Archive for September, 2011

Presenting one of my favorite birds: the common raven.

As artist, author, and blogger, Ursula Vernon once said of distinguishing ravens from crows, if you wonder if it might be a raven, it’s just a big crow.  If you mistake it for a 747, it’s a raven.


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Rain has returned to the Olympic Peninsula, marking the end of camping season for this camper.  I don’t mind a little rain while I’m camping, but an entire weekend of the stuff just leads to an unhappy state of continuous dampness.

I had planned on visiting Kalaloch last weekend, but when the weather forecast anticipated rain and high temperatures in the low 60s, I decided maybe it wasn’t the ideal time for visiting the beach.  It turned out to be a good decision; when I looked at the weather radar during the weekend I saw heavy rain stretching down the coast.

The weekend was not a loss, however, because we went on a day trip instead: to Lake Crescent to hike on the Spruce Railroad Trail along the north shore to a deep alcove of the lake scooped out of a cliff known as the Devil’s Punchbowl.  When the weather is warm, people like to climb up the cliff and jump into the punchbowl, but it was too cold for such activities this day.  When the hike was over, we went to La Poel, a day use area on the south side of the lake, to cook dinner over a camp fire.  It was just like camping, just without to sleeping.

Now, camping season may be over for me, but don’t expect my blog to go silent.  There are many, many things I have to write about.  I still have to finish my map of Mora campground for one thing.  Expect to see more drawings and write-ups on the plants and animals of the peninsula, and I will be highlighting some of the trails and day-use areas of the park as well.  Let’s start with the Lake Crescent area while we’re here.  Here are some pictures from my day trip:

There are a couple of landslide areas on the Spruce Railroad Trail, but they have all been compacted into an acceptable trail

Leaves of three, let them be. Watch out for poison oak (or is this ivy?) along the trail! It's the only place I've seen it in the park.

The trail runs along a never-complete railroad bed.

Two abandoned tunnels can be found along the way. Park rules prohibit going inside, but you can walk up and take a look.

I don't approve of graffiti in national parks, but this guy stole my heart with his cuteness anyway.

Devil's Punchbowl

Dinner at La Poel (pronounced "La Pwell")

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As usual, click on the map to pull up a larger version.


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