Adventure Backpack Queets Trail - Olympic in Spring

  I have walked every major river valley in the Olympic National Park and this forest gave the greatest feeling of being alone.    If Bigfoot was real, the Queets Valley is where he would live.  Love the overwhelming feeling of wilderness being in this area.  I imagine generations before, the Native Americans would send there young boys upriver to become men.  They would come back to the village changed forever.

Enjoy the journey documented in photographs and video.

queets trail
Queets River Trail

Adventure Hiking Tour de Moab, Utah

Got invited to join a group of Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassadors for an adventure in Utah. I would use the bus system, ferry and Light Rail; to get to the airport from Port Angeles, Wa. Urban Hiking in the big city with my very minimal travel kit was a complete contrast to the Olympic Peninsula.

 A few hours were spent in a rental car talking about hiking on the way to our new base camp. We would be using a rental house and then explore various National Parks in the Moab, Utah area. Most of the places visited were off trail in the desert; with the conditions, that made it challenging. Lots of ice on slickrock and sections of snow to my calf. Winter is challenging in the desert for minimalist footwear. You will be walking along on sand, turn a corner and then be ankle deep in snow; which has hundreds of hiding cactus under it. Sounds challenging?

 Enjoy a few snapshots from the first few days of adventure.

mount rainier airplane
Mount Rainier on the flight out of the Pacific Northwest

Instagram - Olympic Mountain Adventure

  A friendly reminder for all you smart devices users out there.  I often post exclusive photography of my adventures over on my Instagram account.  Feel free to 'follow me' over there, if you haven't done so already.

 Don't know what this Instagram is?  Basically its a way to share photos with others, using an app for phones or tablets; making them noticed by using a 'hashtag' generally on the subject featured.  You would uses these tags to describe the subject and/or features in the image.  I like to use #hiking #backpacking #Olympic #wilderness #photography #urbanhiking #ultralight #minimalist ect...

Think of it as a micro blog of this website.  Sometimes small daily adventures are not really worth typing up and formatting for this site, but are worth sharing.  All to promote an active lifestyle, inspire others and connect with the reader (you).  Feel free to check it out!

Tip:  If you set up an account with your phone or tablet.  Instagram will let you view and monitor the content through your web browser via laptop or desktop computer.  

barefoot jake instagram
Follow me on Instagram! 

Quinault Loop Trail by Bus

  My son is on spring break this week from school.  I was hoping to go on a 4 day backpacking trip during this time period.  The weather forecast did not agree with this plan.  There was one really good day in this window for some hiking to be had.

  So we loaded up some water, sandwiches, snacks and hiker umbrellas in our pack.  Then climbed aboard the local bus system; which dropped us off right at the trialhead.  This whole adventure cost us $4 round trip in travel expenses.

  Exploring the local Quinault trail systems is a perfect way to spend any spring day.  Found more spring flowers than we could even count.  Most of which were Trillium's; which were in full bloom.  The sounds of birds echoing through he forest was also a highlight.  Even got 'buzzed' by a few humming birds.

  Finished the day with a picnic lunch on the Lake Quinault waterfront in the sun.  Then we loaded back on the late afternoon bus to take us home.   Looking at the Doppler once back into the safety of our domestic shelter, heavy rain system moved back into the area.  We timed our adventure perfectly!

Trillium in the Quinault Rainforest

New this Week!

  I was lucky enough to go on a 3 day backpacking trip this week.  After get back and endless hours of editing; ended up putting up several blog posts this week.  Want to recap and let everyone know about this new content.   Hope you had a nice week. -jake

Trip Reports:

Gear Reviews:

Cream Basin
Cream Basin, Bailey Range ONP

Golite Chrome Dome vs Sea to Summit Umbrella Review

  I just started using a hiking umbrella in the last few months.  Now I will not go anywhere without one, even in urban environments.  Generally go everywhere in life on foot and its not secret it rains all the time in the Pacific Northwest; so it just makes sense to carry one.  High winds being the only foe.

  Carrying an extra piece of gear does add more weight to the backpack, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons.  You now pack a light windbreaker, replacing that bulky rain jacket.  Portable shade, provides sun protection and even extra weather protection under your ultralight tarp.  Protecting your camera from the weather; while taking a photograph.

  A hiking umbrella saved my butt big time during my recent bad weather trip in the Quinault Rainforest.  The Olympic Mountain SNOTEL near the area, measure 3.5" in a 24 hour period, before finally turning to heavy snow.  I was able to leave my rain gear in the pack and wore only insulation layers.  Below the knee, was the only thing that got wet.

  So I decided to test the 2 most popular options on the market and see which options worked best for use on the trail; well as urban lifestyle.

Golite Chrome Dome
Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella vs Golite Chrome Dome

ZEMgear TERRA Hiking Review

  I enjoy trying new options to protect my feet against unnatural surfaces and sharp rocks that are lying in the trail.  Decided to give the ZEMgear TERRA minimalist footwear a try.  The traditional Japanese Tabi design is what struck my initial interest.   This pair of footwear puts a modern twist on what has been around for century's in various cultures.

  ZEM's feature a zero drop construction, which puts your body at its natural alignment.  Well as a flexible soling to allow your foot to travel with a full range of motion.  The split toe benefits balance as your walking or doing lateral type moments.

ZEMgear TERRA tested in below freezing conditions.