Olympic Mountains camping and Seattle overlook, June 2015

This past weekend I went camping over west from Quilcene, WA along with Steven and Phun. Decided to go to the same location as a previous post. This time, this familiar forest road had a surprise or two for me: a few washouts. Officially, the road was closed 1.8 miles in from highway 101 but having the road washed away on the side of a mountain isn’t really much of an obstacle. With a competent ground guide one could traverse the washouts, which I required going up the mountain as I couldn’t see how close my right wheels were to the edge. Coming back down was far easier.

Turns out I had plenty of room with about 8 inches to spare.

 I found this camp a year or so ago by pouring over google earth maps; find a interesting looking place and simply go there. This particular camp has a good sized clearing right off the end of a dirt road clinging to the side of a small mountain, 3741 feet in elevation. The camp itself was directly in the suns rays as we pitched camp at about noon so it was gruesomely hot and muggy since the area temperature hovered around 90*. We relaxed and did some target shooting. My buddy welded together a metal target with three 8 inch 3/8 steel plates, which simply vaporized the 9MM and .40 bullets that we shot at it. Shooting metal is so much more satisfying than paper, who knew?

Taking our first hike to the Seattle overlook in the mid-afternoon heat was an inevitable ordeal we all knew was coming, so we got on with it at about 5pm. Starting off fairly level this gated dirt road has two sharp increases in elevation, the last of which gently levels out to reveal the most awesome view of the whole Puget Sound. Seattle is 26 miles away directly to the East. Hood canal and Elliot Bay both lay between the city and this spot. At night, one can see as far North as the lights of Everett, WA and as towards the South, Tacoma, WA.

The sun was unforgiving so we returned to camp to wait out the heat. After we feasted on some shrimp and sausages we returned to the overlook just after sunset.

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The next day my buddy and new friend split ways as some clouds rolled in. They had been camping for a few days so they were all about heading home. I, on the other hand, needed some more adventure. I decided to explore a Quilcene local park, Mt. Walker. This sports well groomed dirt roads with the occasional family on a day hike. The stunning views at the apex are unparalleled. South view trail showcases a view of Seattle bookended by Douglas Firs. North view peers up the Puget Sound. Both views should not be missed. Junior level thunderclouds had rolled into the Sound providing the typical overcast haze.

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