Blue's Boots

Andrea's adventures on the trail…

East Fork Quinault River

on June 30, 2013

Well, the plan was to get all the way out to Enchanted Valley in the Olympics this weekend, 3 days off, gorgeous weather, but a migraine had other plans for me.  Still, I had an excellent half-hike (minus the headache) in a gorgeous rainforest, can’t complain about that!!

I started out at 3:30 Friday afternoon toward EV, extremely humid but sunny and beautiful. After crossing Pony Bridge, the headache started to set in and by about mile 5, I was desperate to find a flat clear spot to pitch my tent. Easier said than done, since virtually every square inch of surface is covered in vegetation out here… it’s a rain forest after all. The trail was extremely muddy in many spots from the downpour of a few days ago – my new Keen boots are thoroughly broken in now, I hardly recognized them for all the mud covering them.

Finally found an absolutely gorgeous campsite a bit before O’Neill Creek, right on the river. Thank goodness my Nemo tent goes up fast… I barely got the tent set up and then crashed and slept for about 10 hours!!

Woke up and everything that was wet or damp the day before was even more wet and damp. The humidity was off the charts, impossible to get anything to dry out there. The headache was gone but I still didn’t feel that great, so I decided to head back instead of push another 7 miles up to Enchanted Valley, then a 13-mile hike back out. I’m bummed I didn’t make it all the way, but my head was glad I made the decision to turn back. I woke up to spectacular light on the river right next to me.. light shining through the trees and onto the water was just beautiful.

I drove back to Lake Quinault and spent the next night at Falls Creek Campground right by the Quinault Lodge, read some of my book, took a nap, listened to music, wandered the lakeshore, and just laid low. Sunset over Lake Quinault was stunning.

Some day I’ll make it all the way out to EV, but for now I’m happy with half-way.

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