Saturday, June 30, 2012

West Fork Humptulips and Camping Nearby

About 1/2 mile with no elevation gain:
Near Wynoochee

Wynoochie Dam

Sphagnum on West Fork Humptulips

Sphagnum on West Fork Humptulips

Moss sporophytes holding rain drops

Wynoochee area map

The rain forest Cafe

Way too much fire wood


Happy but wet camper

Friday, June 29, 2012

What the heck is "Satsop Center" anyway?

If you're like me you've seen the signs for showers, laundry, camping and lodging in what seems to be the middle of nothing off the 23/22 line, and wondered what it was all about.  This week I decided to find out.  It's a loggers hostel and for just $35 you can have a cozy room with two twin beds and a curtian instead of a door.  You will share the kitchen, bathroom and living area with about 10 strangers.  Did I mention it's in the middle of nowhere?  At least the artwork is original.

Does anyone wear caulk (pronounced "cork") boots anymore?

Seems like a good place for a bigfoot sighting

Women's restroom

Now that's some fine art!

Satsop Guard Station and Satsop center seem to be the same thing
It's just 32 miles from the bustling town of Montesano

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dosewallips Road

Had a nice hike down the Dosewallips road today.  There are trail crews working on the trail and a few people were camped near the ranger station.  The ranger station looked like it might be open.  It rained some on the hike out and I got a bit cold on the way home.  It is chilly in the house and I'm tempted to turn on the heat but will put on some warm clothes instead.

I don't think I have done this hike in the summer before, the falls and the river were much bigger than I have ever seen.  The spring melt is here.  The burned area had a full green undercover of fireweed that contrasted well against the black trees.  I think the area will be pretty when the fireweed blossoms.  Stone crop was in blossom too.  The campgrounds at the Ranger station looked nice a green.  I'm so used to it being white from snow that it all looked quite diffferent to me.

I'm too stiff and sore for such an easy hike.  I guess I'm still not in the shape I would like to be in.  I took company with me so I could avoid any unpleasant encounters with the dude who is building perpetual motion machines.

  12 miles with 1,100 feet elevation gain.

Old Ghost pipe

Hypholoma fasiculare

Friday, June 22, 2012

Church Creek Trail, Big Frog

7 miles 2,400 feet total elvation gain:

This trail was mostly destroyed by Simpson aka Green Diamond aka Solomon aka Olympic Panel and the Forest service.  This trail used to start at the Skokomish River and end Upper Satsop Lake.  Now only two segments are left a ¼ mile segment that goes to the shelter and a 4 mile segment that starts on a logging road near the Skokomish and ends on a logging road near the Satsop Lakes
<><><><><><><><> Someone stole the trailhead sign <><><><><><><><>

I hit the trail head at about 10:15 and was surprised to see another vehicle there.  This is a little used trail and this was on a weekday so I thought for sure I would have the trail all to myself.  The trailhead sign is gone.  The road past the trail has been churned up and destroyed to the point that it would be difficult to hike on it now.  I don’t like the way road decommissioning is done, it takes away foot access, churns up the dirt and introduces invasive weeds such  as tansy ragwort.

Bob Wood mentions this tree in the Olympic Mountains Trail Guide
Link to book on the top left of this page

Calypso orchid

Right at the start of the trail and in the middle of the path I saw the liverwort Pellia, this is a little used trail.  This also tells me that Pellia likes disturbed areas.  I saw a lot of Pellia on this hike but I only saw one Conocephalum.  I was really surprised to find Sphagnum moss about a mile up the trail.  I also saw avalanche lily, marsh marigolds, snow bank false morel, and a giant frog.
<><><><><><><><> Sphagnum moss <><><><><><><><> Pellia liverwort in middle of trail <><><><><><><><> Pellia with sporophytes on side of trail much higher up

The route starts out going straight up, up and up. There is  slight break where the route crosses a logging road that was put in but thankfully was never used for logging.  On the road there was  a lot of snow and a few iffy looking snow bridges.  Once back on the trail most of the snow was gone.  There was a bit of snow on the way up to the pass but the pass was snow free.  After going over the pass the trail turns sharply and can be hard to follow in the snow.  But I had an old track log in my GPS and I had some foot prints to follow.
Iffy snow bridge with culvert under just half of it

The road walk section was the most treacherous

At one point I had to cross over two logs and I found a great big frog playing dead on one of the logs.  I took quite a few pictures of the frog since it was sitting so still and then I left it to continue sitting.

Once I went over the pass all the Sphagnum moss was gone.  About 1 mile from the lake I ran into two men on the trail. They were as surprised as me to see someone else on the trail.  The younger man wanted to talk about fishing but the older man kept saying that standing there and talking was a waste of time.  Ah well, little did he know that my father is a very famous fisherman in these parts.
Upper Satsop Lake

The lake was beautiful and clear until Patches jumped into it.  There was the usual number of rough skinned newts swimming up to the surface for air.  If I could find my polarizer and the time I could get a good picture of them.  I soaked my feet a bit but the lake bottom was gravelly and I was worried about stepping on a fish hook.  I found a blob of rough skinned newt eggs that had been laid underwater but had become high and dry.  They still looked healthy though.  I put them a few feet into the lake. 

 I think these are rough skinned newt eggs

Taricha granulosa? eggs found out of water

On the shore I had tea and sushi.  Sushi from the employee appreciation luncheon I went to the day before.  It was a nice lunch.  I think I spent about an hour at the lake before I turned back.  The lake shore trail was weedy and covered with the same logs as last time. 

I felt good but a little too hot on the uphill section of the hike out.  At one point I had some route finding difficulty.  Strangely, finding my way out was harder than finding my way in; I was getting tired.  A few miles before the end of the hike I felt quite tired and was looking forward to seeing my truck.
One way track and elevation log

Avalanche lilly Little brown mushrooms

Giga snow bank false morel and some Pellia My truck at the trailhead

The bare spot is a divide between Hood Canal and Grays Harbor

<><><><><><><><> Always up for a good swim <><><><><><><><>

Lady slipper

Slime mold perhaps
Mucilago crustacea
Beetles on white slime mold

Witches butter


Snow near the pass