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Olympic Solo Trek - July-Aug 2004

"A NAME CAN SAY A LOT about a place, or nothing at all. Olympic says a lot. It says that this is as good as it gets. Here, astride the pinnacle of excellence, stands the champion."
-"Nature's Champion, Olympic National Park," John G. Mitchell, National Geographic Magazine, July 2004

One night in July, several years back, I sat on a forested ledge watching the sun set over the western horizon. I was alone, three days into a solo backpack of Mt. Rainier's Wonderland Trail. I remember the salient details vividly... the sun quietly retreating over the West on a distant range of coastal peaks, silhouetting the dark spires against a palette of oranges, reds, purples and blues. "That's where I'll go next," I said silently to no one. "The Olympic Mountains... there's got to be a way to connect the trails into a loop... I'll create my own Wonderland of the Olympics. What a cool trip that would be."

(Click image to see full-sized route-map. ~1MB)
Olympic Route Map

Throughout the report, click on any pictures to see a larger version with captions.
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