Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

Greenwater Lakes

Having been sick for almost 3 weeks, I was going to implode if I didn’t get out and hike, just something simple but beautiful to ease back into the swing of things.  Greenwater Lakes is the perfect spot for that!  Not too far up Hwy 410, several miles down a paved forest service road, is a little slice of heaven. The trail was fairly muddy, but to be expected after the rain we’ve had this past week. The river was flowing beautifully, and we did get rained on but, hey, that’s Western Washington State for you…

The bridges along this trail are beautiful. And we hit the blooming of the Calypso orchids at just the right time, they were showing off. Still hard to think that there are native terrestrial orchids that grow wild here in this climate – I look forward to seeing them every year.

Last but best, I got to spend time with my favorite hiker-buddy Frani, and meet 3 new friends. Hopefully there will be many many more hikes with this great group of ladies!

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Klaloch and Olympic Coast

After our wonderful night at Hoh River Valley and hiking back out 5.3 miles early that morning, we spent the night at the Klaloch car campground. Quite a bit of difference in solitude with all the RVs and generators, but such a gorgeous place on the beach! We wandered Beach 3 at low tide, poked around in the rocks to see the tide pools, watched bald eagles flying, walked in the sand and enjoyed the sun and the incredible scenery.

Back to Klaloch beach for the afternoon, where I walked some more on the beach. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t more crowded with the incredible warm, sunny weather. The trees along this section of the Washington Olympic coastline amaze me in how they can survive the brutal winter storms that come through here every year. These are some tough, tough creatures.

Spent that evening at our campsite watching a gorgeous sunset from the bluff, having a cold beer, and enjoying being mellow. Wonderful place, I’ve driven by before but never stayed. I’ll definitely be doing more time here in the future 🙂

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Hoh Rainforest- Five Mile Campground

Incredible weather for the beginning of May, so Janelle and I decided we’d better use it!  We drove to the Hoh Rainforest visitor center, got our overnight permit, and hiked out to Five-Mile campground on the Hoh River. Less than 50 yards down the trail we were stopped by an elk right in the trail who was simply not interested in letting us pass, and actually got aggressive toward Janelle when she tried to sneak past him. Took about 10-15 minutes for him to wander off the trail far enough that we could get through. I thought Hoh elk were generally nice, my opinion has now changed…

I decided to bring along my new bear canister, gotta practice lugging it around for this summer at Yosemite and Ansel Adams Wilderness. There are bear wires at the campgrounds, which would have been much easier. End result: I hate the thing. Pain in the rear to fit into a backpack, pain in the rear to haul 3 extra pounds, pain in the rear to get food in and out of it… but it’s necessary, so we’re beginning to develop a love/hate relationship with each other.  On the other hand, I’m madly in love with my new Nemo Obi 1P tent, love it, love it, love it, and am looking forward to spending a lot more time with it 🙂

Just after getting to camp, another person there told us we’d missed seeing a bear crossing the river by about 5 minutes. We wandered around looking for signs of it, but never saw it.

After setting up camp at Five-Mile, we wandered a bit further up the trail to Happy 4 campground for an evening stroll and to see the shelter there. I think I’ll stick with Five Mile. I slept well, after putting on every single layer of clothing I had and crawling into my down sleeping bag with hand warmers and a wool hat. I passed the test of sleeping outside in what otherwise would be too cold for me. I’m a chicken in the cold, ‘nuf said.

Next morning we broke camp early and headed back to the car, heading for Klaloch and the Olympic coastline…

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Another day in Paradise…

Last week Frani and I headed back up Rainier to Paradise – can’t get enough of the beauty up there! We headed up the Skyline trail, up and over Panorama Point, and up a bit further from there before starting our glissades down toward Mazama. It was another tank-top day on the mountain, and 5 days later I’m peeling from sunburn like a snake loses it’s skin. Note to self—- next time, RE-apply sunscreen several times, and use at least SPF 1,000!!!

We had a hard time finding the trail down from Mazama Ridge to the road, so ended up doing a few crazy short glissades down a nice and steep embankment before finally getting down.  All in all, another wonderful day in Paradise 🙂

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