On The Trail

On the trail in the Rhododendron Forest

On the trail through the lower forest

On the trail down loose gravel

Regardless of the effort, the time spent on backcountry trails is worth it. The trails show the passage of thousands of pairs of boots over the years. It connects you with unknown hikers of the past. The best is hiking trails that you have visited before and have become close friends.

Camera: Fujifilm GFX-50R with 63mm lens

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

Rhododendron Forest

Rhododendron Forest

Hiking the Upper Dungeness trail in the Buckhorn Wilderness in the Olympic Mountains, you pass through an area dense with Rhododendrons. Not sure what makes this particular spot so favorable for them, but it is quite spectacular. And a good example of why the Rhody is the official Washington State flower.

  • Camera: Fujifilm GFX50R
  • Lens: Fujinon 63mm
  • ISO 800 1/50 sec f/11

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

Winter Trail

DSC_1593

The lowland forests of the Pacific Northwest are usually snow free most of the winter. The trails are muddy sometimes… but not as crowded as in the summer. Occasionally you will have to climb over a tree that has blown down. But the solitude and quiet are worth it.

Camera: Nikon D850
Lens: Nikon 24-85mm set at 38mm
ISO 1250    1/100 sec    f/5

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