Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cape Flattery 10-16-2014

Twenty one years ago an impromptu road trip with college friends placed us on the Olympic Peninsula.  Since we were 'in the neighborhood' it seemed like a pretty cool idea to find the very northwest tip of Washington State.

Why?  Because we could!

So we thought.

We made it to within probably 4 miles of Cape Flattery but with no map, no road signs and a pot-holed dirt road in unfamiliar territory it was decided that maybe this wasn't such a good idea.  So, we turned around and made an entire loop of the Peninsula and ended up in Bellevue.  A LONG day.

That unfinished destination comes to mind sometimes... but it's always a pretty low priority considering the other opportunities (and challenges) that come my way every day.

Finally, an opportunity presented itself this year in the form of three consecutive days with a clear calendar.  The plan was to take this chance to visit Cape Flattery and explore some other features in the Lake Crescent / Elwha River / Salt Creek area.

On the morning of October 16, 2014 the day started with a ferry ride from Coupeville to Port Townsend where may Dad decided to join the adventure.

We drove out to Lake Crescent, stopped at the Lake Crescent Lodge and then drove directly to Cape Flattery.  The hike was pretty easy... 3 miles round trip and only about 300 feet of elevation gain (all on the way back to the parking lot).

We stopped at Washburn's General Store in Neah Bay to purchase the required $10 Recreation Permit (good until the end of the calendar year) on our way to Cape Flattery.

It's a pretty neat destination.  The trail included about four platforms for viewing different angles of the rugged coastline.

Lodging options do exist between Port Angeles... but they aren't fancy by any standards.  Prices we checked ranged quite a bit, but the room quality did not.  We considered camping, but the threat of rain was enough for us to eventually find a room on the west end of Port Angeles.

If you want to do this trip with class... get a room at the Lake Crescent Lodge.  That place is pretty nice.

Now... some pictures:

Lake Crescent and the Lodge:

Cape Flattery Photos:

The trip continues to other great Olympic Peninsula destinations.  Stay tuned... more posts coming soon.

Happy Hiking!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Winchester Lookout 09-28-2014

It's been almost a month, but it feels like at least three months have passed since I gathered the courage to drive up to Twin Lakes on a picture perfect late September day for a few hours of exploring one of the most scenic destinations in the North Cascades. 

The trail to Winchester Lookout is pretty straight forward.  One trail junction offers a choice to visit Low/High Pass (turn right) or to continue (straight) to the lookout.

At this point in the year, the snowfield above the Twin Lakes was completely melted out so the entire route was snow free.

Many people were camping at the lakes, some folks has spent the previous night in the lookout and another couple were camped in a tent just a short distance from the lookout.

Fall colors were starting to show in the blueberry bushes, but plenty of berries remained.

After visiting the look out and returning to the trail head, I opted to follow the road a short distance beyond the lakes and found myself at Skagway Pass.  The trail continues onward... potentially to Lone Jack Mine, but that exploration will wait for another time.

The drive is not for the faint of heart... nor for those in low-clearance vehicles.  It's steep and narrow.  With washouts and two or three-point switchbacks if you have a large turning radius.  Go slow, be safe.

Regardless of the approach conditions, if you can get yourself here in nice weather you won't be disappointed!

Happy Trails!


Coming soon:  Photos galore from a multi-day trip to explore portions of the Olympic Peninsula!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Itinerary for 9-28-2014

Today's trip is the Twin Lakes Road.  Planning to hike to Winchester Lookout and maybe Skagway Pass.  Backup hike is Yellow Aster Butte.  Home by dark.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

HB Tune Hand Band Review 01-18-2014

Running Tip of the day: You can significantly improve on how you carry your cell phone with you when you head out for a run! Check out this HB Tune HAND Band! It may be time to ditch your basic old-fashioned all-kinds-of-annoying arm band and take advantage of HB Tune's unique design which has proven to be the perfect mix of comfort, functionality and flexibility.

I have logged more than 1,100 miles over the last 12 months and more than 2,700 miles over the last few years. My cell phone has tagged along on almost every single one of those adventures. The vast majority of those events involve me grabbing a zip lock bag, stuffing my phone into it and then carrying it in my hand throughout the entire duration of the run. 2 miles, 5 miles, 12 miles and even 16 miles... and I've dropped that phone exactly zero times during those runs. It wasn't a perfect method, but it worked pretty reliably.

Then... I got an armband. The ones that everyone else seems to already have. It looks like the phone sits so perfectly still and accessible but I quickly learned about the variety of downsides to this method. It didn't stay on my upper arm, it twisted around to the back side of my upper arm, tried to slide down over my elbow, the phone would only fit if I removed the protective case, the touch screen usage was dismal and it was a pain to get the phone into and back out of it. It was surprising how much less hassle there was with my tried and true zip lock baggie method.
As it turns out, there is a better option that completely outperforms the others: the HB Tune Hand Band. Yes, HAND band. It fits over your thumb. Your phone sits right in the palm of your hand. There is a velcro strap to tighten the fit, but really, gravity does much of the work to keep it in place.

This thing has it all! My phone fits in the HB Tune easily, even with the bulky Otter Box cover on. Seriously - no need to remove it!

The touch screen completely works while my phone is in the HB Tune, and it also works with those fancy 'texting' gloves; I've done it.

Running Apps? Work like they are supposed to without having to hold my arm in weird positions to read a rotated screen on my upper arm... my phone is in my palm right where it is when I'm not running! What more could you ask for?

Well... you could ask for an armband in case you don't want it in your palm (not sure why you would but it could happen) or you could ask for a way to stash small items of importance such as identification cards, credit cards, cash or a car key or maybe you could ask that it be durable, water resistant and sweat resistant. What the heck, while we are day dreaming, let's also ask that it be accommodating enough to fit over running gloves for those cold weather runs.

Have a seat so you don't fall down: the HB Tune Hand Band has ALL of those features! I've personally tested them all and its no joke, this thing is the bee's knees!

Unfortunately there are two things that this product can't or won't do.
First, it is not waterproof. Resistant, yes. Waterproof, no. If you are running 12 miles in a classic northwest Washington downpour, it is possible for water to come into contact with parts of your phone. In those severe weather situations you may want to consider your zip lock bag supply, just in case. Use common sense, check the weather forecast before you run. The only other downside is that the HB Tune won't actually run any miles for you.

Visit the HB Tune website for a lot more info, including specifications for the small size vs the large size and a number of informational videos which demonstrate exactly how to use this product.

In summary, I highly recommend the HB Tune Hand Band!  Even if you already have an armband, you owe it to yourself to give one of these a test run!

Thanks for reading this review.  I'd love to have your insights and opinions in the comments section for this posting!

Happy Running!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a HB Tune Hand Band for free from HB Tune as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.