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I put in approximately 12 miles along the Olympic coastline. The hike wasn't particularly difficult, but the stretches along the beach were very tiring and led to many sore muscles. The forest along the Ozette area always strikes me as being more primeval than even North Cascades, with the huge trees and mature understory. (A mature understory is not necessarily a dense growth--true old growth forests have a more sparse growth due to a heavy canopy and root competition for water and nutrients).

It was warm and beautiful, and I'm slightly sunburned as well as sore. I photographed some more petroglyphs, and attemped to find one that I had spotted last year, to no avail. I'm a little scared that it may have been removed, because it was chisled onto a freestanding rock, but I probably just didn't see it. Some of the other petroglyphs have been lightly vandalized--a good reason to not publicize them. It's a real shame.

The wild rhodies are beginning to bloom, and the bog laurel is popping open into perfect geometric blooms. There were snakes out sunning themselves in the forest clearings--I startled at least three. I'm going to hopefully head back out with a few friends in a month or so to go camping, but I wish we'd all gone together this weekend. Almost no one else was there, and the quiet was overwhelming.

I want to continue hiking further down the coast, to see if I can find more petroglyphs.

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Jen Kleis

November 2014

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