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Old 09-12-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
Dewey316 OP
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Dewey and Champ go camping in Olympic National Park

Fresh off my trip to Hell's Canyon, working working for a few days, I was itching to spend a few more days just wandering with the motorcycle. With not much of a plan, I asked in the PNWet forum for some camp location in the Olympics, got a recomendation for a burger joint on they way from Hominid's day trippin' post, tossed the tent on the back of Champ, and headed off.

Here is basiclly the route that I ended up taking.

I got up and left fairly early on the Tuesday after Labor day. I was hoping that I would miss all of the holiday camping crowds in the park by doing that. It also fit nicely in with my work schedule. I had nowhere to be until Fiday, so I would be fine taking my time and taking in the sites. I blasted (I use that term loosely, a 450cc 1982 Honda only "blasts" so fast) up I-5 to Olympia where I hit 101. I would pretty much be following 101 around the Olympic Peninsula for the next couple of days. The only picture I did manage to snap the first day before lunch was this one. I think it was taking a short break to drink some water after fueling up somewhere along I5. It does show how overloaded poor Champ was, but the little bike never missed a beat and ran tip-top the entire trip.

Based on the recomendation I stopped in Hoodsport, WA for lunch. As I was pulling into park, i noticed a KLR parked out front and pulled in next to it. The owner of the bike was on his way out after finishing his meal there. I saw the ADV sticker on his bike and made mention of it. It turns out it was fellow inmate Shortfoot. He is a really nice guy and we ended up talking away in the parking lot for a good 20-30 minutes about everything from the passive agressive Seattle drivers to roads in Texas and everywhere in between. It was a nice break in the middle of my day, and its always great to meet other motorcyclists on the road, its an added bonus when they are as friendly as shortfoot is.

But, I was hungry, said goodbye and got on to tearing into my bacon cheeseburger and shake.

Lunch out of the way, I hit the road again, and cruised up 101 without stopping to Port Angeles. I had gotten a recomendation to check out the Deer Park campground. It is a little more remote than the others in the park, and located at the end of a serveral mile long gravel road that climbs to 5000ft. I filled up the tank, and made my way to the park visitors center to do some inquiring about it. The young lady helping me out seemed to know very little about this particular part of the park. The conversation went something like this....

Me: "Hello, I was thinking about camping up at the Deer Park campground. I was wondering if you knew if there were available sports up there, I would hate to make the trip up there to find out there is no room."
Her: "It is after the holiday, I am pretty sure all of the campground in the park have available spots right now."
Me: "That is good news, thank you. Do you happen to know if there is an enterance station on that road, or should do I need to pay my park enterance fee here, or at the pay station just up the road here for Hurricane Ridge"
Her: "There probably is not a manned enterance station there, but you there is a self-server enterance station."
Me: "Wonderfull, thank you for your time, have a great afternoon."
Her: "What sort of 4x4 do you have? That road can be pretty rough."
Me: I look down at my helmet in hand. "I'm on a motorcycle. I'll give it a try, i know my limits, but I think I will be fine."

So, armed with this (which would prove to be bad) information, off I went.

As I headed up the road to deer park, right when the road turns to gravel there is a "Welcome to Olympic National Park" sign, along with a sign that reads "Campground: FULL". Starting to question the information from the visitors center, I continue on, hoping maybe the sign hasn't been updated, and that maybe this self serve enterance station will have some more information. Well, I never did find an enterance station.

Champ well we worked our way up the gravel.

The road here was in pretty shape, and fairly well packed down from travel on it.

As we climbed higher and higher, I started to see a small glimps of the views that this area offers.

More of the road. Still pretty good. BIG drop offs, you certainly don't want to make a mistake on the left hand corners, its a good 1000ft drop down.

Climbing a bit higher. The road is starting to get deeper gravel. I'm having to go pretty slow on it, and am not making great time, and the sun keeps getting lower in the sky.

Not long after this, I realize that based on the rate I am going, if I get to the top and the campground is full, I probably won't make it back down the road before it gets dark. I also haven't really seen any other cars coming up, or going down the road. I decide that the safer move at this point, is to just call it quits on trying to camp up here, and I head back down the road to camp at the campground right inside the Hurricane Ridge enterance to the park. While I would have rather been at the more remote spot, I really didn't want to be riding down this road in the dark if the campground really was full.

I made my way to the Heart of the Hills campground, found a decent spot that offered some privacy, and got camp set up.

I then set about getting to the important business, and getting a cup of coffee made, and then some dinner. I had some food and coffee, and it was getting to be dark by then, so I settled in for the night, read a book for a couple of hours and drifted off to sleep...

I made had spent most of the day really just riding to get up here. Just before falling asleep, I made a mental note to slow down tomorrow, take more pictures, and enjoy the scenes some more. I wouldn't have very many miles to cover, and I should be able to really just relax and take it all in.

Next up: Day 2, Mountains...Lakes....rainforests...and the Pacific ocean, all while only covering 140 miles.
John Dewey
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:49 AM   #2
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Day 2

I woke up when it started to get light in the tent, made some oatmeal for breakfast, broke down camp, and got Champ all loaded up. The first thing to do today, was to make our way up to Hurricane Ridge and take in the view!

