Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sevenmile Footbridge Campsite, Olympic National Park - June 18, 2015

Morning Mountain Goat Track, Lunch Lake - June 18, 2015
Last night was pretty funny, in retrospect. Early in the morning (3:00ish), I had to relieve myself. I crawled back in my tent and started to fall asleep. I was startled by the sound of a large animal walking by. It sounded like it was right by my head. A short while later, I heard licking sounds. I had to laugh. The ranger had told us that the mountain goats will go for urine. They love the salt. I never opened my tent entrance to look, but found many tracks in the soft dirt by the side of my tent. Next time, I'll walk a distance further...

We started climbing out of the Seven Lakes Basin at 9:00 AM. The strenuous climb was balanced by the peaceful views of the basin. I'm determined to return to this place.
Charlie and Blue Glacier - High Divide Trail, Olympic National Park - June 18, 2015
After a short walk, we took a side route and summited Bogachiel Peak, a worthy viewpoint worth the short climb. We then continued on to the High Divide. It was everything I had hoped for. Where else can you view the snows of Mount Olympus, the Sol Duk watershed and the Hoh river? Amazing! Every single turn in the trail was picture-worthy. I took many.
Heading Down to Heart Lake, Olympic National Park
After a Rolo candy stop, we dropped down to Heart Lake. True to its name, the lake is in the shape of a heart. We wanted to hike further, but taking a dip was a must. Anders had packed in two sets of swim goggles. He gave me a pair and Charlie, Anders and I headed out into the water. After less than two minutes, the water felt perfect. We swam to the other side and then paddled around in the middle. The lake was naturally clear. I grabbed two pieces of trash off the bottom and swam them to shore. With the mountains surrounding us, this was probably the most picturesque swimming I've done.
Break After Swim - Heart Lake
After toweling off. A entire family of mountain goats showed up on the scene. They gave the impression that they owned the place by the way they leisurely walked right by and up to higher ground, freely grazing as they roamed. I shot a little video and took a couple pictures. I've seen more wildlife than I ever expected this trip.

We passed several hikers on our way down into the Sol Duc watershed, every one of them in good spirits. The sky opened up on us as we reached the seven mile footbridge. I made the mistake of setting up my tent at the stock camp located nearby. Craig, Anders and Charlie found a better spot right by the bridge where I eventually moved to. It rained off-and-on into the evening. My last two backpacking trips to the coast have been rain-free. I was overdue. This campsite, although just off the main trail, has a lightly cascading waterfall and sheltering trees. The footbridge itself is slightly suspect. It consists of one large fallen tree boasting a single handrail. We'll have to watch our step with the packs tomorrow morning.

Crossing Bridge Creek - Sol Duc Watershed
After approximately four hours of sound sleep, I woke to the sound of the river and my own thoughts. I seem to have so much thinking energy on wilderness trips. Life issues become clear in the forest, which, I swear, speaks. Questions usually always come easy. Answers can be elusive in domestic life. After a short time in these natural environments, answers trickle in. It's peaceful and assuring. Those are powerful reasons to embrace this wild life.

Sevenmile Footbridge Campsite - Sol Duc Watershed

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