Glacier National Park, Montana

This place should really be called NonGlacier National Park because there is barely enough snow here to make a snowball. The road at the park is being repaired because of Flood Damage from 2006. Many people must have deposits on plane tickets and hotels because they showed up anyway even though 60% of the road is unpassable. Consequently everyone was packed into the available open park like sardines.

There are so many people that the picnic area was being used as a parking lot for the hikers. For some reason the busses weren't running and there were cars everywhere. BTW, the park has managed to recondition some of those old antique from years ago, I have pics but I will post them later. These little buses are really cool because they have an open top so you can see the mountains, plus you get to ride face forward which is probably a lot more pleasant. They run on propane which is probably better for the mountain environment. Unfortunately the buses won't start running until Sunday. The buses will come in handy because you can ride them to one area of the park and then hike to another and then get a ride back to your car.

I would have liked to hike a bit in the area that was hit by the forest fire last year, but there seems to be some issue with the back country permit office which will only issue permits to 1/100th of the people who want them. School is out, people have their summer vacations and the parks are filled with hiking and vacationing amateurs. I'm getting out, can't stand it. I was eating my breakfast at a picnic table and I looked up to see 2 fat people 3 feet away from me lovingly eying my omelet. In the next life I plan to come back as a large grizzly bear.

I am heading east or route 2 in northern Montana now.

Right now, Northern Montana

Hey guys, in the last few days I've been in Arizona and Mexico. Long story, not sure I am going to go into it yet. I returned to Washington State and am heading in a new direction...east. I am currently in Northern Montana and will probably be here for a few as I work my way across with a stop at Glacier. It is getting hot and unless I creep into Canada I can't avoid the heat. The last thing I want to do is spend hours in my car trying to upload photos and work this blogger thing while sweating profusely. My good camera is still having issues and I haven't screwed with it yet to make it all better. So make patience a virtue and I will update when I can.

Stay tuned.

Leavenworth, Washington

I stopped off at one of those fancy espresso places that they have all over Washington State to imbibe at least once and purchase a fancy cup of coffee for some exhorbitant fee, in Leavenworth, Washington. Out of all the little coffee stands I pick the right one. The lady in the stand made some fun of my plastic baggie change purse and we got to talking. She asked me where I was going and, as my usual answer, I replied, "I don't know." She laughed and promptly invited me to her house for the night.

Cheryl and Don treated me to a lovely steak dinner, delightful conversation and a personal tour of their town, Leavenworth, which is a wonderful Bavarian place/town in the Wenatchee National Forest. They put me up in their beautiful home and gave me some great travel advice. They even bought me breakfast. These two couldn't be nicer especially since I look like a road hobo that the cat dragged in. Thanks you two for everything, they even let me take a shower and do 2, count them 2, loads of laundry so I am clean now, which is a good thing.

Olympic National Park, Washington

The Olympic National Park is sort of like a cereal bowl surrounded by clouds. You can drive around it but it is realy hard to see in it. There is only one way in through the north entrance where you go up and up and up and finally get over the rim where the clouds finally go away and you see snow covered peaks. If you want to go and look closer at the mountains you better know something about climbing in snow, have a great deal of patience and wait until July or August. Otherwise you are stuck on the rim looking in.

The mountains are nice enough, not very high, Mt. Olympus tops out at 7980 feet and it is deep in the park. I don't know where you can drive it you do want to look at it close up, from Hurricane Ridge you can only see it way off in the distance.

I could have just snapped some pics from my car and driven away like any smart person, but I don't count myself in that group. No, I had to go get myself a back country permit for a backpack at Elwha, Boulder Creek. There were only a few places to backpack because of the snowpack so I figured I would do some hiking and then wash off at the hotsprings, at least that was the big plan. I hiked up to the Boulder Creek hot springs and saw all sorts of funky pseudo-hippie wannabees. The place smelled rather rank and there was a whole organized campground up there. I was waiting for the RVs to pull up.

So I continued on up the trail and made way to Boulder Lake. Boulder Lake looked like a dot on the official park map, but I figured there would be one or two other people up there since it was Saturday. As the trail climbed it got colder. I might also add that this place is a rain forest and in NEVER stops raining. About 1/2 mile from my destination I got hungry so I reached into my pack for some food, but there was none. I forgot to put the food bag in the pack. It was too late to head back so I decided to go hungry instead. I figured I would try my hand at Survivor Man and looked for some bugs to eat, but the place was too cold and there was too much snow for good-eating bugs. I was a little hungry but no worse for wear. Nobody else ever came by.

I don't know whether I reached the lake or not, everything was covered with snow. I found the last remaining potential camp spot on solid ground and tried to set up my tent. Unfortunately my tent is 6 feet long and there was only 4 feet of flat space on the ridge. So I put my pack under my feet and everything else under my head to even it all out. I braced the tent against a tree so it wouldn't fall down the hill. See the tent pic for a looksee. There was supposed to be a cougar up there and there were big signs not to hike alone. I was very quiet so I was hoping I would see the big cat but no cat was forthcoming.

Luckily, I brought rain gear because it rained the entire time. It is still raining and I am here in Aberdeen, WA right now.


Apologies to the "tubing" googlers

I can tell summer is here is full force. My hit counter is screaming with those that come to my blog in search of tubing information on the mid-Atlantic rivers, of which, is my blog's strongest claim to fame regardless of the pages and pages of hiking information. Sadly, I am in in northern Washington state, 3000 miles away from my trusty tube and bike. I know the river temps are increasing, but there ain't much I can do about the situation right now. When I get back I promise I will have a few tube posts with associated pics. So you are just going to have work with last year's fun on the Potomac, Cacapon and Gunpowder.

Here is a list of previous tubing posts:

Potomac, Harper's Ferry Tubing

Tubing, Little Orleans on the Potomac

Tubing Cacapon River

Tubing Gunpowder River

From 2005

Tubing Potomac at Paw Paw

I also have a whole new category for adventure fun when I get back, but I am not going to share right now. Let's just say Cham's little brain is working overtime and the local DNR rangers aren't going to be happy.

New camera...... worth weight in gold

I was at Mt. St. Helens but left because it was raining and visibility was about 10 feet. I spotted these two about 300 feet off the road in a cove of trees. I had about 5 seconds to shoot this before a logging truck came up behind me and they ran off. This wasn't even at the highest resolution, I had no time to change the camera setting.

My pic of Mt. Hood

I'm only going to post one That is the north side of the mountain which has better and cleaner snow. The other sides look a little dirty.

Here is a pic of Multnomah Falls.

Test pic from new camera

Let's see what happens here. This pic from the new camera are going to have a lot more data so this should be fun.

Big improvement, huh?

Oregon has no sales tax

Portland is pretty cool, it's sort of like Baltimore but with more flowers. I've been talking to the meth addicts who are pretty nice once you get passed the fact they have a serious case of the jumpies. Through no thanks to any of you blog lurkers I finally bit the bullet and bought myself one of these. Now I can get clearer pictures of bears and tweakers without having to get too near them. I liked the idea of the 18x optical zoom.