Soaked vs Sun: From the Olympics to Astoria
The trip started out well enough. Lush temperate rainforest covered in moss.
Subalpine meadows teeming with blueberries (and hungry black bear!).
And a pretty lakeside campsite.
But halfway into the trip the big faucet in the sky opened up in a drenching 24-hour downpour extremely uncommon to the northwest. I became one thoroughly soaked backpacker. All the clouds and rain obscured the views from the Skyline Ridge but surprisingly my spirits remained high. For one I wasn't bushwhacking to Luna Peak (see previous post), which will likely remain my gold standard of awful trips for some time to come. And second, in all my time in ONP I've come to appreciate the precipitation that makes the forests, rivers, and glaciers of this incredible ecosystem all possible. Rain cuts back on the dramatic views but makes the outdoor experience more ethereal, more intimate, forcing you to focus on only your immediate surroundings. Or maybe that's all just a bunch of malarkey I tell myself so I don't try to drown myself in trailside puddles in a bout of soggy depression.
|The only semi-clear shot from Skyline Ridge. These clouds quickly ascended the valley and then started dumping rain.|
With the continued good weather the three of us took to the shores of northern Oregon, exploring the shipwreck of Peter Iredale and learning about the Japanese attack on Fort Stevens, the only military installation in the continental United States to come under enemy fire during World War Two. Interesting stuff.
Thanks to Duane and Tammy for their hospitality. It's on to Portland to meet Mom for our long anticipated road trip thru Oregon, California, and Nevada.