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SUMMER 2017

Olympic Discovery Trail A TRAIL RUNS THROUGH IT

ODT has life of its own, history to prove it

THROUGH THE SEASONS

Native plants celebrated along the path

LARRY SCOTT TRAIL: MAKING CONNECTIONS Horse enthusiasts blazing trail to new park

CONVERSATIONS IN CONSERVATION Land trust partners with coalition

Supplement to Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader


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Contents

In Focus

Departments 06 | RECREATION Lesser-known gems of the trail from Port Townsend to the West End 28 | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Drifting and sifting; Wood sculptors make stunning art

31 | FOOD & SPIRITS Thai halibut sandwich is tasty and healthy 36 | THE DAYTRIPPER Make it a day at Hurricane Ridge 38 | LIVING END The joy of discovery

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20 | A trail runs through it Olympic Discovery Trail has life, history of its own

On the cover: Jim and Julie Haguewood of Port Angeles, along with their golden retriever Harley, take a stroll on the Olympic Discovery Trail near Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles on a sunny day in May. Photo by Laura Lofgren

08 | LARRY SCOTT TRAIL Horse enthusiasts blazing trail to new park 12 | TAKE A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE Adventure Route twists and turns 16 | A TRAIL FOR ALL TIME Flora along the way is diverse 24 | THE ECONOMIC IMPACT Urban trails are valuable assets 27 | ROUTE UPDATE/TRAIL RIGHT OF WAY Today’s trail status/ODT etiquette 32 | CONVERSATIONS IN CONSERVATION A common thread through a diverse landscape

LIVING ON THE PENINSULA IS CELEBRATING 50 THEMES & 50 ISSUES WITH THIS EDITION! What future themes would you like to see? Send a brief description of what and why to pcoate@sequimgazette.com and you might be the next great inspiration!

Vol. 13, Number 3 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.

147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2017 Sequim Gazette Terry R. Ward, Regional Publisher Steve Perry, General Manager Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor pcoate@sequimgazette.com Production: Brenda Hanrahan, Page Designer Laura Lofgren, Page Designer Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 • (360) 452-2345 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Lloyd Mullen, publisher Allison Arthur aarthur@ptleader.com ©2017 Port Townsend Leader

Summer 2017 LOP 5


lesser-known gems of the trail Story and photos by Jeanette Stehr-Green

With a trail that eventually will extend almost 130 miles, you might not be familiar with some of the lesser traveled segments of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT). Here are a few gems (favored by the author) that might interest you:

1. LARRY SCOTT TRAIL

Although a popular trail in Port Townsend, many Clallam County residents are unfamiliar with this easternmost portion of the ODT. This section of trail which follows an old railroad grade is named in memory of Larry Scott, one of the many dedicated volunteers who helped develop trails on the Olympic Peninsula. The Larry Scott Trail starts at the Port Townsend waterfront (behind the boatyard near the Haines Place traffic light and the Port Townsend Safeway) and runs 7.3 miles to the Milo Curry Trailhead close to the Four Corners intersection with Highway 20. The first mile or so of the trail occupies a narrow strip of land between a high bluff and Port Townsend Bay and provides views of the marina and beyond. The trail then cuts across the Quimper Peninsula through rural countryside, passing under Highway 20 and Discovery Road. Except for two short segments, the trail has a gentle grade as it courses through forests, pastures and near private residences.

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2. WHITEFEATHER WAY TO BLYN

Starting at a small parking area on Whitefeather Way (the entrance to John Wayne Marina), this trail segment runs to the Jamestown S’Klallam campus, skirting Sequim Bay. Although paralleling U.S. Highway 101, the trail is buffered from traffic noise by trees and a host of wild berries and other native species and provides intermittent glimpses of Sequim Bay (which have been enhanced due to recent logging activity). After a slight descent down an open hillside, the trail heads east on a former railroad grade and crosses Discovery Creek using a 150-foot-long trestle restored by volunteers. The trail continues into Sequim Bay State Park through towering firs and cedars and over a recently installed 210-foot-long steel bridge. The path carries on through forested areas and crosses Jimmycomelately Creek before reaching the Jamestown S’Klallam campus.

3. LAKE CRESCENT NORTH SHORE (WESTERN PORTION) This segment of the trail is located in Olympic National Park (ONP) and follows an established ONP trail and the route of the Spruce Railroad, built in the waning days of World War I to transport old-growth spruce logs for building biplanes for the war effort.

