Sep 022009

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August 24, 2009
Day 1 of backpacking trip

We started our day with a hearty breakfast in Port Angeles. The breakfast was so good that we decided to skip lunch.

A trip to the Wilderness Informatioin Center for Olympic National Park was next on the agenda to pick up the backpacking permits. We also borrowed some bear canisters (bear cans) from them. Bear cans are special plastic bins made with locks that only a human can open rather than a bear. All food and all scented items must be inside. The cans were cylinders about 12″ tall by 8″ in diameter and when full were pretty heavy. We filled 2 and they nearly took up all the space in our packs.

The start of the trail was still a 30 minute drive away, so we were off. At the trailhead we soon learned that our packs were nearly too heavy, so we left a few items behind in the car.

It took a little courage to leave the car behind, but once on the trail we forgot all about our ideas of sleeping in the car. hehe =)

We only hiked 5ish miles today, but it was slow and hard going. It was certaily harder than either of us thought, but we did makde it to our first campsite before dark.

On the way we stopped at the Sol Duc Falls for pictures. This is the main point of the Sol Duc trailhead and a day hike for most. From here we will continue in a large loop around the Seven Lakes Basin. After the falls, the rest of the hike was mostly a forested hike with an incline. We plugged along taking breaks every few minutes to breath and rest.

Finally we made it to Deer Lake, our first campsite, and what a marvelous lake it is. We arrived around 6pm and set up the tent. Then we had to hike away to cook and eat dinner as not to attract bears to our camp.

Camping while trying to keep the bears out is hard work. Our bear cans must live at least 100 feet from camp with all food and toiletries. This made getting ready for bed almost frustrating as we were going back and forth a few times before we had everything in the right spot and finished. It seems like everytime we thought we were done, we’d find another piece of trash in our pockets that had to be hiked and placed in the bear cans. It is very important to keep all bits of scented items away from us otherwise, there’s just no point in hiking the bear cans in. By night 4, we will have this down.

We spent our evening strolling around Deer Lake and taking pictures.

Weather during the day was around 65-60. At night it was 50-55 with clear skies both day and night.

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