Back in the summer of 2001 we took a trip to the Pacific Northwest region of the States, did a few backpacking trips in the mountains of both Washington and Oregon, and enjoyed the area so much we went back again in 2004. The photos from the 2001 sojourn are all prints and I haven’t scanned them into the computer yet, but the 2004 ones are digital, so I thought I’d do a short retro-post about the stuff we got up to.
We flew into Seattle – which is actually a lovely city – and spent the first day of the trip raiding the Flagship REI store which is situated there. There, we stocked up on freeze-dried food, maps, gas and anything else we could talk ourselves in to buying, before heading out into the mountains.
The mountains in the main part of Washington state are known as the Cascades – some of them are in the North Cascades National Park, but not all by any means. Altogether, we did three backpacking trips while we were there, each lasting for three days. We didn’t have any bear encounters this summer, but we did wake up one morning to find mountain lion paw prints near the tent. It had obviously been down to the lake for a drink in the night. (I always carry a ‘scats and tracks’ book for identification purposes in situations like these!)
We had a great time, although we do have a lasting memory of not only the mossies being quite bad, but giant horse flies being a real nuisance!
There were also a large number of forest fires burning in the state that month and although they didn’t stop us doing anything we wanted to do, most of the photos look slightly hazy due to the amount of smoke that seemed to be permanently in the atmosphere, no matter where you were.
Anyway, here’s a short video of mountains and tents:
9 thoughts on “The Pacific Northwest – 2004”
Great show, with a brill soundtrack by Ry Cooder!
Thanks Paul! And I knew at least one person would like Ry Cooder 😀
Looks a nice area to hike and camp – the wildlife would scare me though! What’s a good non-mozzie/horsefly month do you know?
As far as the wildlife is concerned, we try not to dwell on it! we always try to do the right thing re bears, but after several close encounters in Yosemite have nevertheless got very blase about the prospect of dealing with them. We were a touch ‘on edge’ when we backpacked in Alaska though, where there is a massive concentration of grizzlies!
Mountain lions are a slighty different prospect, as they are known to follow and stalk people – especially in trees. This was one of the reasons we started always taking trekking poles out with us in the States – even on day walks – as they apparently make a good weapon for ‘fighting back’. We have it on good authority that mountain lions are made for stealth and speed, not fighting, and you have a good chance of coming out ok if you can defend yourself with a good stick. That’s assuming you saw the attack coming, I suppose……
The best months for lack of mozzies/horse flies, are probably September – before too much snow comes in – and May. I understand May can sometimes still see the upper passes snow bound though.
A grizzly would scare the hell out of me! 😮
Looks like some grand scenery. Never hiked with fauna that wanted to eat me but I’d like to give it a try although the fact there I represent several courses for a hungry bear is slightly scary. Had trouble with the video, didn’t seem to want to buffer past about 2:43 :(. Like the tune, strangely I don’t have any Ry Cooder in my vast music collection
Now you do surprise me, I would have been sure that you would have had loads of Ry Cooder stuff!
Yes, the secenery is rather magificent and my photos don’t do it justice at all. Most bears aren’t interested in people at all, apart from in places like Yosemite and Yellowstone where they’ve become habituated to folk doing daft stuff with food! Mountain lions of course, can be a bit different, but even then I think most attacks happen in semi-rural areas. You do need to be a bit aware though when hiking – making plenty of noise and not creeping around is always a good idea 🙂
Had to come back to this one – for some reason the video wouldn’t play on my ipad.
Stunning pictures and great music.
I couldn’t remember where I’d heard that song before, but a bit of searching and I reminded myself that it is the Woody Guthrie original which I know.
Thanks Mark 🙂
Can’t say I know the Woody Guthrie original, but Geoff says he does!