Showing posts with label port angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label port angeles. Show all posts

Klahhane Ridge - Walking through the Seasons

Read beginning of story.

Traveling the Coast, followed by ascent and descent of Olympus and going over the Divide was one of the best routes of my life. I decided to take a few days off to mentally digest all that I saw and experienced. In doing so, I would also be avoiding the 4th of July backpacking crowds in the Park.

Right after the 4th, I got word that mountain goats were hanging out in the hills above Port Angeles. This would be a perfect chance to capture one on camera - my first of the year. So I headed up and stayed at a place often frequented in the springs of years past.

Mount Olympus
View from camp. Mount Olympus peeks over the Bailey Range.

Hitchhiking and Public Transportation - Olympic National Park

  For the last 2 years I have used the bus system to get me around the Olympic Peninsula.   Choosing not to drive; public transportation is my primary source of travel when not walking or cycling.  I wrote previously on this topic, but want to shine more light on the topic in hopes that it will be valuable to travelers.

  During the '30+ Days in the Olympic National Park' trail series.  I relied heavily on hitch hiking and the bus system for my resupply.  Deciding after week 1 to only carry the maximum of 8 days worth of food at a time.

  This would mean I would have to come out to Lake Quinault, Forks, Brinnon or Port Angeles.  There is no shuttle system in place to get me from any of these towns to the trailheads.  Meaning I would walk the road until a nice person picked me up.

  A 20+ mile service road walk would be necessary if it weren't for kind people.  Nobody wants to walk a road after they have been on the trail all day.  Especially for someone in minimal shoes.  Man made crushed rock roads aren't the kindest to tender feet.

  Once out on the the main highway system that circles the Olympic Peninsula I catch various buses heading north or south.  This came in handy when I was trying to 'leap frog' or go to bigger stores for more food variety.  I also sometimes chose towns with a public library for communication purposes; since I do not own a cellphone.

  The public library system is a very valuable resource for someone drifting in the mountains.  The ability to check weather reports, look at tides, and talk to family are all pluses for a successful trip.

Olympic National Park bus
Unloading my bike in Amanda Park while Bus - Bikepacking 

Minimalist Sailboat Living Review

  Throughout my life passing by a Marina would of never pictured myself living on a Boat.  However the opportunity did arise by chance or fate; so I decided the experience would be good for me.  

  I wanted to strip away all modern conveniences in my life and focus on what is most important.  Doing this would also help me write and think.

  Having the goal in mind to refine my skills of being more Self Reliant and a better Backpacker in the Wilderness.  Conditions to me in the wild are a lot more comfortable than living in a floating shell.  Especially through Winter and Spring Storms.

  The last time I was on the water was 20 years prior to this experience.  I try not to put my toe in the cold water.  A better choice would be just to jump in is the outlook I often with things.

port angeles marina
During a Cold Winter Sunrise

Elwha Dam Removal

  Thought I would get a quick few hours of fresh air in before big Turkey Day.  I decided to venture out to the 'Elwha Dam Removal Viewpoint'.  Riding the Joyce Bus only took around 20 minutes outside of Port Angeles.    Just a short walk off of Highway 112; reaching the little trailhead which is almost straight off the road and is well marked.  Brand new trail and signs were built for this viewpoint.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing thru the right channel - late autumn 2011

Olympic National Park Map
New Olympic National Park Trail Sign

  After a short walk on a well used trial.  I arrived at the lookout and could just feel the water roar.  There has been a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest the last 72 hours.  It was kinda cool seeing the logs and debris shoot off the man made waterfall.

  You could also see where the river was trying to break the channels that the engineers created to try to direct the river.  Mother nature doesn't listen to man and it will be interesting to see what happens the next week or so.

elwha dam removal
Water rushing through a blasted opening in the Elwha Dam

  I would defiantly suggest bringing your Kids to this viewpoint.  The Webcams that the Olympic National Park Service set up to view are cool and all, but to feel the mist hitting your face is way more memorable.

Update 10/29/12

  My body is in desperate need of some cardio training after a lazy month of rest.   I decided to take my bike out for a spin.  With the primary mission of wanting to cruise the Lower Elwha and explore the autumn colors.

  This winter I'm very bless to have residence in a place so close to the Elwha Drainage.  I can explore the whole valley on foot or cycle the next few months.  The area is literally out my back porch.

highway 112
Cycling Highway 112 during autumn

  After a short ride I arrived at the Elwha Dam Removal Observation Trail.  To my surprise there was no longer construction equipment on site.  The whole area was quiet with only the sound of river in the distance.

  The former Lake Aldwell was also completely drained.   Mans replant and preserved trees could be seen where water once covered the land.

elwha dam
Former Elwha Dam Site - Autumn 2012

Mushrooms in autumn color

A beautiful coffee table book on The Undammed Elwha River.

