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Royal Basin/Constance Pass - 1990
Solo Adventure in the Olympics

Headin' out

Saturday, September 8   I was up at 5:15 to defecate - that part of my biological clock always seems to keep ticking. I lay in my sleeping bag until it was 6:30 am, seeing no need to hurry. I packed up and was out of camp by 7:53 am. Careful packing of my backpack was not a priority at this point. I knew today would be a short cruise. And it was. Just lovely forest, with occasional glimpses of the high country. In about 3 miles, I had made it to Camp Handy, and from that point, you are hiking along the Dungeness River. I started running into some weekend hikers during the last couple of miles, and I realized I had seen very few humans on this trip: the three day hikers in Royal Basin, and one fellow along the Dosewallips. Hiking during the middle of the week probably accounted for the low human population. I realized as I talked to the incoming hikers how much I missed human contact. Ironic in a way: we go into the mountains for a solo experience, but miss human beings. I wonder if the animals have such complex psyches. Even with all the social stops, I made it back to the car by 10:45 am. There was cold beer, salsa, and chips waiting for me, courtesy of cool nights. The day was lovely, until I dropped below 2500 feet on the road driving out. Then it was into the clouds and fog. Such are the Olympic Mountains: as complex as many of the humans that backpack in them.

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Roger A. Jenkins, 2000, 2006