Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Duckabush Sick Day

Last night I happened to be on Messenger chatting with a friend from the old neighborhood. Turns out he's up in my neck of the woods and his agenda for the next day (today) was to head over to the Olympic Peninsula and do some hiking. I offered up a list of suggestions as I often do when I get even the slightest opening that may sound like somebody wants to talk about trails.

I hope he had fun. I haven't heard how it went or where he ended up but I'm sure it was great. The Olympic forests are extremely unique. I also left the conversation feeling like I wished I could be heading over for some hiking myself. Upon later reflection I realized I hadn't been across the Hood Canal Bridge in months. Months! How did I let it happen?

Meanwhile our household has been a little out of sorts lately. Mom isn't feeling well so dad has been spending more time than usual with the kids. Today we decided that the best medicine (besides the antibiotics) was a bunch of time with peace and quiet. How could I provide that best, but by taking the whole tribe out to the Olympics for a little wilderness time. It's a win all around. I get a hit against my wanderlust, we get to breath the forest air and listen to the birds in the trees, the kids get some movie time in the car, and Chelsea gets almost seven unbroken hours of quiet. At home. It must have been surreal.

I wanted to go back to the Duckabush. I haven't been back there since January 2016 when Chelsea went to Utah for her birthday. I took Jerry, Isaiah, and Jake and headed out to the Interrorem Cabin and Ranger Hole. This time Jake had to stay home, much to his fervent disappointment. Three kids is plenty to keep my hands busy at this point.

We started with a picnic on the porch of the Interrorem Cabin to escape the rain. Normally this cabin is rented out by the forest service for folks to stay in but since there were no cars there I decided to risk it. Jerry thought for sure people were home.

After that we decided not to stay and hike the Ranger Hole trail (which is at the cabin). It was still pretty wet and I wanted to see if the rain would let up. We headed up the Duckabush Road a little more until we got to the actual Duckabush Trail. There I convinced Jerry that if we walked the trail a little I would find a playground when we got done. We hiked an astounding half mile round trip. Three hours of driving for 15 minutes of hiking sounds about right.

Jerry was captivated by this "heart leaf". He desperately wanted it, but I was too short to get it. He had to be content with a picture.

Jerry and Isaiah at a little river crossing.

I was using little landmarks ahead on the trial to get them to keep going. Isaiah wanted to be carried almost from the beginning. The last landmark was what I told them was a "fuzzy tree". I wanted to see it up close but Jerry said no when I told him we couldn't take the fuzz off. Now I had to be content with a picture.

On the way back I still had to make good on my promise to find a playground. Fortunately I've been making mental notes over the last several years about which state parks have good playgrounds. Kitsap Memorial is one of my favorites and I remembered it having a good playground. As an added bonus it was right on the way home. We got there to find they had also recently replaced the play structure so it was a really nice playground.

All in all, another successful outing. I think the van would disagree, though. It seems to resent it's treatment as a low ground clearance SUV. This time I never hit bottom, but there is a distinct intermittent clunk coming from the driver's side front wheel. Good times.


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