The westernmost portion of this trail is accessed from a parking area along Highway 101 (at Fairholm Hill across from the entrance to Sol Duc Hot Springs Road) and was built to accommodate multiple user groups including wheelchair users through an 8-foot wide paved surface and equestrians with a 4-foot wide gravel surface. The trail follows a steady but gentle descent past the remains of old-growth forest, nurse logs and rock outcroppings. At about 6 miles, the paved trail reverts to the original ONP trail, rough and rocky in some places, flat in others. This portion of the trail is currently under construction and ultimately will include two refurbished railroad tunnels, projected for completion in 2018.

4. COOPER RANCH ROAD TO THE SOL DUC RIVER BRIDGE

This trail begins at the Camp Creek Olympic Discovery Trailhead (on Cooper Ranch Road off Highway 101 at mile marker 212) near the start of the great 1951 Forks fire that burned over 30,000 acres of forest in less than eight hours. This paved trail follows an old railroad grade through working forest land, past stands of Douglas-fir, ranging from new growth to mature forest. For the first 5 miles, the trail is an easy grade suitable for touring bikes, mountain bikes, stock, wheelchairs and hikers, paralleling the winding course of the Sol Duc River.


The trail then joins a logging road. (Note: Warning signs suggest getting off the road at the first hint of a logging truck or other vehicle.) The logging road descends after a short while down to a bridge over the Sol Duc River and connects with Forest Service Road 2918 from which a new segment of the ODT emerges, heading east toward the Lake Crescent North Shore Trail.

ABOVE: To improve trail safety and avoid interactions between trail users and road traffic, the Larry Scott Trail passes under Discovery Road and Highway 20 (not shown) as it crosses the Quimper Peninsula. LEFT: Between Whitefeather Way and Sequim Bay Park, the Olympic Discovery Trail crosses the gurgling Discovery Creek on a 150- foot railroad trestle restored and redecked by volunteers in 2008. OPPOSITE PAGE: Under a towering forest of hemlock, fir, big leaf maple and Sitka spruce, the western portion of the trail on the North Shore of Lake Crescent is accessible to hikers, bikers, wheel chair users and equestrians.

MAP COURTESY OF THE PENINSULA TRAILS COALITION

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Summer 2017 LOP 7


LARRY SCOTT TRAIL: MAKING CONNECTIONS Horse enthusiasts blazing trail to a new multi-use park Story and photos by Allison Arthur Rio Golden stood in Kim McGuire’s barn at Heron Pond Farm Equestrian Center in Jefferson County on a rainy day, getting ready to ride, remembering what the Larry Scott Trail was like when she was a little girl, back 18 years ago. Golden’s mother, Andrea, remembered those days, too. She would put the toddler on a pony, tie a rope between the pony and her horse and take off down the undeveloped trail for a ride. On the first day Andrea took off the tether and let Rio ride all by herself, they were on that trail. And it wasn’t long before they they saw a little black bear climbing in the trees. Nothing bad happened. It was just an experience, a memory, a good one, one of many the mother and daughter have had on the Larry Scott Trail over the years. “When I was young I took the trail to visit friends. It was narrow and we used to pull down trees to jump over,” recalled Rio. Now that she’s back from college, Golden rides on the trail to reconnect with the many friends she’s made over the years in the horse community.

EASEMENT DONATION

Like Golden, McGuire remembers those narrow-path days before the Larry Scott Trail was part of the well-kept Olympic Discovery Trail that is planned to run all the way from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean. The section through Jefferson County is the Larry Scott Trail, or, more officially, the Larry Scott Trail Regional Multiple Purpose Trail. McGuire bought her slice of horse acreage heaven 15 years ago. And she had no qualms about signing an easement over for the trail to go through the side of her property off Discovery Road. “It was nice to purchase the property and go out with our horses,” McGuire says. “At this point, it’s a huge asset,” she says of the boarding facility being so close to the trail. McGuire’s daughter, horse trainer and teacher Christine Headley, say the kids in Pony Club and 4-H love riding on the trail and they’ve used it to host fundraisers to help them pay for summer camp.

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Horseback riders see the world from a higher perspective as well as from a slow-paced perspective. (Photo courtesy Juelie Dalzell of the Buckhorn Range Chapter of Back Country Horsemen) “It’s a beautiful trail and it’s very well kept and that’s one of the things I appreciate,” says Headley. Like Golden, Headley, agrees, “It’s a fun place to meet up on the trail.” “I’ve run across friends, whether they are walking, running, riding their bike or riding their horse,” McGuire chimes in. “It’s very tranquil, very scenic. We could ride all the way into Port Townsend 7 or 8 miles from my farm. We could go through the tunnel with the horses under Highway 20.”

