Sunday, December 31, 2006

My 2006 Hiking totals

Miles feet F per M
Ellinor 2.60 2419.00 930.38
Ellinor 2.60 2419.00 930.38
Walker 4.00 2000.00 500.00
MountWalker 6.00 2000.00 333.33
LowerLena 6.00 1300.00 216.67
Lena 6.00 1300.00 216.67
Rose 6.50 3500.00 538.46
LowerLena/Brothers 8.00 1500.00 187.50
BigCreek 8.00 1500.00 187.50
UpSoFoSkoksup 8.00 1100.00 137.50
NoFoSkok/spike 9.60 848.00 88.33
BigCreekUpper 10.00 2320.00 232.00
Elwatohurricane 10.50 4450.00 423.81
Dose 11.50 1250.00 108.70
Deseret 13.00 3500.00 269.23
Dose 13.30 1300.00 97.74
MarmotPass 14.00 4202.00 300.14
HighDivideLoop 18.80 3500.00 186.17

18 hikes
Average Miles 8.80
Average Elevation Gain 2244.89
Total Miles 158
Total Elevation Gain 40408 Feet

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Who reads this blog?

I think that the only person who reads this blog is my mother. Please post a comment if you read this blog and you are not my mother.. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Dosewallips, duswa’ylups: The title of a mythical chief who the Transformer changed into a mountain near the head of the river.

11.5 miles 1,146 gain that's only a 15 on the Hike Difficulty Calculator but it kicked my butt. Maybe it was the ups and downs that did me in or maybe it was trudging along in the snow or maybe I'm a bit ill but I sure was ready for this hike to end by the tenth mile. I drove 1/10 of a mile before I remembered to turn off my track log so the elevation profile goes more then 11.5 miles.

(A local paper says it's 1250 feet in and 220 feet out so I can ad a few extra feet but still that only rates a 16 on the calculator.. hmmm and now it's two days later and I'm still stiff, sore and tired.)

Santa brought me a fancy new GPS and now my elevation charts are nice and smooth like the one above. This was my first hike with my new GPS. My old GPS is an Etrex Legend and it lost the signal on every hike. So far my new GPS has never lost a signal.

I bought myself an old beater Jeep (175,000 miles on it) this month and that enabled me to actually reach the washout. The last time I hiked here I had to stop my car a mile before the washout, that trip report is here.

Armed with a new Jeep and a new GPS I ought to have lots of fun hiking and geocaching in the coming year.

The heater in my Jeep is broken, it keeps blowing fuses and we took it to a mechanic who could not find the problem but charged us $95.00. It probably needs a new blower motor, if I had more money I would get it fixed now but I'm broke after Christmas. It's not a lot of fun driving around without a heater because it's cold and the windows fog up. But if I drive at highway speeds for long enough it warms up a little bit and most of the window fog goes away.

This is a pretty hike in spite of it being just a walk down a closed road. I believe that this road is now a trail and treat it as such. Everyplace that was covered with snow on the road had cougar tracks. In one spot I think an adult and baby cougar had been chasing a rabbit. In other spots the cougars just seemed to be walking along.

The falls are nice to look at but the hill beside them sure it steep and can be seen as the up and down near the middle of the elevation log. The overland trail that avoids the wash out is a bit steep too. That is easier to see at the end of hike where it is not covered up by a label.

Most of the picnic tables at Dosewallips camground were either covered with snow or partly underwater or both. I found one table that someone had tipped up onto it's edge, I pushed it back down and enjoyed a snow free spot to cook and eat lunch. For lunch I had a cup of hot cocoa and fried rice with king boletes, chanterelles and beef.

I did not see anyone else on the trail and the last human foot prints in the snow stopped less then one mile into the hike. This tells me that no one has been down here since it snowed 4 days ago. I found it a bit unnerving to be all alone miles and miles from the trail head with cougar tracks everywhere around me. I was extra alert but kept reminding myself that cougars are everywhere even when I don't see their tracks. But this is the first time I have seen cougar tracks in the snow so there must be more of them here then in my usual hiking spots.

I passed the Lake Constance trail head on the way. I've never been up there and I don't know if I ever will. I think the trip back down would kill my knees. I was surprised to learn that my Dad has been up there. He is not a hiker but he is a fisherman. The Lake Constance Hike would be a whopping 39 on the hike difficulty calculator

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lower Lena Lake after the Windstorm

We set out to hike up to lower Lena Lake on this cold and wet day. Getting to the trail head was a bit of a challenge. We counted about 30 blow downs on the Hamma Hamma road. Each blow down was cleared only enough to open up one lane of the road. Driving to the trail head involved constantly changing lanes to avoid each blow down. I had to run over some rather large piles of branches and it was a bit dicey to run over such things in my little ground hugging station wagon, but I can say that the road is passable in a passenger car. There is some patchy snow near the trail head.

Access to Putvin trail is blocked by downed trees, basically only the Hamma Hamma road is clear, all the side roads going off it are blocked by downed trees.

The Lower Lena Lake trail is in pretty good shape considering all the recent wind and rain. We counted 21 blow downs between the trail head and lunch rock. Most of the blow downs were small enough to step over. We had to crawl under two of them and walk around some of them. There is a large multiple tree blow down about 1/2 mile before the lake that obliterates 30 feet of the trail. Closer to the trailhead a tree has fallen onto and broken a wooden hand rail.

