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Brian Clark
(questa) - F
WA Trips on 01/19/2005 13:26:07 MST Print View

I just moved to the Seattle area for some reason and was wondering if any seasoned WA packers could suggest any good, short, weekend(20-30mi) trips to take during the winter months. I'm not really equipped to hit the snow just yet but don't mind rain.

Michael Kirby
(Strider518) - F - MLife

Locale: Whatcom County
Short weekend trips in WA on 01/23/2005 14:02:54 MST Print View

Although this is a bit of a drive from Seattle, I suggest heading northwest to the Ocean. You park at Lake Ozette, and head to the Ocean from there. Landmarks are Cape Alava, Sand Point, and then back to Lake Ozette. This can be done in a loop either dierection. It is about 12 miles total. A side trip north from Cape Alava is Ozette River. Recommended. You need a permit and must store food in approved raccoon proof containers. See Olympic Ntional Park website for details.

Brian Clark
(questa) - F
Mora North to Chilean on 01/26/2005 01:58:57 MST Print View

Thanks Mike. It is coincidental indeed that you mention the ocean. My friend and I just went for a night at Mora, then up the coast to the Chilean Monument and back the next day. The tides really made it into something a lot longer than it normally would have been. I really had no idea it was going to be such a beastly place. A very good introduction to the coast.

Michael Kirby
(Strider518) - F - MLife

Locale: Whatcom County
Wahington coast on 02/02/2005 12:28:32 MST Print View

Ruth Kirk has published some great guide books on hiking the Washington coast. You will find information regarding tides, which can be quite dangerous in places. Tides are not such a problem at the Cape Alava / Sand Point Loop. The side trip north of Alava to the Ozette River could be high tide sensitive in Winter. Watch out for the Raccoons!

Brian Clark
(questa) - F
Raccoons on 02/07/2005 15:08:48 MST Print View

That is funny that you say that. I found out quickly that carrying a bear canister is no fun. That thing took up a huge portion of my pack. The ranger in Port Angles, Greg Marsh, said "It fits down in the bottom really nicely". Ha! If you sport a rather large pack I suppose it does. What I couldn't understand was there were hordes of places to hang a food bag from along the beach. I did see some tracks here and there, so I suppose they are a nuisance. Ranger Marsh made it sound like they were more advanced along the coast, like they had mutated or something.

I'll look into the literature you mentioned. I've also seen a book regarding good winter time hikes that don't actually involve the winter part. I forget the author's name.

Michael Kirby
(Strider518) - F - MLife

Locale: Whatcom County
Racoons on 02/08/2005 23:26:54 MST Print View

Racoons are cute during the day, but devils at night. They slide down strings to hanging packs, or traverse ropes strung between trees, and then slide down the rope to the pack. It doesn't matter how high up or how far away from a tree the pack is. Once on the pack, they unzip every pocket and toss the items to the ground below, where their friends wait to take the stuff into the bushes where they run their used gear stores, selling your stuff to the next camper. Aside from the humor, this really happened to my Scouts when I took them for an ocean trip. This particular group got no sleep as the Racoons fought over the bit of food which one of the boys left in his pack overnight, and what the racoons thought was food when it hit the ground after being inspected and discarded by the Racoons up on the pack. This went on for hours in the middle of the night, and the adult Scouters could not scare the racoons away. This is what happens if you leave any food at all in your pack. It has to be in a park approved container. I had a good laugh when I heard about this later.I was with another group, and we had no trouble; we followed the rules.

Brian Clark
(questa) - F
Raccoons on 02/12/2005 14:52:01 MST Print View

I'm glad that I followed the rules as well. My hiking partner and I traded duties on carrying the canister so it wasn't too bad. Last summer I was in Michigan on a little loop called the Jordan River Pathway(pretty cool, 18miles). I woke up to see a raccoon doing just what you described, kind of climbing up the post my food was hanging from and reaching, oh so proficiently, with his little hand and trying to grab the rope to pull the bag closer. It was amusing and we should have expected it as we were in a heavily frequented camping area. Literally as soon as we hunkered down to sleep the raccoons started stirring just off in the woods.

Duane Hall
(PKH) - M

Locale: Nova Scotia
Racoons on 02/19/2005 13:39:47 MST Print View

Oh they're smart all right. Last year I had one on my deck that didn't bother to rip open plastic garbage bags. He didn't have to: he undid the twist ties just like you and I would!

Any animal that can do this has my respect and admiration in the woods. For those camping and hiking with kids -take care. These guys are cute but they are sturdy little beggers, and can be extremle scrappy if cornered.

Cheers,