WHERE IT WILL LEAD

McGuire and Headley, who are leaders in the Jefferson Equestrian Association — both are past presidents of the association — are hoping that in the not-too-distant future the Larry Scott Trail also will lead directly to a public horse park that will put the Olympic Peninsula horse community on the map. Both women have been working toward that goal now for seven years. In 2015, they cleared a permit hurdle when Jefferson County approved a conditional-use permit to convert 80 acres the county owns into a park.


“The importance of the trail to equestrians is beyond measure.” — Juelie Dalzell, director Buckhorn Range Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen

Before finalizing those permits, the association needs to connect the Larry Scott Trail trailhead off Cape George Road to the horse park entrance, which crosses the road. An existing used but undeveloped trail needs to be made safer and a street crossing and signs need to be added, she said. “We want it safe for people to get there,” McGuire said of the doing the connector trail for about $2,000. The park the equestrians envision would not just cater to the horse community. “We want to have trails open to bicyclists, hikers, joggers, walkers. We will have arenas. The trails will be open to the general public,” says Headley. “Mountain bike people also have been invited to do something,” said McGuire.

BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN

The Buckhorn Range Chapter of Back Country Horsemen supports the park, which would be the largest horse park west of Cle Elum, home

to the 112-acre Washington State Horse Park. And chapter members also help with the upkeep of the Larry Scott Trail. “While many of our members prefer to ride the backcountry, those trails in the winter are often covered in snow and impassable,” said Juelie Dalzell, director of the chapter. “This is the time the Larry Scott Trail becomes an ideal winter riding area. We also like to ride the trail during hunting season for obvious reasons.” The trail is so important to members, she said, that the chapter has adopted the horse trail land corrals along the trail. “We would love to see a covered arena and horse park,” Dalzell said. “Every summer we provide horses and volunteers for the campers at Camp Beausite Northwest, which provides space where differently abled people can enjoy outdoor activities safely.” A covered area would allow those campers to continue that experience during the inclement weather. “Our members have helped with clearing the

trails that have existed there for a long time but had been overrun with scotch broom. It’s a fun place to ride. The trails are similar to what we would find on Forest Service land but much closer to home,” Dalzell says. “The importance of the trail to equestrians is beyond measure,” she says.

CONNECTED HEARTS

Aly Stratton of Connected Hearts, a program in Quilcene that offers equine therapy for survivors of post-traumatic stress syndrome like veterans, as well as breast cancer survivors, says trail riders want a good place to camp once they’ve traveled hundreds of miles to get to a facility. “As a retired person, now that I have more time, I ride more. But parking, restrooms and well-marked trails are important,” she says. She rides a lot in Kitsap County because there aren’t as many trails on the Olympic Peninsula, though there are forest roads, which aren’t marked or well maintained.

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Stratton also says there is there’s a demand for people to be able to get away to safe places and that other horse camps throughout the Northwest are booked in advance. “We made reservations at a horse camp in Oregon for the first week in July in February. They have been full for those dates since early March. With the right attractions, horse folks can significantly contribute to our local economy,” says Stratton. Which brings up the economic value of the trail — and the horse park. “It would be a vibrant place of activity, bring tourist dollars with community-building events,” says Amy Greenbaum, who also is on the Jefferson Equestrian Association. “Prize rides, trailblazing cross country events and horse shows are a chance for the community to gather and support each other in their disciplines.” A trail riding and horse camp, for example, could bring in 50 entrants and then more spectators. “Supporting conservation and any educational events would benefit the economy,” she said.

VALUE OF RIDING

All of the women — and they are mostly women who are working toward a horse park — say horseback riding is therapeutic on many levels. “If you have bad knees and can’t hike, the horse can take you where you still love to go. A rider can experience two-way communication without using words, and perhaps for some, the rhythm of the horse gets behind one’s heart and eases the loneliness of existence,” said Dalzell, adding that the reasons for riding are different for every equestrian. “It has been my therapy when my brother was missing in action, when my mother was having an unusual procedure for heart surgery, when my husband lost his job and for a million and one other times when my feathers were ruffled just by life,” Stratton said. “I cannot imagine life or heaven without a horse.” “When you are out on the trail you feel a part of the landscape, a part of the community,” said Greenbaum. And of horseback riding, she said, “It’s very empowering and brings me to my true higher self.” Back at McGuire’s barn, Rio Golden got some help from her mother saddling up, like she did so many years ago. Christine Headley, who snuggled 5-month-old Owen under her jacket, helped Sienna Weber get on her pony, Cougar, and they and two other neighbors headed out in the rain on the Larry Scott Trail. Odds are that in the not-too-distant future, Headley will be out on the Larry Scott Trail with a pony in tow with Owen on its back — and maybe they’ll head to a horse park that his mother and grandmother helped build.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Horse trainer Christine Headley, in front snuggling her 5-monthold son, Owen, leads 9-year-old Sienna Weber on Cougar while experienced horsewomen Rio Golden and Julia Drew come down the Larry Scott Trail. The Buckhorn Range Chapter of Back Country Horsemen help with the upkeep of the Larry Scott Trail. From left are Kris Lenke, the Buckhorn Range Chapter president, member Gerry Magnuson and Juelie Dalzell, chapter director. (Photo courtesy of The Buckhorn Range Chapter of Back Country Horsemen.) Julia Drew and Mona Bammert of Jefferson County head out from Heron Pond Farm on the Larry Scott Trail, which is the section of Olympic Discovery Trail that runs through Jefferson County.

