My 2016 Olympic Mountain Calendar is for sale now! Please support me and my blogging efforts and grab yourself a calendar:
Beautiful images captured while hiking hundreds of miles in one of the most scenic places on earth, the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. This artist is a professional photographer with years of experience hiking, blogging and photographing in this unique part of the world.
New pack, new boots, new rain coats for both of us and a new tarp for both of us. With two rain coats on Patches should have been dry!
|Panorama from under my tarp at lunch time|
I have decided that I need to get out twice a week to keep my sanity and to avoid gaining weight. I was not able to get out on Friday, so I had to settle for a Saturday in a rainstorm. At least the rain would keep down the crowds at Lena Lake. I’d rather catch a dial a ride to the lake, but I have a hard time planning my life two weeks in advance.
It rained for my entire hike but I was in pretty good spirits anyway. I had new boots, a new raincoat and a new cuben fiber tarp. I also had a new backpack. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked with so much new gear before.
My new boots kept my feet bone dry, just like I knew they would. I was careful not to hike fast enough to get hot and start sweating. My new rain jacket is the REI Kimtah. It was on sale since REI has now come out with the Shucksan. I had the older version of REI’s event rain jacket and it was starting to look worn in the collar and it never had pit zips. My new boots were La Sportiva Omega’s. I had them before and they worked well for me. After two years they only leaked where my ankle brace rubbed. After three years it was the same but I don’t totally trust them now and I’ve maybe quit wearing an ankle brace so it was time for new boots.
I have not worn my ankle brace on my last two hikes and my ankle has been fine. This is after several years of not leaving the house without a brace and several more years of not hiking without a brace. Ankles are slow to heal and mine will never be 100%. I will probably still wear a brace with running shoes.
My new backpack is hand made by me. I expected a seam or two to come undone as my sewing is not the best. My pack held up just fine though. There are two spots on two seams that I want to go back over but I know they don’t really need it. There is a double row of stitches in both spots so even with weak spots the pack is not likely to split open. My new pack weighs 10.8 ounces and I’m rather proud of it as my sewing is much better this time around.
My cuben fiber tarp was a real splurge but I think it will be worth it to always have a Shelter on my winter day hikes. My silnylon tarp has heavy and bulky enough that I did not always want to carry it.
With so much rain in the forecast, I did not bring a big camera; instead I brought my little waterproof camera. I made a video, but I cannot upload it right now due to my slow internet speed at home.
The tarp was very nice to have at lunch time as it never stopped raining. Under my tarp I was able to change my top layers and eat my lunch without getting my gear wet.
Just as I was packing up to leave Patches fell or jumped into the lake and she was not able to get out on her own. I helped her out but she was in there for far too long. As soon as I got her out I knew she was in trouble and we had to go right back to the car. Poor Patches! I only stopped once on the trip to the car and Patches was shaking from the cold. Her double rain coats did her no good after she went in the lake. She was warm before then though.
Even after we got home she shivered for about an hour. I dried her off, put a heavy coat on her and gave her a heat pad. She quite tired today, but she’s doing fine. I’m going to leave her coat on her all day.
6.5 miles 1,300 feet elevation gain
|Wet and cold dog the only time I stopped on the way back to the car|
|Camp sites under water|
|My new pack and a new boot|
|sitting under my new tarp|
|My lunch spot at the far end of the lake|