|where I've been
||[Sep. 2nd, 2003|12:55 am]
I've been away for the last week. Ivan and I (and Sally, Ivan's dog) took a week-long driving vacation around the Olympic Pennisula, where we hiked in the mountains, saw rainforests, driftwood-stacked beaches, a lighthouse, and Jake, the Alligator Man. I took lots of scenic vista photos which I'm sure are boring to anyone else, so I won't include them in this post.
Things we learned on this trip:
1) It's easy to illegally camp on a beach, especially on a weekday and if the beach in question (Second Beach, near La Push) is isolated from the road by a .8 mile hike through a forest, thus insuring park rangers aren't going to drive by. At least two other tents were set up the night we camped. We also camped illegally on Long Beach, but this was partially because while trying to pull off the road I got stuck in sand and the car was going nowhere. Luckily, in the morning, workmen removing sand from the beach (?) in heavy shovelin' and dumpin' trucks attached chains to my bumper and pulled me out in seconds.
2) National parks seem unreasonably concerned about dogs visiting. At least one part of the Olympic national forest and the beach mentioned above had "no pets, not even on a leash" rules. I understand the whole "pack out your trash, stay on the trail, don't disturb the flowers" thing, but what is a dog going to do that's going to screw up the natural ecology of the park? Litter? Poop in the woods? Don't the deer already do that anyway? At least one grouchy woman snapped at us at First Beach that dogs weren't allowed, but again, other than bothering other beach patrons, how will a dog negatively impact the area?
3) When you know better and no one else is watching, it's fun to play Ugly American. We saw some birds (I think they were grouse)very close to the trail at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Forest, and I delighted in loudly saying "Hey, grouse! Come get a Powerbar! We have plenty!" as the bird stubbornly pecked at some unappealing, non-chocolate-flavored, greenery. When the bird crossed the trail, I chased it a few feet to see if it would fly under duress, giving up the game when it bobbled off the trail.
4) The main reason not to feed wild animals is that if you do, they lose their instincts and not only begin to depend on humans for meals, but also for dancing partners:
It was a nice trip, but it was nice to get home to the twin wonders of bed and shower. We spent the remainder of the weekend working on the garage, and we now have a side finished! I will post photos in the morning (or the next day).