Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dosewallips is a mess!

It’s been a while since I hiked the Dosewallips road and most of the trails around here are snowbound.  I was told that the road was passable to the washout.  It turns out the road is not passable.

Antitrichia curtipendula

  A good sized maple tree is blocking the road 2.6 miles from the washout and there are no tire tracks past that tree.  But some trees had been cleared past the road blocking tree.  If someone got a firewood cutting permit Dosewallips would be the place to use it.

We decided to change our goal from the Dosewallips ranger station to the Elkhorn campground.  It would be an 8 mile hike instead of the planned 11 miles.  There were a lot of blow downs on the road before the washout.  The washout before the washout is still holding, they must have finally put in a decent culvert there.

The snow from the washout to Elkhorn ranged from sloppy to crusty to perfect.  Snow went over my boots when I took my gaiters off.  I saw a lot of Nephroma lichens that had been blow from the trees.  All the fallen trees gave me a chance to see the bryophytes and lichens that grow in the canopy.

At Camp Elkhorn we had hot coffee and lunch.  We did not take a long lunch break because my hiking partner wanted to get off the trail before dark.  He was not at all happy to be hiking in the snow.

When we were hiking in, we saw some campers near the washout before the washout they seemed to be tarping it.  They had a dog or two and a couple of tarps.  I think they were from Oregon.  We also ran into some folks who were camping at Elkhorn.  They said they had 100 pounds packs and one of them was wearing a cotton hoodie.

We got back out just before dark.  My GPS says this hike was 8.5 miles even after I edited out any track points that looked to be outliers.  I’m surprised this hike was so long.  8.5 miles slogging in the snow and climbing over blow downs is pretty exhausting and we opted to take a short break about a mile before we got back to the car because I was so tired.  I don’t normally take any breaks other than my lunch break.  Maybe I should start taking breaks again.

My camera did not seem to be working right all day long. When I got home I saw that most of my pictures had blow out areas.  I reset my camera back to factory defaults and that probably fixed the problem.  The ISO seemed to be stuck on 200.

8.5 miles with 250 feet elevation gain.

This blocks the road

Nephroma lichen

The washout

Lunch time at Elkhorn

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