The Water

Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
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Trip End Jun 01, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, July 20, 2009

Mark:

Walking through the river valleys of the Olympics was an inspiring visit.  From the expansive views across the river to the minute things we encountered. We saw the invertebrates and the little minnows that ate them.  We saw the larger fish, a few inches long and the Belted Kingfisher diving for them.  And then the rivers widened the pools got deeper and with the rapids spaced out, the fishermen appeared. I loved the various forest types that grew on the shelves along the rivers.  Areas once filled with river that now support groves of alder or maples and then there were the shelves where sat the giants of these forests, the conifers, like cedars, firs, and hemlocks.  When we wandered around the headwaters, where the water tumbled quickly down mountains from snow fields, wildlife sightings seemed to increase.   Songbirds closed in around us in the meadows and the wetlands filled with willows.  In the meadows the flowers attracted the hummingbirds and both Rufous and Anna's appeared in numbers. 

In the background it seemed there was almost always the sound of rushing water.  At times it dominated the environment.  One morning the only audible thing above the sound of the rushing water was the singing of a Winter Wren (very close to our tent). In fact all along our trip the singing of the Winter Wren seemed to almost always be present along with the sound of the Varied Thrush.  At river fords we found out how cold the water was.  It seemed to numb our feet by the time we were half way across the creeks. 

Present many days was the awesome extent of erosion from floodwaters the previous winters.  So many washouts where trail was eroded away.  Leaving hikers a bit on their own to figure out how to make way

The Olympics are spectacular and i have been fortunate for the years I have lived there so far.  I write this last Washington entry from Spokane.  Overall, I don't feel a loss of leaving this place for now, just thankful.



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