Hiking Season is Only 365 Days Long

  • Thu Jun 20th, 2019 2:17pm
  • Sports

By Judy Smith

One of the many wonderful things about living in Forks is that you can go for a hike almost any day of the year. During the winter and spring, I revisited forest and beach trails who welcomed me like an old friend. Now that warm weather is here, paired with long hours of daylight, it’s time to explore paths not yet taken.

I follow some social media sites that focus on hiking in and around Olympic National Park. The posts display stunning pictures and the trail narratives are like, “We just finished a great 17.8-mile day hike with 3,700 feet of elevation change. We only had to wear our snowshoes for the upper three miles.”

Those are serious hikers, and I am not. Fortunately, there are many trails suitable for cheerful, enthusiastic, flower sniffing hikers. As my sloth hiking club T-shirt proudly proclaims, “We will get there when we get there.”

Last year, there were several hikes where I had to turn around short of my planned destination. I consider these hikes fully successful because I got home safe and healthy at the end of the day. For me, hiking is more about the journey and less about the destination, so I am rarely disappointed. That said, I’m definitely going back to further myself on these trails in 2019:

Ozette Triangle. We hiked from Lake Ozette to Cape Alava, but by the time we got to the ocean, my knee was giving me fits. Instead of continuing down the beach and finishing the triangle in pain, we went back the way we came and my knee was good to hike another day.

Kloshe Nanitch. I misread the mileage as round trip instead of one way. Because of a late start, I didn’t have enough daylight, so I turned around short of the lookout.

North Fork Sol Duc River. I wasn’t prepared to ford the river by myself, so this trail is waiting for another day with a hiking companion.

And finally, the trail that shall not be named: I won’t name this trail because obsessive huckleberry pickers can not divulge the location of a favorite patch. I started out for a five-mile hike, but about a ½ mile up the trail, I ran into the most amazing patch of ripe juicy, purple huckleberries. It was late in the season of a lean huckleberry year, so I was in berry nirvana. I picked berries until I had no way to carry more. Then I drove home, got some containers, coerced my husband into joining me and we went back and picked until dark. If I’m going to hike this trail, it will have to be before berry season.

There are so many good hikes in our big backyard. It’s time to get my boots on.