Monday, August 16, 2004

A Walk in the Park

This weekend, Liz and I packed our camping gear and joined Brook and Wendi in the hills for some R and R. Specifically, we went back to Olympic National Park for some camping near the Elwha River, one of many bases for adventures into the backcountry at Olympic. It was a lot dryer than normal (it's been a very dry year here), but still very pleasant - I don't think the temperature broke 80. The first night, we ended up at a tiny, privately-run campground on the ocean, because by the time we got there, the park was full. So, Friday, I slept to the sound of the ocean waves. Liz and I got up early and walked across the mud flats at extreme low tide; no tide pools, but there were more clams than I've ever seen.

Saturday, we broke camp early and drove into the National Park at the Elwha River and found a campsite there for Saturday night (sound of the ocean one night, sound of a mountain stream the other - I love the Northwest!) We hit the Whiskey Bend trail, which leads back to Humes Ranch, an old homestead from the late 1800s. It was about a six-mile loop; we ended up cutting it short because we did something very stupid and non-Scout-like: we brought only one bottle of water for the four of us. We did about four and a half of the six miles, and by the end, we were in pretty rough shape. Next time, we're bringing more daypacks, more water, and we're going to do it right. Or, we'll hit one of the other trails in the park. This is kind of the first step to see if we can do some backpacking. I think we all agreed that it would be possible, if we could be smart about bringing enough water to drink.

Today, we broke camp late in the morning and came back. I spent the afternoon showering and being lazy. I've got some ideas for a short story that I've been kicking around in my head; today, the usual background din of ideas started coalescing into something firm, and I think I'll have enough to scribble out a tale sometime in the next week or so. I'm gearing up for GenCon at work, but after a series of very good meetings in the last week, I'm a hell of a lot more optimistic about the overall status of my work environment than I've been in a long, long time.

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