Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pony Bridge Camp, Olympic National Park - April 5, 2016

Quinault Flow - Pony Bridge Campsite
Spring Break came on too quickly this year. As seems the case lately, Christina's spring vacation is different than mine. I started researching hikes in the Olympics as late as Saturday. I've been very interested in seeing the Enchanted Valley on the Quinault River. The weather forecast looked suitable, so I sent out a message to a few friends to gauge interest. All were busy with other trips or couldn't commit. On the bright side, this offered me the opportunity for some much-needed solo time.

I decided to take I-5 south through Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia on my way to Quinault. It was interesting putting on 101 through Aberdeen and Hoquiam. I haven't been down to Gray's Harbor in awhile.

Upon arriving at the ranger station in Quinault, I was promptly informed that part of the Graves Creek Road was out. My hike would start two miles before the actual trailhead. This wasn't a big deal. I had planned on tenting at O'Neil Creek, but, due to the time of day, would have to scale back and camp at the Pony Bridge (4.5 miles from the car).

Graves Creek Slide
The hike in was well-worth the drive. I was struck most keenly by the Maples. They stand like ancient men - long are their living beards. The ancient look of these trees are currently juxtaposed against the golden new growth pushing out of their limbs.

Nature's First Green... - Graves Creek
Last week, my class discussed Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay." I'm in this forest at a unique time of year. Maybe I can capture, in a small way, the beginning of this golden season. It will not last.

Distances - Enchanted Valley Trail
A Trail Story Told Many Times
After taking my time on the Pony Bridge, I found a beautiful spot to camp on a bank overlooking the Quinault. I'm living with the sound of water in seemingly all directions. It's easy to dream in these places because there is life patient and impatient - the trees and the river. Good night...


Tent Configuration - Pony Bridge Camp
View Dining (Foam Core Pad Over Bear Can) - Pony Bridge Camp

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