Washington (Olympic Peninsula)
Again, thank you to Lee and Norine Dent of Olympia, WA
Starting on September 12, 2002, 11:06:50 AM
So I headed from Olympia and went west down hwy. 101 to explore the Olympic Peninsula. Then highway splits off and I took hwy. 8 and then 12 to Aberdeen where I ran into hwy 101 again to head north along the coast. Right out of Olympia it didn't take too long till I hit the fog. As I was told, much of the Olympic Peninsula is a rain forest and the clouds were practically common so I assumed that it would be overcast throughout the day. However, much to my surprise and appreciation I came out of the clouds just past Aberdeen and had beautiful weather through the rest of the ride.
The Olympic Peninsula is a great day's ride around the whole perimeter. With thick wooded areas and nice panoramic scenery its quite a pleasant trip.
I did run across quite a bit of deforestation along the trip. So now I feel I must express my feelings about the forestry service and clear up a few false misconceptions about my trip and cause.
Again, I specify that one of my major goals is to raise money and/or awareness for the preservation and conservation of our wildlife and natural resources.
All along my journey throughout my Great American Adventure I have found a considerable amount of deforestation due to economic development and that's one of the issues that really bother me. The unnecessary cutting of trees and natural forests is one of my major complaints. Even In raising awareness for nature I want to also, and again, emphasize that I am all for growth and change and a better way of life. However, I also do not wish for anybody to loose their jobs or wish for any industry to falter or suffer. But there in lies a quandary and a contradiction. But there has to be some sense of a balance. We must understand that as much as some people are destroying our environment, others sometimes feel that they must go above and beyond to counterbalance and fight this abuse to our resources.
While attempting to share all the wonders of nature for this cause, I find myself guilty of some of the same issues that I am trying to fight against, as I travel across the country on a motorcycle, burning my precious fossil fuels.
So with very little knowledge in my court here it is my assumption that the forestry service replants the areas that they harvest. These new trees grow and many years later become another harvest. This may still be somewhat destructive to the environment but it does show that they are at least conscious of the future and land to a point and I can appreciate that. Then these areas and this land is used much like a tree farm. They replant and grow their next crop for years later. I found signs all along the trip that displayed the dates that the area had been cut and replanted. This did bring some sort of satisfaction that they are trying.
I did get to see some very impressive parts of the forest that provided very lush wooded land and lots of undergrowth. A few long stretches of highway displayed a cool, long channel cut into the woods that could be seen for miles.
I stopped to stretch my legs a bit and noticed that the undergrowth in the woods was very thick. It was even soft under my feet with all the layers of moss and evergreen needles. In the middle of the day it was very dark there in the woods from the thick forest blanketing the sunlight out.
Every once in a while I found a clearing where I could see for quite a distance. Again, some of the mountains seemed a little naked and bare, with empty, bald spaces where the trees had been cut away. I hate to complain about it but it does distract from the natural scenery and make you realize how close you are to civilization. How far do we have to go before we can get away from everything and see the landscape as it truly should be?
In the distance from all around the trip I could occasionally see the top of Mt. Olympus in the center of the peninsula. At 7,965 feet, Mt. Olympus is the tallest point on the peninsula. I was compelled to explore deeper into the interior of this beautiful place but again, felt that I must be moving on and getting through with this trip.
I stopped at a local convenience store to get a quick snack when I made a few new friends. This one here became my friend when he noticed that I had something to eat. I didn't give in to his begging and for some reason, lost my new friend after I threw my wrapper in the trash.
I stopped at a roadside park to get a few shots of the Coast. There were quite a few of these trees with odd growths under the bark. Burl wood is what I believe this to be called. Some of these trees occasionally grow in some pretty radical shapes and can produce some impressive wood that is used to make some really neat things.
Looking down at the beach I decided to head further down the coast line there and find a nice place to go down to the water.
The day was quite clear and I was able to see for a pretty good distance.
I will apologize but I do have a compulsion for things that fly. Taking images of birds in flight is one of my favorite things. I just love to watch the seagulls as they fly and hope that someday I'll get some real impressive shots.
Just like some of the pictures from Salt Lake it amazes me how they can glide so close to the water's surface.
Although many people up here in the Pacific Northwest are having issues with the Himalayan Blackberries, I do enjoy them myself. I will have to say though that there are so many more up here than I recall when I lived up in this area years ago. It appears that these berry vines are saturating the countryside and are becoming a major problem as they are taking over.
I stopped along the road to take a break at Lake Crescent when I ran into a bunch of people on bicycles. They were all with a bicycle tour group, "Wheeling Washington" and were riding from Seattle to Victoria and then down to Westport.
I did get a chance to take a little hike to the bottom of the hill at the Fallsview Falls. A small insignificant waterfall along the road I just felt like exploring a little bit. It was nice to be able to leave the bike since all my gear was at my cousin's house in Olympia. I didn't feel quite so tethered to the bike.
I thought this was a pretty funny sign. It states, "Caution, No Warning Signs", which would mean that this sign is, what?
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