Bike Hike Wilderness Musings in Olympic National Park

We left Seattle at 5am after three(?) weeks of climate change smoke prison in Seattle and more sedentary time indoors than usual. There was a hint of clearer air quality out in the Olympics so my wife and I decided to go for it. It’s almost 10 miles to the hot springs from the Madison Creek Parking lot due to a road washout, which is actually a blessing because it means that hikers and bikers have it all to themselves. As my wife said wryly, Mother Nature flooded out the road in order to reclaim this portion of the park from the machines. My belief is that the road will never get rebuilt. As the ongoing salmon restoration on the Elwha continues after the removal of the dams, surely questions and concerns about building roads and bridges across the flood plain have arisen from marine biologists and the S’Klallam tribe. The bypass trail is dusty and has a few tricky sections to negotiate requiring some effort and finesse to heft the bicycles over logs on a steep embankment that is crumbling into the river. But after that, it’s sweet riding.

 

View of Hurricane Ridge across the Elwha valley

Entering the magical forest of the Appleton Pass trail.
I hear Elves singing Mr. Frodo!
magic meadow

Light in the trees
fantastic fungi

Grandfather lying down and devils club standing tall.
Magic creek lunch stop

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