I ride up to Hurrican Ridge is a great road, I was really enjoying it and did not stop at all the whole way up, i just wanted to ride. I really would have also liked to just ride the whole way down, but figured I should probably actually stop at the viewpoints and take some pictures. But I'll get on to the pics.

Champ at Hurricane Ridge.

It was a beautiful morning, with a bit of fog hanging in the valleys below.

Panoramic shot:

View of the distance Olympic Mountains.

Another Hurricane Ridge panoramic.

Time to head back down the road, and stop at some of the other viewpoints.

This is a small taste of the road up here. It is great to ride on, well maintained and a just plain old fun.

Another view of the valleys below the road as you make your way up the ridge.

You can also see Mt Baker off in the distance across Puget sound.

One last view of the Olympics before heading west toward the Pacific and the Hoh rainforest.

After gassing up in Port Angeles, I wasn't sure what else the northern edge of the park had to offer. I just followed 101 and figured I would stop where I stopped. I knew that I was planning to head into the rainforest when I got there. I did make a stop to take a few photo's at stretch the legs at Lake Cresent.

Champ taking a breather along the side of the road at the lake.

I made a quick stop in forks and topped off the tank. I wasn't sure how many miles I would put on in detours, I probably didn't need the fuel, but it was there and I would rather be safe. From forks it is not very far until the turn off for the Huh rainforest.

I had plenty of time when I got to the vistors center for the rainforest, and decided to go do some of the hikes through the rainforest. It was a little strange being here on a day when the sun was out and it was 80* outside and dry as a bone. I won't add much commentary just the pictures from the hikes through the forest.

I guess I won't be calling anyone from the rainforest...

The next stop brought me to the Pacific Ocean and the sea stacks at Ruby beach.

I actually got about as far as I had wanted to go for today pretty early. I set up camp and then went for a walk on the beach for a couple of miles.

The coastline here is full of driftwood.

After making an early dinner, I relaxed in the tent, did some reading and waited until it got closer to sunset to take the camera down to the beach again to get sunset pictures.

Champ relaxing, while I did some reading in the tent.

Watching the sunset, and enjoying the solitude.

Twilight on the coast

I'll also throw day three in here. I really didn't take very many pictures at all.

Day 3

I woke up to a very foggy and wet PNW coastal morning. I packed up and headed south. I did take the time to do the loop around Lake Quinault.

After that there really wasn't a whole lot of stuff to stop at. I made a pit stop in Aberdeen to get a cup of coffee. As I was rolling along looking for a place to stop I spotted a Harley parked next to a coffee shack, and figured I would give it a try. The lady working there was the bike's owner and we chatted for a couple minutes. She and her little coffee shop were obviouly biker friendly. The sleves for her coffee cups were even Suzuki adverts!

Next up was making way back into Oregon via the Astoria bridge. I sat in traffic here for a long time, they were doing construction on the bridge and had it down to one lane so the lines were long.

I had lunch in Astoria and then heading back into Portland and home. Nothing really to note or take pictures of.

Thanks for taking the time to read, I hope you enjoyed.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:12 AM   #3
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Nice job & good pics. Man that totally sux about the first camp site. When I left I just knew for sure you would have your pick of sites. Looks as if it was a great couple of days. I have always liked coast camping .
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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Nice write up thanks for sharing, beautiful area up there.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
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what a great part of the country
once again... how i wish i lived where you do (some of the time)
great pictures
fantastic ride
thanks for sharing
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
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Enjoyed the ride, pix, and commentary

Thanks for sharing! Nice job!
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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Ton of great photo's of this trip with Champ. I love the solitude and sunset picture. Even the abandoned phone, makes for a cool photo.

Thanks for sharing. Well done!
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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You may not have taken alot of pics, but the ones you did take are beautiful. Good read too, thanks for posting it!
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:56 PM   #9
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Nice trip report - great pics - thanks for sharing.

I like the pic of Champ through the tent window - very cool vintage bike

How did you get to Deer Park road? That place wasn't on my radar when I was up there. Is there a road that connects from the Information Center or do you need to go back into town?

Thanks for reminding me of Ruby Beach. That's one of the best beaches in the state and it's been way too many years since I stopped there. A viisit to the Hoh rain forest is way overdue, as well.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #10
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Deer park you have to go back to 101 for. It is about 3 miles west of Port Angeles. The easiest way to find it, is there is a movie cinema there called the Deer Park Cinema, you just turn there and then follow it until the pavement ends.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:46 PM   #11
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That looks like an awesome ride. Thanks for taking us with.

I loved this panorama. So I thought I would repost it and comment on it.

I think what really makes this is the layers of clouds just below the peaks and the balance of the hills in the foreground. Nicely captured. Cheers and ride safe.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
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Dude! You went from Lake Crescent to the Hoh Rain Forest, what happened to Forks? Sheesh! Ok good report, but come on man next time at least get one picture of where I live.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:30 AM   #13
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Haha, I'll have to check the camera and see if I got any pictures in Forks. I did stop for fuel, redbull and a snickers. I don't know that the Chevron station in Forks left enough of an impression on me to take a photo though.
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Old 10-22-2011, 03:46 AM   #14
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Fantastic shots! Thanks.
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
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Dewey316 -- great ride, very interesting country. A few of the mountain pics with fog below were outstanding!!!

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