Lena Lake

Mushroom in Olympic National Forest

June 4

Today we went to a steel bridge over the Skokomish River. After driving over Forest Service Roads several miles, we drove right over it. It used to be an old railroad bridge. Regis did not believe it was the bridge so he kept going. Eventually, he conceded and we went back and walked the bridge and took pictures. It was a long way down. The bridge is 420 feet above the south fork of the Skokomish River. (Mom, you could not do this with your issue with heights)

View downriver from steel bridge over the south fork of the Skokomish River.
View upriver from the steel bridge over the south fork of the Skokomish River.
View from on top the steel bridge over the south fork of the Skokomish River.

Then, we went on a 6 mile round trip hike to Lena Lake in the Olympic National Forest. It was a lovely walk through the forest. I really enjoyed all the plant life and huge trees. It was twice the distance as our last hike but half the elevation change (1200 feet in 3 miles). It seemed so much easier but it was very rocky. Good hiking shoes are required on this hike. Dart got to walk off leash and was very friendly to all the other hikers. (My neighbors back home wouldn’t recognize him.)

We found several of these leaves along the Lena Lake trail. Perhaps they are modern day bread crumbs.
Lena Lake trail.

Fortunately, the walk was up hill first. I prefer to go uphill on the outward portion of the hike and return downhill. Once we got to the lake we sat and enjoyed. Then, an immature bald eagle flew above. What could be better than that?

Lena Lake in Olympic National Forest.

The gender ratio of hikers we passed were probably 3 women to every man. Regis couldn’t believe it. There were lots of young women hiking and quite a few of them alone. There were few men. What’s up with that? (I’m envious because when I was young I couldn’t find any women to hike with me. Maybe that’s why Regis and I got married because he was the best hiking and camping partner.)

The reason we went on this hike is because the rhododendrons were in bloom. There were probably 10 plants in bloom and I didn’t see any not in bloom. It was pretty, but after hiking in the spring in the Smoky Mountains, I was disappointed. You should never compare, but the Smokey Mountains are astonishing when the laurels and rhododendrons are in bloom. When we got back we looked up the trail description again and it said the rhododendrons were in bloom on the trail to the upper lake which we could not do because it enters the National Park and dogs are not allowed in the National Park. Oh well, it was a beautiful hike anyway.

We keep driving along the Hood Canal and seeing immature and adult Bald Eagles. It’s really hard to stop on that road because it is a major road. Nevertheless, I convinced Regis to cooperate with me in trying to get a picture of some immature Bald Eagles and this is the best I got. I am on a mission tomorrow to see if we can do better. We’ve seen the Bald Eagles several times in the same general area and will see if we can get lucky from the local State Park.

Immature Bald Eagle along the Hood Canal in Washington.

Biking in Acadia

0619 Mushroom (1 of 1)
Underside of a mushroom on Mount Desert Island in Maine.

Last night it was very windy and rainy.  I am glad I wasn’t sleeping in a tent.  The weather has once again caused the whale watch to be canceled.  We can’t go kayaking because, not only is it dangerous, but we wouldn’t be able to see much off the end of the kayak.  I could achieve something similar by entering a sensory deprivation tank.

0619 Cool Tree (1 of 1)
Multi-trunked tree seen on hike by Acadia National Park visitor center.

We walked Dart on the carriage trails to get in some exercise and then dropped him off at the motor home so we could go cycling.  I picked the longest loop in the system, 11.1 miles.  That didn’t seem so bad.  We cycle that easily in Florida.  But, Florida is flat and Maine is not.  This was not as easy as I had thought it would be.  The good news is that we got to finally use all 21 gears on the bicycles.  Actually, I didn’t use any gears going downhill.  I let gravity do all the work.

We took this picture of one of the scenic views.  All the scenic views looked the same – trees with dense fog beyond.  Regis wanted to post 10 gray pictures and have us give different titles for each of the scenic views.  I think one picture will give you the idea.  I’m sure that the views would have been wonderful but we will have to find out on a future trip.

Regis took some video of our cycling through the carriage trails.  To see it click here.

0619 View of the Fog (1 of 1)
A typical view of all the scenic overlooks today on our 11 mile cycling trip on the carriage trails in Acadia National Park. Lots of fog.

Next, we are heading further north in Maine, hoping to find Pete’s Dragon.