Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Enchanted Valley, Olympic National Park - April 6, 2016

Sand Hoodoos - Quinault River Bank - April 6, 2016
I hiked approximately eleven miles today into the Enchanted Valley. Boy, were there a number of trees down over the trail. I'd say that I had to skirt twenty or more. Also, just past O'Neil Creek, one hundred yards of trail has disappeared into the Quinault. At one point, I decided to wade a short distance rather than hoof it up a steep sidehill. The park service has some work to do to open this route up. The new trail will need to be cleared high above the river. Summer work for young people contemplating their future? What better way than to place them outdoors. Of course, detours add incredible interest to hiking as well as life.

Enchanted Valley Footbridge
I'm composing this while sitting on my bear can in camp, facing the old chalet. Surprisingly, there is a bear just to the left of the building. I yelled out to him, we made eye contact and he went right back to feeding. I'm lower on the food chain right now and don't want a confrontation. I could scare him off if I wanted to, but it's enjoyable being in such close proximity to unchecked wilderness.

Elk Thoroughfare
Earlier today, I saw about five elk working their way through the forest just shy of O'Neil Creek. Later, a large branch snapped in front of me. My eyes focused just in time to see the first black bear of the trip crashing through the brush to get away. He was more timid than the one in camp. Maybe I just startled him.

Sighting the Chalet - Enchanted Valley - April 6, 2016
The old chalet is all boarded up. I had hoped that part of the building would be accessible. It has been moved off its original foundation and away from the riverbank. It would certainly be special if someone fixed it up and started offering services to hikers in the backcountry. It seems like there would be a grand volunteer opportunity here. I would certainly consider a three-week stint over the summer.

Chalet History - Enchanted Valley
It was good for me to come out here by myself. I'm currently fifteen miles from my car and haven't seen a single human being yet. I do enjoy spending time in my own head, but, honestly, I prefer a shared experience.

Tenting in the Valley - April 6, 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment