fantastic it is to have them (and my son!) in my life. They’re all adults now and pals with each other and pals with me. It is all so amazing and one of the best parts of my life.

But the blog ending I most want to write for Larry is this:

~ ~ The End ~ ~

6 thoughts

  1. The Point of Arches (Shi Shi to Ozette) is one of my favorite back packing trips in Washington.
    My uncle and I did it back in the early 90’s and a few more times over the years. When Darci and I did it last we didn’t know you could hike in at Shi Shi pretty easily. We tracked from Ozette north up the beach and over the cliffs. I’d talked up how remote and incredible point of arches (Shi Shi beach) was…only to arrive and there are tons of people…coolers, frisbees, flip-flops. We were dejected but rallied and made the best of it…then we hiked back. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your adventures!

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