Forum Index > Trip Reports > Gray Wolf river 5-29-06, lots of pics
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Slugman
Itís a Slugfest!



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 16700 | TRs | Pics
Slugman
Itís a Slugfest!
PostWed May 31, 2006 10:39 pm 
I took Daisy the Wonder Dog over to the Olympic peninsula for a couple of days of hiking, starting with an old favorite, the Gray Wolf river, on Monday. The weather never cleared up during the day as predicted, but some on and off showers were not enough to ruin this hike. We started at the old trailhead just past the road crossing of the river, since it is more scenic and woodsy than the new trailhead farther up the road. It also has more blowdowns, plus a few semi-tricky washouts to navigate. The worst one has a convenient hand-hold rope to make the crossing more comfortable. There are also lots of stinging nettles right next to the trail, so be careful. Oh, yeah, and lots of slippery, clay mud as well. The two trails converge right before the descent to the riverside for the first time, which is where all the good stuff begins. Huge trees, moss everywhere, ferns galore, flowering rhododendrons, a sweet rushing river, there's lots to like. Just before the wilderness sign we came to a way trail heading to the right, away from the river. It leads to a fabulous grove of giant Doug firs and some huge cedars, too. While we were checking this cool stuff out, a man came crashing through the undergrowth nearby, so we said hello to him. It turned out to be Mr Don Stoneman, a frequent WTA trail maintenance volunteer, and the creator of the way trail we were on, as well as the Cat Creek loop trail. He was out surveying the trail for blowdowns for the FS or the WTA, I forget which (or maybe both?). He does a huge amount of volunteer work on trail maintenance, so I took the liberty of thanking him for all of us here at NWHikers.net. We chatted for an hour or so, and he imparted much wisdon to me, plus some "fun facts" about the giant trees, such as that the biggest one was 8' 4" (I think) diameter above the root bulge. He was quite impressed with how smart Daisy was, even though he admitted he is not particularly fond of dogs. I wanted a picture of the biggest tree with Daisy in it, so I told her "Go over by that tree and sit so I can take your picture", and I pointed over towards the tree. Sure enough, the dog walked over to the tree, sat down, and "posed" for her picture. He was still not convinced that it was skill, not luck, until I had her do it again a few minutes later. She is trained to go where I point, and is a natural camera hog, but it's still a neat trick. I told Mr Stoneman that I would encourage future visitors to the area to hike his short trail to the grove of giant trees, as this will make the trail more distinct, and maybe help convince the FS to make it permanent. I named him the O-fishal "Master of the Grove". We then headed along the river on the main trail, just taking in the rainforesty feel of the place, breathing in that wonderful dampness that is redolent of moss, old wood, oxygen and growing things. We kept going to Cliff camp, then the rain started up in earnest, so we turned around, as it was getting late anyway. Of course the rain immediately let up, but what can you do? I left my hiking pole leaning against a tree and didn't notice it, so I had to walk back at least a mile to get it back. I hate when that happens! I decided on the way back to hike to the newer trailhead then down the road back to the car, and the new trail was much easier, basically a grassy road with no blowdowns, but a few stinging nettles. The mistake I made was in completely forgetting the length of the road between trailheads. I cursed my stupidity for over 1.5 miles of a seemingly endless road trudge. I drove back into Sequim for dinner, then back up towards the Tubal Cain trailhead, and car-camped at the open veiw site about 1/2 way along the road section that traverses high above the Dungeness river. The next day we hiked Tubal Cain, but that is literally another story. Here are the pics. Due to the dim lighting, I had a choice of dark or blurry. I chose dark.
Gray Wolf trail, ONF
Gray Wolf trail, ONF
Don Stoneman, Grovemaster extrordinaire, and Daisy TWD
Don Stoneman, Grovemaster extrordinaire, and Daisy TWD
trail
trail
dead and alive
dead and alive
moss carpet
moss carpet
blooming rhody
blooming rhody
Same place as "moss carpet"???
Same place as "moss carpet"???
Can you see the animals like the elephant?
Can you see the animals like the elephant?
big tree
big tree
car camping spot morning view of next day's hike
car camping spot morning view of next day's hike

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phillyjon
Member
Member


Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 383 | TRs | Pics
Location: White Center
phillyjon
Member
PostThu Jun 01, 2006 5:07 am 
Very much appreciate your tip on the way trail, Slugman. And thanks to the WTA for opening it up, and the Cat creek loop, too.

"No matter how high one sits upon a pedestal, one still sits upon his arse." Ben Franklin
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yew
non-technical



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1173 | TRs | Pics
Location: Bellingham
yew
non-technical
PostSat Jun 03, 2006 6:11 pm 
dendrological anatomy and pathology
The technical term for
Quote:
the root bulge
is "butt swell" ( http://forest.mtu.edu/research/hardwood_defects/butt_swell.html ). BTW, that bottom section of the tree can also develop "brown cubicle butt rot" (http://www.natural-resources.wsu.edu/forestHealth/pathogen.asp?pathogenID=57). I think I've developed some of these things after starting this new job using a PC at a cubicle for much of the day. wink.gif

"I aint jokin woman, I got to ramble...We gonna go walkin through the park every day." - Led Zeppelin
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