August 2007September 2007 October 2007

09/27 - Elk Season at the Hoh Rainforest

We walked out along the Hoh River to Five Mile Island. Despite all the jokes about the Hoh being a temperate rain forest, we had a bright sunny day and a wide blue sky.

It takes a bit under two hours to get from the ranger station and the interpretive trails to Five Mile Island, and along the way is all rain forest with ferns, moss, gnarled maples, giant trees, fallen nurse logs, rocky streams, waterfalls, and glimpses of the stony flat of the Hoh River's bed. There was even a bit of autumn color among the deciduous trees set off against the magnificent green of the evergreens.

At Five Mile Island we wandered out on the water rounded stones and walked over to the nearest channel of the Hoh. The river moves around from season to season, sometimes running hard against the north shore, but lately the main channel has been drifting south, so we settled on a log alongside one of the smaller channels and ate our lunch. (That was chicken sandwiches with bacon, tomatoes, and avocado on sourdough).

We have never seen the trail or the river so beautiful. The light was perfect with the sun high and from the south. We were amazingly pleased when we got back to the car, but there was a lagniappe ahead. As we left the parking lot, alongside the little pond, there was a herd of elk in the trees.

We, and a good number of others, stopped and emerged. There was one great bull elk and a cow with a fawn among others in the woods. The light wasn't very good, but we did manage to take a few pictures. All told, it was a wonderful day.

This is one of those glimpses of the river from along the trail

The forest is alive

The river bed flats at Five Mile Island

The herd of elk

A bad enlargement of the great bull elk - Those are his antlers, not a tree behind him.

It really does look like a Tarzan movie

The elk herd again

Keywords: trails, hoh, elk, waterfall

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09/20 - Hurricane Ridge Sunset

Wow, the sunsets up at Hurricane Ridge look beautiful on the park web camera. We just loved this one sequence and had to share it. (Of course, we really should drive up there and see this live, but ...)

Keywords: hurricane ridge, atmosphere

09/14 - Deer Lake and Potholes

Most tourists stop at Sol Duc Falls which is a pleasant mile from the end of Sol Duc Road. We will admit that the falls are spectacular, especially set as they are in the lush green forest of the Northwest. Wem on the other hand, continued across the bridge and up into the high country towards Deer Lake. The trail is rocky and muddy. If nothing else our feet get all banged up as we climb. The trail rises and leaves the main Sol Duc valley and into a side canyon. Since there are trees all around, this is rather subtle. You have to catch glimpses of more distant mountains to realize what is happening and why the air grows still.

There is a little bridge across the side stream that flows from Deer Lake to the Sol Duc, then the trail begins to climb in earnest alternating between flat areas and staircase like climbs. The lake is about 1600' above the falls, but the effort is worth it. Deer Lake is a jewel in the mountains.

We were energetic today, so climbed higher. Rather than walking around the lake the way we usually do, we took the side trail to the Seven Lakes Basin and climbed towards the potholes. This trail follows the side of a mountain past several little ponds, but eventually it turns inward and through a grove of blueberries, still surprisingly full of ripe berries, and then up to the barren open area of the potholes.

This is a relatively bare flat area with a number of small ponds sparkling and reflecting the sky. We ate our tongue sandwiches here keeping a wary eye out for bears. There were bears in the high country according to several campers we met, but they were another six miles down the trail which was close enough for us.

The descent was lovely. The feeling of accomplishment was glorious. The pounding of our feet by the rocky trail painful.

One of the potholesClick here for more info

Another pothole, still full of water, but you can see the rocky lake bed

Some early autumn color

A great looking mushroom - yes, we are obsessed

A curtain of drips, click for the movie

Keywords: autumn, deer lake, high country, sol duc

Another Barbara Teufert fantasy

09/10 - Barbara Teufert Update

This is a simple figure in Ms. Teufert's fantasy series. We like all the organic forms.

Keywords: art

09/08 - Klahane Ridge Revisited - Again

We spend a lot of time on Klahane Ridge, or so it seems. Actually, we would spend more if we could. The flowers are passing, but the vegetation is still lush and the view is, as ever, beautiful.

A view of the mountains

A field of purple harebells - yes, the ground really does slope like that

Late season lupines - sort of an obsession of ours, along with mushrooms

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge

Another fine pizza, with baby tomatoes

09/05 - Alder Wood Bistro Pizza

Here's a shot of one of Alder Wood Bistro's pizzas. This one has lots of little tomatoes on it. Of course, this picture does not do the place justice, but it does give you some idea. For more details, see our Kaleberg review.

Keywords: food, restaurants, alder wood bistro, kale

Mysterious sea stack at Second Beach

09/03 - The Eagle and the Shark

Second Beach was hazy, gray and mysterious today. We went for a high low tide and managed to get to the sea cave but no farther. The air was thick, moist and salty, the sea silver and the tidal flats glassy. There was a bit of melodrama as if lifted from a nature documentary.

On our way south to the sea cave we noticed a small shark stranded on a sand bar. We considered helping, but were separated by a rather deep bit of water. It wasn't clear we could get to the shark without getting soaked. Besides, there had just been an article in the New York Times about a shark saved at Rockaway Beach. The shark had been "saved", but a day later it was found washed ashore, dead. Healthy sharks stay in the water.

As we returned from the cave and watched the rising tide, we saw an eagle swoop in the distance. We knew its target, the shark. The shark was still alive when we passed, but the eagle was guarding it. We kept our distance. There is no point in having a dust up with one's national emblem. While we like shark, we were willing to give him or her dibs on this one.

This sort of scene is part of nature's way. We know that, but it usually is done off camera.

The eagle and the shark

Keywords: second beach, beaches, birds, eagle

09/03 - Mushroom Alley

There have been so many mushrooms on the Lake Angeles Trail that we have taken to calling it Mushroom Alley. There has been a lot more moisture this year. Several little streams that usually dry out by July are still running, or at least dripping, across the trail.

Mushrooms on the forest floor

Mushroom in a tree stump

More magic mushrooms

Keywords: lake angeles

August 2007September 2007 October 2007