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Old Yesterday, 10:04 AM   #1
GtiKyle OP
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Wink Two Tigers Prowling the Olympics

Two Tigers Prowling the Olympics

The tale of two Tigers: 5 days discovering the Olympic National Forest (and other such puns)

The bikes



My Triumph Tiger 800xc



Cameron's ride

The riders




GtiKyle



Cameron




And my copilot Jake


The next few posts will detail the days we spent riding the dirt/rock/mud trails of the Olympic National Forest, and surrounding areas. You'll see views like these:





Beautiful scenery:




Lots of these:




a couple of these




even some #selfies




and at the end of the day some much needed


So kick your feet up, enjoy the view










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Old Yesterday, 11:15 AM   #2
Mercury264
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Old Yesterday, 04:43 PM   #3
jmcg
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Great pics.



Looking forward to more.

JM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM   #4
Nightstalker
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Yes! Great pics!!
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 PM   #5
GtiKyle OP
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Planning: I'd like to say i had all these backroads highlighted on some dusty forest service maps, or hints and tips from some crusty logger at a dive bar in a Podunk town, but i must give credit where credit is due. The route we ran was part of a tour that David at GripTwister put together. GripTwister has this Olympic route, as well as a Baja (and guided tours!) all planned with GPS routes. The GPS tracks/routes came with a booklet, basic navigation setups, and current road conditions. David rides the route every year and updates it. So kudos up front to the man that made our trip very effortless. If you're interested in the details of the route, drop him a line. I guarantee with all the legwork and planning he's done, the price is WELL worth it.

www.griptwister.com

Day one started with departing from my home in Tacoma on July 3rd, and traveling West towards Hoodsport, the launching point of this trip. This section would end up being the majority of the pavement rode in the 870 miles we logged during the trip. We ate at a small cafe in Hoodsport, fueled up, and headed into the woods. In typical PNW style, the weather decided to turn drizzly for our first few hours as we ascended the dirt hillsides and encountered our first obstacle.





A recent slide had blocked the majority of the road. Between the misty rain and slick sharp rocks it made a great beginning to the trip. After picking up what stones we could and creating a makeshift path we continued on (with a real close call to a dropped bike).

Passed through to a small lake:



arriving at our first of many bridges and streams to be seen:





The path continued on and connected with a new road that led us up the east side of the Olympic Forest to an overlook of the bay:



And of course an opportunity for some artsyish pictures of the bikes (you'll see lots of them, sorry Tiger haters)







Selfies:



And of course Jake


The scenery started getting greener, but the clouds were moving in as we went higher in eleveation. We soon approached a point in the route that had an optional side route, and not wanting to miss the viewpoints because of the clouds, decided to burn some time on the side route.

A quick note here. GripTwister describes the route as "A single-track trail.......easily doable by a competent rider on a 650 class bike, though panniers up the skill required a notch". This is one of very few hiking trails still open to motorcycles. Not wanting to pussy out on that challenge, and feeling high and mighty on our first day of exploring we decided to give it a go. It didn't take long for the narrow slick trail to take it's first victim:



Nap time. A rouge root managed to trip the bike. The path got narrower in places, with some small stream crossings. He wasn't joking when he said it was a single-track, not a great place with panniers!

Encountered a few wooden bridges:





With gorgeous scenery to boot



The hour was late, and the tigers clutches were starting to give off the scent of defeat, so we pulled into our accommodations for the night at the good ol' Bark Shanty right alongside the river.







We setup our camp and called it an evening.
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Old Yesterday, 08:51 PM   #6
txplants
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Adventure at its finest!
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Old Today, 08:01 AM   #7
GtiKyle OP
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The next morning started off with conversations on what we should tackle next. We had made it about 2 miles into the 6.5 mile single-track, and things were starting to get a little more technical. A quick walk up the trail made up our minds; our 550+lb tigers had no place on this trail.





It got tighter, rootier, and turnier. Yes, those are all words.

In any case, we decided to face the demon we know, rather the devil we don't. So we loaded our gear and headed back.



The crisp morning air and the gentle breeze was calming and beautiful. The forest was so incredibly green, and the sound of gently flowing water really helped to GOD DAMN IT









My turn for nap time.



The stream crossing was a little slick and i got my tire moving the wrong direction. No matter, we picked it up and moved on. Our decision the night before to hold off on climbing the summit of the mountains ahead, and taking the single-track trail paid off in glorious returns as we reached the top.





Our morning continued on as we snaked up and down FS roads, dipping into valleys and ascending steep mountain sides.



The straight of Juan de Fuca, and Vancouver island can be seen in the background. CANADA!




Next stop was Port Angeles to fuel up and get some breakfast. A couple of strong cups of coffee later and we decided to head up Hurricane Ridge. A popular destination, Hurricane ridge was on our docket last year when we circled highway 101 on our way down to California, but the weather was not cooperating. This year, things were looking good. .... A little too good in fact. I failed to mention at this point that today was July 4, and with the weather in good check the line to head up to hurricane ridge was excessively long. The decision was made, however, and we weren't going to miss the view.


The Majestic Olympic range



The other side wasn't quite as impressive, but on a very clear day you can see a large chunk of the straight as well as Canada.



After 20 minutes of being around hundreds of people we grew wary quickly, and longed to be on desolate, rarely used FS roads again, so we departed and headed west towards Crescent lake. We had to make a quick stop to adjust my brake lever, which was starting to get sticky.





We soon left pavement and dry weather behind and began climbing service roads again. Now was a good time to stop for a nap.





The roads got slick with the misty weather, and hill climbs became a wild ride. We rode all the way to the top of Kloshe Nanitch lookout, and despite the weather, the views were STUNNING. I didn't get any pictures as it was still very misty, and we were beginning to get grumpy. I found some pics from another ride report here, and I hope Deanman doesn't object to me using them as reference. Original found here






Sadly, due to vandalism, the structure was torn down, and now looks like this.



Regardless, the area is now a "Viewpoint", and still worth the drive up.

Moving on, we descended back down to Hwy101, and found ourselves a camping spot right on the Sol Duc river.







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Old Today, 09:19 AM   #8
doc4216
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Very cool report so far! Looks like you guys had an awesome time and the views were well worth the Tiger naps.
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