posted at http://markandjoannatravel.blogspot.com
August 30, 2009
Tonight is our second to last night in a tent. We are really tired tonight. We hiked almost 8 miles today broken up over a few hikes.
We were very impressed last night with how quiet our campground was and I’m very impressed again tonight. Maybe it’s because the kids are in school now, or maybe WA campers are just quieter.
Today we hiked to several waterfalls inside the main part of Olympic National Park. We drove back in land from the coast and stopped at several places to hike. Near Lake Crescent, a huge lake in the northern end of the park, was Marymere falls. This was a shady, forest hike that ended at a rather tall waterfall. There were plenty of other people on this easy hike. Next we headed into the park on the Elwa Road. Just inside, we stopped at Madison Falls, another tall waterfall.
We took a windy 5 mile road up to the start of a hike for Olympic Hot Pools. The hike was actually along an old asphalt road from years ago when explorers planned on bringing people directly to the Hot Pools. The road was now mostly grown over and collapsed in several points. Hiking the trail was pleasant and we finally found all the little squirrels and birds of the park that were missing in the backcountry. There were chipmunks running around as well. In fact one squirrel that was running around scared a bunny out of it’s hiding place and it came running past us.
When we reached the hot springs we found the most odd thing ever found on a hiking trail….a shopping cart was here 2.5 miles in. It had been brought here rather recently since the food in the cart was pretty new looking. The hot pools themselves did not appeal to us as we were now hot from the hike, but many people were enjoying them. We decided to hang out on a bridge over a river for a bit before hiking back.
Our next trip was up a windy, one-way, gravel road that traveled 5 miles up a mountain. The drive was pretty bumpy, but we did get to stop at a neat hike to a waterfall along Lake Mills. We had to hike down a very steep trail to the bottom of the falls. The falls themselves were rather hidden from view which made it almost adventurous finding the base of the falls. The hike back out nearly straight up was not as fun, but the trail was relatively short.
There was no good viewpoint to stop and eat dinner at, so we headed down to our campsite along the Elwha river to eat. The campground here was pretty busy when we arrived and we were able to secure one of the last sites available. The tent pad was created out of almost cement-stabilized-sand material, so inserting stakes was out of the question. We ended up using rocks as stakes by tying cord from the rock to our tent poles. It worked out rather well, actually. We picked a site that was right on the river, so we are going to fall asleep to the sounds of the river.