Trail Shelters

Camp Handy Shelter
The Shelter and Meadow at Camp Handy

The Upper Dungeness trail in the Olympic Mountains includes a couple of shelters, one at Camp Handy at 3100 feet and Boulder Shelter up the valley at 4900 feet. Back in the early days, the shelters were built so that hikers didn’t have to carry heavy tents. Nowadays, they are maintained and restored in a joint partnership between the Forest Service and private groups. They are recommended for emergency use only … but if you use them, be prepared to share them with the mice, chipmunks and ground squirrels.

Emergency Food — Boulder Shelter

When we investigated the interior of Boulder Shelter, we discovered a cache of emergency food. The age of the cans was unclear … and it really would be a survival decision to open one. I found them vaguely frightening. I moved one of them (the large one on the left) only to have it start making noises that sounded like it had come to life. Maybe close to the truth.

  • Camera: Fujifilm GFX-50R
  • Lens: Fujinon 63mm

On the Trail

Rest Break on the Upper Dungeness Trail

Over the last 35 years I have gone on a hike into the Olympic Mountains with my friend Jeff nearly every year. It is getting harder for both of us, though… as time catches up with us. We did a shorter hike this year, both in days and mileage, but enjoyed it immensely. I cut enough weight out of my pack … the white one in the image … that I decided to take a heavier camera than my point and shoot. The image quality was well worth it.

  • Camera: Fujifilm GFX-50R
  • Lens: 63mm
  • ISO 125 1/60 sec f/2.8

Silver Snag

Silver Snag

The mountain forests have scattered among them an assortment of silver snags … trees have that died and remained standing. The wood bleaches out and the wood takes on a beautiful silver color that is difficult to show on a web post. This one is in the Hurricane Ridge area of Olympic National Park.

  • Camera: Nikon D850
  • Lens: Nikkor 80-400mm set at 400mm
  • ISO 500 1/800 sec f/8

Bailey Range from the East

Bailey Range from the East

This is the east side of the Bailey Range in Olympic National Park from the Hurricane Hill road.

There is an off-trail route along the other side. I have tried to hike that trail several times, but always got rained out … or ran out of time after searching for the route.

  • Camera: Fujifilm GFX-50R
  • Lens: Fujinon GF 120mm
  • ISO 400 1/320 sec f/14

View to the north from the top of Mt Walker

View from the top of Mt Walker

This view is looking north to the Quimper Peninsula … Port Townsend is on the far end just along the water.

After shooting in the forest under cloudy skies, I turned the ISO down and took this photo. I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have … I was pretty tired from the climb back to the top (I drove to the top and hiked down and back up). I should have paid more attention … I could have dropped the ISO to 64 and still would have been able to handhold.

  • Camera: Nikon D850
  • Lens: Nikkor 58mm
  • ISO 400 1/800 sec f/14

Candystick

Candystick

This is another non-chlorophyll plant, commonly called Candystick for obvious reasons. Latin name is Allotropa virgata.

This was found along the Mt Walker trail in the Olympic National Forest just south of Quilcene, Washington.

  • Camera: D850
  • Lens: Nikkor 58mm
  • ISO 2000 1/25 sec f/7.1

Pinesap

Pinesap

Pinesap (Monotropa Hypopitys) is a plant without chlorophyll, living off the roots of nearby plants for food.

This was on the Mt Walker Trail, in the Olympic National Forest, just south of Quilcene. It was overcast and in fairly dense woods. I had to push the ISO up to 2000 in order to get a reasonable f/ stop to get the depth of field needed to keep the plant in focus.

  • Camera: Nikon D850
  • Lens: Nikkor 58mm
  • ISO 2000 1/60 sec f/7.1

Mt Walker Trail

Mt Walker Trail

I was out for a conditioning hike and the Mt Walker trail is close to home. It is also pretty steep and while it runs to the top of Mt Walker, there is also a road to the top. I drove to the top and hiked down until my knees started complaining about all the steep downhill… then turned around and went back up. On the way up I took photos as a way to take breaks (another good reason to be a photographer!)

One of the frustrations with photos of steep trails is to have them really show how steep the trail is. This photo makes it look like the trail is climbing at a pretty gentle grade. That’s pretty good, since a normal grade trail typically looks flat in a photo.

Mt Walker is in the Olympic National Forest just south of Quilcene in Washington state.

  • Camera: Nikon D850
  • Lens: Nikkor 58mm
  • ISO 800 1/80 sec f/4.5

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