Wandering Barefoot in Port Angeles

  Often I get asked by Buspackers, Bikepackers and various other visitors to this area.  What are good places in Port Angeles to find Food, Drinks, Coffee and Etc?   So I put together this to offer an overview of some of my personal favorites.
  I'm going to use the Downtown Fountain as a center landmark to direct you on foot.  I'm not going to go over Lodging, since I believe in being Self Reliant.  Commando Camping is the route I would choose as long as done responsibly. 
  I have also wrote a popular light guide to Buspacking the Olympic National Park.

Downtown Port Angeles Fountain Area

Food & Adult Beverage:  I know personally the first thing I want to do after I get back to Town from a big adventure is get an Adult Beverage and something would be classified as Fattie Food.   I will list these from Closest to Furthest and no other significance of the order.

Facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Downtown Fountain.  Located around a Half Block away on the North side of 1st St.
  Pros:  Outdoor Street Type Seating, Washington Beers, Liquor,  Quality Menu, Great service and environment.   
  Cons:  No recession friendly menu, Limited floor space at Peak Times.

Facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Downtown Fountain.  Located around a Half Block toward water on the Westside of Laurel St.
Pros:  Tasty Local Brew, Wifi Nerd Time Friendly, Fast Service
Cons:  Out of popular Brews often, No Food Served (they will however let you bring in Take Out)

Facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Downtown Fountain.  Located around 1 and 1/2 Block West on the North side of 1st St.
Pros:  Recession Friendly Happy Hour Drink and Food Prices,  Bar Food,  Liquor, Lots of Seating
Cons:  Small town vibe, Plain Micro Brew Selection, Location

Facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Downtown Fountain.  Located 2 blocks North and 1 Block East on the North side of Railroad Ave. 
Pros:  Quality Chill Environment,  Extensive Wine and Beer Collection,  High end Palett friendly snack platters, Spacious Seating,  Wifi Nerd Time Friendly.
Cons:  Limited Seating, Lack of Bar type Menu

Coffee Time:  For caffine addicts, chill time or possibly nurse a little Hangover.  

Facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Downtown Fountain.  Located about a half a block East on the south of 1st St.
Pros:  Descent Coffee, Treats, Wifi Nerd Time Friendly, Lots of Seating
Cons:  Ventilation, Small Ordering Area, Quality of Coffee

  Since Port Angeles is the Gateway to the Olympic National Park and main access to Hurricane Ridge.  It gets heavy Motor Vehicle traffic in its Peak Seasons.  It also gets some travelers utilizing Public Transportation located Dead Center of Downtown on the corner of Front and Lincoln St. 

Find Downtown Fountain:  From Bus Station.  Walk West 1 block and South 1 block to the intersection of Laurel and 1st. St.

Bus Schedule:  Here is the Bus Schedule.  The Olympic National Park Headquarters (WIC) can also be accessed by Bus and here is that Bus Schedule.  Tell the Bus Driver where your trying to go and walk 2 blocks South on Race St.

Waterfront Trail entering Port Angeles

Olympic Discovery Trail:  There is a Trail that is about half way done that will run from Port Townsend to La Push, Wa.  Port Townsend to the West end of Lake Crescent is currently done.   Trail is a mix of Paved, Dirt and Service road that connects route.  There are plenty of Commando Camping Spaces on the East and West end of route miles out of town.  

MV Coho pulling into Dock

  I notice a lot of Foot Traffic coming off the Ferry from Victoria B.C. and until just this last summer there was no instruction where to go to navigate the area if you were visiting the area.  There are now signs highlighted in Light Green that will offer you Basic Navigation.

Victoria B.C. Ferry:  To find Downtown Fountain.  Head straight off the Ferry for 2 Blocks until you run out of Road.  Easy.  

* Disclaimer:  Everything above is my personal opinion.  I am NOT a Food Service industry critic and can only offer my opinion. 
Commando Camping is also Prohibited in most areas,  so do it at your own risk.  If you are in the Olympic National Park I strongly suggesting getting proper overnight permits and Bear Can.  Most popular Back Country areas you will get checked by a Ranger. 

Klahhane Loop Attempt

A little rain and storm wasn't gonna stop us from getting some trail time in on one of my favorite Training Loops. The rain came in waves pretty much the whole 4,000'+ ascent with a light breeze through the trees.

olympic national park poncho

 The higher we got, the more wind and rain picked up as the storm came over the Pass. Once reaching the pass to start into the Traverse section of trail.


 I decided the weather wasn't optimal for the next 4 miles, since we would be exposed on the windward side of Mt Angeles. So i called the trip and we headed back.

wind testing

  Overall: It was good Storm practice for my GF. It was also good for me to use common sense to call a trip off and not let ego get us in a risk situation