Saturday, January 12, 2013

Big Creek / Lower Ellinor

This bullet riddled tree is about to fall
Once again I did not really want to go hiking this morning but I forced myself out the door anyway.  I’m still on anti-biotics for a sinus infection.  I forced myself out because hiking is good for me and helps me to lose weight.  There is still a lot of snow in the Olympics so I had to pick a trail that starts out on a paved and plowed road.  I picked Big Creek, but was not excited about it.  I figured it would be a horrible slog and I wound not find much to take pictures of. I was partly correct, there was not much to take pictures of but it did not turn out to be a slog.  I parked across the street from the campground since the entrance to the campground was plowed shut.

I started my hike at about 10:10.  There was snow in the parking area but the snow has consolidated and there was no post holing or slogging on this hike.  I carried my snow shoes on my back all the way up to the look out.  At the lookout I had hot coffee and lunch.  The sun was shining bright at first and it felt quite warm in spite of the snow and cold.  Then the sun went behind a cloud and it got cold fast, so I packed up.

After leaving the lookout I headed up to the lower Ellinor trailhead to check out the road conditions.  The road is covered and snow and the only recent travelers up the road were on skis and snow shoes.  No cars have been up the road in a while.  I walked down the road about one quarter of a mile and then I turned right onto and old logging road that connects with the trail.  Thus I made a small loop.

Once I got back onto the trail I put on my snowshoes as a traction aid. I did not need any flotation but the trail was icy and I was heading down hill and I was getting tired.  I was so happy after I put my snow shoes on, they made it so much easier to walk on the ice and it felt good to have them off my back.  My snowshoes kept me from slipping and falling on the ice, but, ironically I fell down once due to tripping over my snowshoes.  I fell kind of hard and landed on my bad knee.  I feel okay now, but I suspect that my knee will hurt in the morning.

I took my snow shoes off when the trail leveled out near Big Creek.  About one mile from the trailhead I got really tired and just sat down in the middle of the trail and ate some pepperoni.  It’s not like me to bonk like that, but it happened.  Maybe my lunch coffee had worn off at that point, but the amount of coffee I has was so small that I’d be surprised if it was enough to make me bonk.

Anyway I got back up and kept hiking only taking one more break.  When I got back down near the road I took the old trail down that was made when the bridge was out.  By taking the old trail down I saved myself a mile of hiking and made another nice little loop.  There was a loop on both ends of my hike today. 

A lot of trees have fallen down over the trail near the recent clear cut logging on adjacent private property.  The trees on the edge of the clear cut succumbed due to loss of buffering from the wind and other edge effects.  It’s a real shame. 

7 miles with 1,800 feet elevation gain

Big Creek trail head
Track and elevation log
These fell thanks to near by logging
lunch time
Patches the wonder dog
Crustose lichen
Icy bridge
snowy bridge
start of connection trail
Bunny tracks


ccorbridge said...

nice report! keep up the good work.

justin Garin said...

Great report! You should check out Duckabush river. I just did a post on it.