Chilly Camping

Trip Start Dec 11, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, April 16, 2011

We left Seattle after lunch and headed north west to Olympic National Park. As we drove we marvelled at the amazingly dense forest lining the highways. In the distance there were snow capped mountains - all very beautiful. We were planning to stay only 20minutes inland from the coast so didn't think it would be too wrong we were! As we turned off the main highway it was a very steep 20min climb up a hill. Totally unplanned but our camping over the next week coincides perfectly with National Park week so we don't have to pay any entry fees - wohoo! The car was reading 4 degrees celsius as we pulled up to our campsite...a few moments later there were a few flecks of snow!! Hmmm we thought...could be a cold night. We set up the tent with the airmattress, sleeping bags and alpaca rug. As I prepared dinner - steak and vegies on our little cooktop, Phin attempted a fire. Wet wood and no firestarters made the job pretty much impossible! We had as many layers as possible on but our hands and toes were still freezing! We quickly got into the tent and into our sleeping bags and watched a tv show on our laptop. Phin was quite concerned of bears but I reassured him it was FAR too cold for them to be out of hibernation! I think I pulled a neck muscle shivering so much. I was the coldest I have ever been! I couldn't sleep as I couldn't relax! At 6.30am we got up and turned on the car heater to warm up...the temperature gauge said -1!! Brrr after some coffee and cereal we packed up to drive about 20km along the road to where there was meant to be a good hike. As we turned out of the campsite to continue along the road..there was clumps of about 1km away the snow was lining the wonder we froze!! We quickly realised that the hike must be a summer only thing as the snow was just getting thicker and higher!!! We had to slow down at one point to let some black tailed deer cross the road. We kept going and ended up driving to the top of Hurricane Ridge where people were cross country skiing!! It was beautiful - panoramic views of Mount Olympus and the surrounding snow capped mountain peaks! We headed back down the mountain and toward Hoh rainforest where we were to camp that night! The countryside was magic and we drove some back streets and saw cute cottages and farms. At one point we turned a corner and there were 5 people walking past with massive rifles...moments later shots were fired!! Crazy!! I know it's a pastime here but I am glad we saw the people before hearing the gunshot!!

April 16 Update
Phin: “Home is where the Heart is...More Like....Home is Where Walmart is!"

April 17 Update
Phin: "Turns out, there is a reason they put temperature ratings on sleeping bags....7degrees not so great when it's snowing outside your tent! Long and CHILLED first night camping on our roadtrip, back in E-E the Wrangler me thinks tonight.... Also hard to light fires in the snow!"
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