We encountered patches of melting out snow on the trail 1/4 of a mile from the lake. The lake does not have any ice on it but there is some snow on the surrounding hillsides.

I took my oldest daughter with me because my husband needed to be alone to go Christmas shopping. I like hiking with my daughter but I really look forward to my time alone. I need to get out into the woods and be alone so I can clear my head and have my thoughts to myself.

  My husband insisted that he needed to go shopping today and that I was denying him the chance to go shopping by not taking her. So I took her and we had a good time hiking together. She is a great little hiker, she had no trouble completing the 6 miles round trip with 1,250 elevation gain and she has not been hiking since last summer. Today's hike scores a 15 on the hike difficulty calculator. This was a cold and wet hike and we were both running a fever so it seemed even colder then it was.

On the way home we got a rare and special treat, we saw Sea Lions swimming in the Hamma Hamma river. There were several lions and they were surprisingly loud. We no longer have to got to the Oregon Sea Lion Caves to see lions! We watched the lions until we got too cold. We did not really warm up after our hike until we got home. My car's heater does not work the way it should.

When we got home we found that my husband had not done any shopping. He spent the day laying on the couch sick while my 2 year old destroyed the house. She flooded the bathroom destroying everything under the sink and smeared poop all over her room. I have a big mess to clean up now and I'm tired from being ill and from hiking and I have to throw a birthday party in my house tomorrow..... sigh...

Happy Winter Solstice!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Upper Big Creek to Over Look

Today I started at the Big Creek Campground and went up the Upper Big Creek Loop trail to the Ellinor connector trail. I turned around just before the Lower Mount Ellinor Trailhead.

My snowshoes were dead weight on this hike, I lugged them all the way up and all the way back. The only snow I encountered was at 1700 feet and was only patchy. There was one fresh blow-down on the trail, I thought it was small enough for me to be able to move but it was not.

There is a very nice over look 3 miles and 1750 up from the Big Creek Campground and this was my turn around point today. The sun came out briefly and the view of Lake Cushman was nice. I brewed a cup of tea at the viewpoint and this combined with doing a shorter then normal hike gave me a nice hikers high that carried me all the way back to the car.

There were two other parties on the trail today.

Today was 6 miles and 1770 gain for a difficulty of 18 on the hike difficulty calculator.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Too much Snow so I had to go to Mount Walker

I set out this morning with the intention of hiking up to Lower Lena Lake and then snowshoeing into the Valley of The Silent Men on the Brothers trail. Things did not go as planned today. There was too much snow for me to drive my car to the trail head. I only made it 1 mile from 101 before I turned around. My car was starting to slide and I had 6-7 more miles of road before the trailhead. The road was getting worse and worse by the mile so I knew there would be more then a foot of snow on the road by the time I reached the trail.

After getting turned back by snow the way to my planned hike at lower lena lake I decided to hike the Duckabush trail. I know that the road out there is plowed all the way to the terror cabin (Interrorem Cabin). I remembered that the trail head is only a couple of miles from the cabin. Well I only made it 1/2 mile beyond the cabin before my car started losing traction and it was just too scary to go on. This was much worse then the snow I hit on the way to Lena Lake. I'm sure that the snow closer to Lena Lake would have been just as bad.

I'm a bit disappointed in my cars snow performance. Perhaps it's time for new tires.

I got so close the trail head. If I actually liked the Duckabush trail I might have parked and hiked the 1 1/2 mile to the trail head.

I knew there would be no snow to stop me from getting to Mount Walker since it is right off 101 so I decided to give Mount Walker a try. There was plenty of snow on the Mount Walker trail head but there were lots of cars there. Maybe other people had the same problems getting to the trails this morning.

People were walking up without snowshoes but I put my shoes on about half way from the top. The top was a winter wonderland with 2-3 feet of snow in the drifts and about 1.5 feet of snow on the trail. The sky was clear and I finally got to see the view up top. The only other time I walked to the top of Walker the snow was falling and there was no view. I could see Mount Baker and Mount Buckhorn and I could look down to the town of Quilcene.

I spent about an hour on the summit brewing tea and cooking lunch. I had to melt snow to cook with and my little alcohol stove is not the best for melting snow. The stove went out twice and I almost gave up on having my cuppa on the top. Next time I will bring cooking water up the from my car. Unfortunately there was some horrible loud industrial noise floating up to the summit from the town of Quilcene. The summit was not as peaceful as I had hoped it would be.

This morning my legs are sore even though my hike was only 4 miles round trip. With it's 2000 feet of elevation gain in just 2 miles this trail rates a 25 on the hike difficulty calculator.

I really like the Mount Walker trail, the woods are nice and it's a good little work out. My only complaint is that you can hear the noise from 101 everywhere on the trail and you can hear the noise of Quilcene from the summit. Mount Walker is not a wilderness. In the summer they open up the road to the top and people can drive up the 4 mile road and have a picnic at the viewpoint on the summit.

If one walks up the trail and then down the road one can do a 6 mile round trip walk. I did the road walk down once and my toes got sore. The road walk is 4 miles of the exact same grade with no ups or downs.

You'll have to forgive my usual grammar problems and typo's, I 'm too wiped out from the hike to bother fixing them.