pacific northwest caricature

Madison Valley was comfortingly misty and soft this morning so the forest view here from the Olympic Mountains seems very appropriate to share for the afternoon.  It’s from a walk a good friend and I did last month up the Griff Creek trail. While climbing steeply through the forest, we stopped to admire this Elwha-borne fog, drifting sideways (the fog, not us) up a steep draw. It got stuck (not us, the fog) in the treetops here and we were hopeful of finding a scene reminiscent of Bespin at the mossy prow of rock two miles into the hike that offers a wonderful broad vista of the local mountains. Come to find out, the fog drifted back down by the time we arrived. Bless his heart, Pal held us back a little because he’s old and needed to stop every tenth of a mile to sip his Metamucil. On the other hand, he put together a fantastic panorama from Mossy Prow. I’ll look forward later to sharing a set of pictures from this walk so you can see the scenery.

I really like this short trail. It’s overwhelmingly a steep woods walk but the woodsiness is punctuated by interesting terrain. Lots of little twists and turns and ledgy traverses, not to mention the Mystery of the Billions of Maple Leaves up high. And then, when you arrive at the end of the trail……. ignore the End of Trail sign. The sidehilling is generally quite safe on an obvious footpath though one should stay alert for falling rock. Step gingerly a tenth of a mile to the most glorious rock ledge on the mountainside and admire where Lake Mills used to be. Dream about a connector trail to Hurricane Ridge. Eat your cookies while your friend is stooping over to see better through his viewfinder. There are lots of turreted outcroppings to explore, maybe a new one for every visit for the next twenty years? Also, Pal and I crawled like a couple of old ladies up the rocky ridge that looms above. It’s the supreme view and we were so happy to arrive without dying we were too disoriented to properly execute the manly intertwining of the hands and settled on perhaps the lamest fist bump in the history of mankind. It’s not really that scary but I have issues with gravity and to make things worse, every muscle in Pal’s lower body was cramping and I was forced to contemplate the feasibility of an emergency litter constructed out of branches from the forest floor…..

Pal eats cheese sandwiches every day on white bread and I’m Andre the Giant’s humanoid love child but we made it back down to the trailhead in good spirits, with enough energy left over to sneak a peek at Glines Canyon reincarnated. It was a fine day in the forest with a good friend. He and I don’t see each other a lot because I’m banished to the penal colony of Big City on the other side of the water from Bremerton. And so, I cherish these walks!

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