posted at http://markandjoannatravel.blogspot.com
August 28, 2009
Day 5 of backpacking trip
The morning was fairly warm at 55 degrees; the warmest morning yet and at the highest elevation. Warm mornings mean we are up earlier. We were out to see the sunrise in the mountains. Our camp was very mosquito-y, so we moved our stuff to our cook site. Soon after breakfast and while packing up, 3 mountain goats paid us a visit. They wanted to know what we were doing in their way. They came really too close, finally circled around us, and then nearly made a home where our tent was. Eventually they left and we packed up super quick in case they were coming back.
Our packs were very light coming down off the mountain. We stopped at the nearby Oyster Lake to pump water and then headed down, down, down. The bugs were out today and we knew we had a long hike ahead of us, so we moved pretty fast.
When we got back to the trail junction with Sol Duc, we found that no one had come by to steal our bear can. So, we had to make the packs heavy again to carry everything out. The packs are still much lighter than when we started as we’ve eaten the food at least.
Most of the trail was either flat or down hill and we moved quickly. The rocky steps nearly did me in, but we made it out to the parking lot in one piece.
It was so exciting to reach the car and so strange to drive it. It was also strange to see so many people again.
Back to civilization, we checked in to the Sol Duc Resort and took a wonderful shower in our cabin. There is just nothing better than getting rid of 5 days of grime! Once refreshed we had burgers at the restaurant and marveled at the non-freeze dried food. We even went for the chocolate yummy cake dessert.
Back in the cabin we planned out the rest of our trip and now are going to sleep in a cozy bed. No roots digging in my back tonight!
We hiked about 8 miles today.
other stories from today:
While eating breakfast, we were surrounded by many grouse hooting around us. They are almost chicken like and run around on the ground.
We did get a chance to stop at the Sol Duc Falls again on the way out of the back country. We saw some otters swimming around below the falls! No pictures as they were too fast, but we did get some more pictures of the falls that I’ll have to post later.
During our forest hike along the Sol Duc river today we found the forest in many stages of decay. Some downed trees were demolished to mulch. Some had all kinds of various fungi growing from them. Also, we saw many trees that had fallen and cracked in interesting ways during past storms.
We managed to make it out of the back country before 5pm….pretty good for an 8 mile hike out.