Archives for January 2013

Backpacking Trip Report: Cape Alava Beach Trip



Location: Olympic National Park, WAType: In and Out

Mileage: 6
Days: 2
As GoBlueHiker mentioned, Google Earth is a very fun backpacking planner tool! I went bonkers with it, and made some screenshots that show my destination. Ahhh, when nerds go backpacking…;)
On the drive over, I stopped at some beaches west of Port Angeles, to check out the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Nobody has ever explained to me who Juan was, or why he was such a Fuca.Two adult bald eagles flew close over my car on the drive, and I spotted a juvenile bald eagle on a tree branch above a river, 30 feet away, munching on a fish. I stopped & got my camera, but approaching for a good angle I spooked him away & didn’t get the shot. :( Juvenile bald eagles are something to see!

The trailhead is at the northern tip of Lake Ozette, which is very high after weeks of deluges in Washington. Any higher & you’d need scuba gear to start off on the trail.

The Cape Alava Trail is about 3 miles, about 60-70% of which is wooden boardwalks, very slippery when wet!!! Which is pretty much always! I only got complacent & slipped once, keeping one foot on the wood & salvaging a 4.5 from the Russian judge. I marveled at the people that built & maintain this trail. Amazing. Even our off-trail monsters, Tigger & GoBlue, would sink in the muck & brambles in this area.

After stopping to check out some giant shrooms, and an old Scandahoovian homesteader’s meadow, the sun came out (!!!!!!!) so I charged ahead toward the sound of the crashing waves.

I could not believe my luck, as the warm sun poked through the trees, and shined bright off the ocean. A day like this is a rare one, especially this winter. Nearly an entire month of rain – EVERY DAY – in Seattle.

After chatting with my very friendly neighbor, James, who had the good sense to move from Texas to Oregon recently, but not the good sense to bring matches for his stove, I set up camp, and brought my matches over to him & we enjoyed the sunset. We chatted about backpacking gear, long trails, the worthlessness of digital zoom, bats, and of course the supremacy of the Seattle Seahawks, as the sun went down over Ozette Island. This is the life. B-)

It rained a little bit the next morning, but cleared up again, and I had a beautiful drive home. I stopped at Lake Crescent for a quick snapshot…man the drive along that lake is among the prettier drives around.

I stopped by Port Angeles to watch the Seahawks CRUSH the pathetic, flea-bitten Carolina Kitty-Cats (WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!!), then back to the daily grind!

Hope you enjoyed. Until next time…

Backpacking Trip Report: Erbie Loop



Location: Buffalo River
Type: Loop

Mileage: 4
Days: 1

Loop begins at the East end of the campground. It crosses the horse trail in a few places so a map is needed to keep track of where to go. There is a trail that drops down to the river and there are places to camp. From there back track up to the main trial and then continue on the loop. The trail makes an ascent to go along the river. There are several places where the trail intersects with the horse trail and the loop can be extended or shortened depending on the trails taken. The hike passes by some old homesteads. The main one is the Parker-Hickman homestead. The place was taken over by the government when the river became a National Park. On up past the house is an old cemetary dating back to the 1800’s. There’s a lot of history in the area. Also the trail winds through some fields where elk and deer can be seen as you come back into the campground. The trail can easily be done in one day, but we didn’t get there until about 10:30 at night so we packed in and made it a short overnighter. This trail also ties into the Buffalo River Trail that runs almost the length of the river. There are many other loops that can be done in conjunction with this one.