Remember how excited I was to go backpacking in Olympic National Park?
Yeah. It didn’t happen.
I’d been hiking and photographing all over the place, covering a lot of territory in Washington, and was all set with my gear and my permit, good for three specific days in September. I felt good physically, I had a kennel lined up for Sam in Port Townsend, and I was psyched to do my first solo backpack.
But as she did on much of this epic Scamp, Mother Nature had a different idea.
It started raining the day before I was set to hike in, which would have been less than ideal but doable. I rechecked my gear and tried to get excited about a soggy, but still beautiful, trek.
I stopped in a the ranger’s office to pick up my permit. The ranger looked at the dates, then looked at me and said, “So, you’ve got a four-season tent and sleeping bag, right?”
Me: “You mean 3-season? Enough for rain?”
Ranger: “It’s set to start snowing tonight, lasting through Friday. So you’ll need to be ready for hiking and sleeping in snow.”
Me: [Deep sigh.] “Nope, didn’t plan for that.”
Ranger: “We’re surprised too, but it happens. You can still go in, but you’ll want to pick up some different gear today.”
Believe me, Internet, I thought about it. And thought about it. I’d been waiting for this trip for months. But I was in a small town, and wasn’t even sure where I’d get this winter gear on a few hours notice. Even still, my inner kid said, backpacking in Olympic! Fun! Tough it out, little trooper!
Since I gave you the spoiler at the beginning of this post, you know that my inner adult won out. I called the kennel and canceled Sam’s reservation, put gas in the Pilot, and headed up to Hurricane Ridge for one last hit of Olympic goodness. I wasn’t disappointed.
First off, I’m always cheered to see our animal friends:
So I didn’t get to go backpacking. This time. But overall, my time spent in Olympic was amazing and as I’ve already said – put it on your short list. You won’t be disappointed, even if you have to change your plans along the way.
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