Friday, July 12, 2013



  I’ve been there twice before and both times I underestimated the difficulty of the trail.  I’ve only been there twice, because most years I don’t feel that I am in good enough shape to tackle this trail and the trail is a little bit creepy.  It’s only creepy because of the grave at the start of the trail and the remoteness of this hike.  I’ve never had to share Lake of the Angels with anyone.

The trail starts on the Hamma Hamm road about a mile or two past the Lena Lake trail.  There is a boulder in the middle of the road that is easy to drive around.  The boulder landed in the road this winter and it has not gathered any moss.

At the start of the hike I wondered what I was doing, maybe I was too tired and ill for this hike.  Still on antibiotics for a sinus infection, suffering from insomnia and PMS, perhaps I should just turn around.  But then I remembered that I often feel this way at the start of the hike and I pushed on.  I cheered up once I reached a little clearing that was filled with all kinds of interesting flowers.

It took me 4 hours to hike up to the lake and 3 hours to hike down.  I could have hiked up faster but I spent a lot of time successfully looking for a liverwort that has not yet been found in this state.   I’ve sent a piece of it to David Wagner for confirmation.

There was snow just past the pond of the false prophet and route finding became a little bit of an issue at that point.  I had my GPS and the foot prints of others to confirm that I was on the correct route.

The lake was beautiful as usual and it was about 3/4ths melted out.   The nice part about getting up there so early in the season was the lack of bugs.

My shoes got wet and muddy just like they always do on this hike, but I noticed the sign that says you should wear boots on this trail is missing.

This is a tough trail, even for me in the shape I am in right now.  I was tired and I was kind of glad when the hike ended.  If I had slept more the night before I’m sure I would have felt better.

I’ll be back again this year I think as this hike will be a great way for me to lose weight.  I probably burned a pound of fat.  Be warned the trail is steep and muddy and not maintained.  In two spots one has to climb with their hands to get over a rock wall.  Going up is okay, coming back down is a little scary.

9 miles with 3,400 feet elevation gain
I'll post more pictures later.
Rivulariella gemmipara (Chiloscyphus gemmiparus )confirmed as the first find of this in the state of Washington

Allotropa virgata

A free living cyano bacteria

Carl had a tougher hike than I did

Rock in the middle of the Hamma Hamma road

Mud on the "trail"

Steep section of trail

Creek is the trail

Leptogium rivulare (I think)

Rivulariella gemmipara

Jungermannia exsertifolia

Tiny, tiny unknown aquatic liverwort


Michelle Anya said...

Carl Putvin died actually while waiting for his brother. A storm was coming through, he was waiting and sat down next to a tree, fell asleep (he was a new father and with living up there he was naturally exhausted) His body temp dropped as he slept and died.
Just so you know the Putvin family line is very accustomed to roughing it and surviving. We prefer to live far off in "no-man's-land". We're strong and usually survive the extreme conditions. Granted Carl was beyond tired when he sat down while waiting. It's sad because he never intended on falling asleep.

Mossy Mom said...

So nice to hear from a family member and get some clarification. My understanding is that he died where the road now is and his body was moved before they put in a rail road where the road now is. Is this correct? Can you tell me where exactly his cabin was?

Michelle Anya said...

According to the "family" story. (Carl's cabin is 10 miles up the Hamma Hamma River in the Olympic Mountains, from the small town of Eldon. Five miles up an old railroad track and across a great high tressel from the town of Brinnon Bill (Carl's brother) made his. Harvey (Carl's half-brother) and Carl would trap together in the winter. The snow lay eight feet deep when Carl set out for a certain cabin along their trap line where Harvey said he would meet him. Carl died not too far down the trail from his own cabin. The boys took new clothes for the burial of their brother and made their way to where he lay. They managed to hew a rude coffin from a cedar log, dig through the snow and frozen ground to make a grave. They buried him where they found him, beside the trail. Now a road runs past where he is buried and the place is marked by a pile of stones and a name marker.) Some years later the grave was moved a short distance to it's present location to make way for a logging railroad. Latitude and Longitude given are: 47.58331, -123.23524 (I don't know if this is the location of where he's buried or the marker and tree)

Mossy Mom said...

Thanks, I still hope to find some trace of the cabin site someday.