Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Olympic Trailrunning

      Once upon a time, in the land of salmon, sword ferns, banana slugs, and espresso there ventured a lad clad in skimpy shorts.  Accompanied by two coffee aficionados, toting a couple of t-shirts, pairs of shorts, and Swiftwick socks, they were greeted by a bard in the great city of Seattle.

       Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Glen Pops Freeman!

       On day one, clouds lingered low in the sky, but retained any rain that could damper our enjoyment of the day.  We ventured to Discovery Park to run a little loop that allowed us to soak up the beauty of the forest and the undulations of the Puget Sound's coastline.
Discovery Park

       The following day we ventured to the Tiger Mountain of Fleet Foxes fame.  The run to the top was great, a little over 3 miles with about 1,700 ft of vertical.  After I made my way back down I circled the lake at the bottom, running about 11 miles on the morning.

Looking from Tiger's summit to Squak Mtn

Smooth trail=fast, fun run 
     Our go-to coffee spot in Seattle quickly became Milstead & Co.  Its situated on 34th Ave & Troll Ave.   Troll Avenue sits beneath a bridge, and what bridge is complete without a 15 foot tall troll?!
The troll of Troll Ave
       The following day we climbed aboard a ferry to Bainbridge Island.  The views from the ferry were truly remarkable.  Mt Rainer, to the southwest, appeared to be on a different planet rising, literally, 14,000 feet above us.  Mt Baker to the north was completely covered in snow and looking incredibly impressive scraping the sky.  The skyline was cool, too.

Dan, Vince, and myself aboard the ferry.
      I must digress for just a moment: Vince and I were driving through the Freemont neighborhood of northern Seattle when, on the sidewalk out my window I saw a familiar stride running.  I turned onto the next road and parked on the sidewalk, further examining the runner.  As he approached, both of our faces filled with awe, as we realized who we had so fortuitously happened upon.  It turned out my friend Dan, who I knew for just a matter of days back at the Grand Canyon, had just made his way to Seattle for a visit a couple of days prior.  Truly, truly bizzare.  It was great to get to spend a couple of days with some great friends.

      Dan, Vince, Travis, and I went to see a great group of folks play music Wednesday.  Caravan of Thieves was the name, I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of years ago in Asheville, and they put on an entertaining performance that I would encourage anyone to check out.

       Friday I said farewell to the friends after a 5 mile outing at Deception Point, and made my way out onto the Olympic Peninsula.  I stopped as soon as possible to run in the Lower Dungeness Wilderness, just outside of Sequim, and did about 13 miles on soaking wet, brilliantly green, leaf-covered trails before making my way to Port Angeles for the night.

Bald Eagle, unfortunate to just have my phone camera.

Appalachians or Olympics?!
        The facemeltingly beautiful peaks of the Olympic mountains and their proximity to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which leads to the Pacific, left me restless throughout the night in anticipation of Saturday's run up to Mount Angeles.  The route is a 12.5 mile loop that gains a little over 4,000 ft.  It passes through dense, damp, dark forest, into beautiful sub-alpine meadows surrounded by snowy pines, and then ultimately to craggy, scree-covered ridges.  Here are some pictures from the outing:

The trail is the snow wrapping to the left of the pines

Superb singletrack

View northwest towards the Pacific

Klahhane Ridge

Mountain Pass

My destination, Klahhane Ridge, in the distance across a lot of snow

Faint view of the trail on which I came.

The only other hiker I saw kindly took a picture.  Mount Angeles in the back.

Looking south into Olympic National Park from Klahhane Ridge

Me and Mount Angeles

Mount Angeles

I followed goat tracks nearly the entire time I was in the snow.

Kitty tracks were plentiful, too

Lake Angeles

A lot of beautiful forest on the descent.
      The rest of my stay in Port Angeles was great.  I met a lot of good folks who were passionate about the place they'd chosen to call home.
      Sunday morning I went out for about 15 miles on the Adventure Trail, which is just west of P.A, and then made my way back to Seattle to head back home.

Looking towards Port Angeles with Klahhane Ridge rising high behind

Sunset by the sea

Sea life as seen in an aquarium...

Mountains look incredible from an airplane.

Week In Review:

11/5- Monday
11/6- Tuesday
           4 miles at Discovery Park, :40 minutes, 600 ft

11/7- Wednesday
          Tiger Mountain, 11 miles, 1:25, 1,800 ft

11/8- Thursday
11/9- Friday
         AM- 5 mile loop on Deception Point with Vince, :40 minutes, 600 ft
         PM- 13 miles in Lower Dungeness Wilderness, 2:30, 1,800 ft

11/10- Saturday
         12.5 loop up to Klahhane Ridge, 1:35 up, 2:45 total, 4,200 ft
11/11- Sunday
        15 mile out-and back on the Adventure Trail, 2:10, 1,500 ft

Totals:  60.5 miles, 10 hours, 10,500 ft

Notes: Running at or around sea-level is awesome!
     Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Heck yeah Jon, keep on LIVIN' (and keeping us posted)!