Day 3: Press Expedition wades through mountains

EDITOR”S NOTE: This is the third dispatch from Roger Harnack, Peninsula Daily News’ local news editor. Packing a laptop computer and satellite telephone, he is sending back daily reports from the 12-person, five-day, 46-mile “Across the Olympic Mountains” expedition to Lake Quinault this week. His full reports appear each day in the Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to order your PDN delivered to your home or office.

LOW DIVIDE, Olympic National Park — Day 3 — It’s still raining.

And everyone is wet and cold.

The trails to Low Divide were muddy, and two days of rain has swelled many of the creeks crossing the trail.

Walking through them is more akin to wading a flash flood than hiking.

We were also pounded by waterfalls from uphill runoff as we trudged up switchbacks on the lower flanks of Mount Seattle.

Through the mists and curtains of rain you could look back across the raging Elwha River to stands of dense green forest.

You feel enormously isolated.

By late Wednesday afternoon, as we reached Low Divide, the highest point of our trek (3,662 feet) and about 31 miles from our starting point Monday at the Whiskey Bend Trailhead, we were drenched.

There’s a small ranger’s cabin just below Low Divide, about the size of a hotel room. It has two bunks and a wood-burning stove.

We borrowed it for a few hours and took turns, in small groups, drying our clothes next to the stove.

Our group isn’t a bunch of mountaineers up for an Olympic version of “Survivor.”

We’re 10 journalists, a tourism executive and a park ranger accompanied by a chef and packers with horses and mules hauling our tents, gourmet food and other supplies.

City folks. Tenderfeet. And things are a bit tougher than we expected.

More in News

Agnew man accused in homicides

Nine-month investigation leads to added allegations

Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News

Martha Worthley, of Mim and Poppy Design, shows a tablecloth she designed to Alisa Martin and daughter Etta-Pearl, during the Port Townsend Arts Guild Arts and Crafts Fair on Friday at the Port Townsend Community Center in the Uptown neighborhood. The fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Port Townsend Arts Guild Arts and Crafts Fair ongoing

Martha Worthley, of Mim and Poppy Design, shows a tablecloth she designed… Continue reading

Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News
Braving cold steady rain and the early hour of eight Black Friday shoppers were out in force Friday looking for those early holiday bargains. Swain's General Store in Port Angeles was no exception as scores of early risers came out of the cold and rain to shop there.
Black Friday shoppers in Port Angeles

Braving cold steady rain and the early hour of eight Black Friday… Continue reading

Dancer Keely Whitmore leads second graders in teacher Sharon Fritschler's class at Roosevelt Elementary in exercises that integrate movement and a science lesson about geology as part of Peninsula Performs, a collaboration between Field Arts & Events Hall and the Port Angeles School District that brings artist educators into classrooms. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Artists bring creative touch to schools

Field Hall, school district collaborate on new program

Port of Port Townsend OKs project for Boat Haven

Commissioners also discuss Boat Haven jetty, Short Farm purchase

Golf at Sunland now open to public

CH Investment Fund purchases formerly private Sequim course

Most Read