The weather was getting colder and wetter as the Northwest's winter season set in, back in late September. Our buddy Micah suggested we head to the Peninsula and take advantage of the Olympic Mountain rain shadow. So sure enough, after a ferry ride out of Seattle and a few miles drive north of the mountains we found clear skies.
Micah is a Marine Biologist who has done a lot of backpacking through this area of Olympic National Park, so it was great to hear him tell stories and rattle off plant names as we drove to our trail head. There was quite a few cars in the parking lot when we arrived, but after we started the hike we realized that most of them were Day Trippers enjoying the leisurely hike.
The trail to the hot springs and camp area was paved most of the way, which make this hike extremely easy. The Park maintained the road and camp area until the mid 60s when they decided to restrict the area to hikers only. When we reached the camp area we wandered around the many camp spots, trying to find that wasn't so close to the other campers. We were lucky to find a nice big spot on a ridge of a large Elowha River Valley
The hot springs themselves are about a quarter mile from the camp area. The three of us had a great time exploring the woods for the hidden springs. After a half hour of searching we found seven very inviting pools, ranging in temperatures. We then sat in one for a bit and discussed the microbes and other creatures that depend on the sulfuric water to survive.
Dinner that night was all vegetables. We cooked potatoes, carrots, celery and onions in our own makeshift stews (I cooked mine with some Whiskey from my flask, which was quite delectable). The next morning Garet and I got up early and went back to the hot springs and enjoyed a nice dip all to ourselves.
We have a few ideas to keep the site going through the next couple months. Our next project will be our own biographies. So if there is anything you'd like to know about us, send an email with your questions. We're thinking we'll have one up in a week or so. But until then keep up the adventures, whether they're on a forest trail or city park. Bundle up and get outside.