Monday, July 5, 2010
Hello again everyone, a bit has happened since we left Smith Rock. John and I went to Portland for his 23rd, and essentially had a good time despite trouble finding the bar section of town. After that we struck out for Washington to make our rendezvous with Jeff who was wrapping up his six day solo hike through Olympic National Park. We made a pitstop in the Seattle REI to pick up a few things and then met Jeff in the evening. Much laughter and beer was shared around the fire and I was entranced by the beauty of the place. Jeff was a much needed addition and break for John and I at this point in the trip, it was nice to have some one else to talk and travel with.
The drive along the coast to and in Olympic was also beautiful, the clouds just stick to the trees here and hang around, so there is a constant dramatic feel to the environment as mist billows around the forested mountaintops. The next morning we drove to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic and did some short hiking, unfortunately John wasn't feeling so good and maybe didn't enjoy it as much as he otherwise would have. The rainforest is crazy beautiful, large looming trees, dangling moss that sways in gentle breezes, lush green everywhere. In that place the amount of life is staggering, and there is this immense sense of age that presses in on you, it is beautiful.
The next morning we broke camp and drove to Leavenworth to do some climbing.
We had heard good things in Smith from washington climbers that were down there. However, it turned out to be a big let down. The routes were weird, polished, and spread out over large areas. The views were spectacular, and it would be a truly worthy destination if the routes were more concentrated. Who knows though, maybe the multi-pitch there is good, we didn't bother to find out. Also, the 4th of July screwed us and we had to camp like 60 miles out of our way to find open sites, very annoying.
All of that brings us to today, we dropped Jeff off at the airport in the morning (his cooking will be badly missed, it is back to ramen and canned soups for John and I). We'll be checking out the city for a while, the we're driving East.
That's right, EAST! We're making the turn homeward. Still a lot of road and rocks left to enjoy, but we can sense that things are winding down, our list of destinations has dwindled to a handful and we can tell that time is going to move fast from here on out.