“When you are out on the trail, you feel a part of the landscape, a part of the community.” — Amy Greenbaum, Jefferson Equestrian Association Summer 2017 LOP 11


take a ride on the wild side

Adventure Route Trail twists and turns Story by Patricia Morrison Photos courtesy of Rich James, Clallam County Public Works Department If you want to accentuate the “wild” in wilderness, go for a ride on the Adventure Route Trail, a 25-mile stretch on packed gravel and/or dirt between the Elwha and Lyre rivers to Lake Crescent, west of Port Angeles. The isolated course, primarily for equestrians, but a favorite of mountain bikers and hikers, too, also is known as the Olympic Adventure Trail or OAT and is separate from the Olympic Discovery Trail. “There are blind corners, low water crossings, steep hills up and down and a lot of switchbacks,” said Rich James, the chief designer of the trail in the early 2000s. “There really is no best part — I love it all — and on any given day, I’ll take the OAT because it’s always fun. How many other activities can you do on a miserable rainy day and still have a great time? It’s got enough length to challenge any rider.”

FORGING A TRAIL

About 15 years ago, the Clallam County Public Works Department considered blazing a new trail that wouldn’t be part of the paved ODT. James is its transportation program manager. “We had a trail up to the Elwha but the problem was how to get from the Elwha to Lake Crescent,” James said. “We would have had to buy property from a hundred individuals, so basically we said, ‘How are we going to get a route where we only have to buy two or three properties?’ The biggest property owners (in that area) were the DNR and Green Crow (a timber company). We were able to enter a land use license with the DNR and obtain easements from Green Crow.” James said once the county had the easements, he and volunteers spent a lot of time laying out the grades with a clinometer so none was greater than 8 percent. The clinometer tells the user what the grade is, plus angle/slope, elevation/depression and incline/decline of the topography. The Clallam County Sheriff Office’s 10-man chain gang and a group of volunteers called the Thursday Trail Crew began construction in 2004. The crews used only chainsaws and hand tools to build the high-quality single-track trail and multiple bridges, completing all 25 miles in 2011. James said the chain gang built two-thirds

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The Clallam County Sheriff Office’s 10-man chain gang built this large bridge over Whiskey Creek. The men built two-thirds of the 25-mile trail. of the trail and the Thursday Trail Crew built one-third. The latter continues to maintain the trail every week. “It’s a 3-foot to 5-foot pathway with natural tread (packed soil) but they also put down hundreds of pounds of gravel so it’s an all-weather surface. That makes it a unique mountain bike trail because it’s not wet or muddy like many. We wanted it to be used in all types of weather,” James said. “They used little tank-type wheelbarrows to haul gravel and built log bridges, the biggest of which is over Whiskey Creek,” James noted. The county invested $250,000 in creating the OAT plus received a $50,000 state Recreation and Conservation Office grant. “Eventually, we want it to be part of a statewide trail system and once the ODT is complete, there will be a state trail system from the Pacific to Spokane,” James said.

Adventure Route Trail Rules

•  No motorized vehicles are allowed on trail sections protected by motorized vehicle barriers. •  Dismount and walk through motorized vehicle barriers. •  Horses have absolute right of way. •  Horsemen and pet owners must remove all animal waste from the trail. •  Dogs must be on a leash no more than 5 feet in length. •  In the event of an emergency, bury all human waste well off the trail. •  Park at the designated trailheads; vehicles blocking access gates will be towed. •  Hunting, camping, fires, smoking and alcohol consumption are prohibited. •  The trail is open for use during daylight hours. •  When riding the DNR road sections of the trail, stay in single file and ride as far to the right as possible. •  The off-road sections of the trail are not designed for speeds greater than 10 mph; ride switchbacks at 5 mph.


TRAIL TABOOS, EQUINE ETIQUETTE

“First and foremost, the trail is an equestrian route, with the second most use by hikers, then mountain bikers, who rated it as one of the top 10 mountain bike trails in the state out of hundreds of trails,” James said. “People come a long way to ride a top 10 trail.” There are five established trailheads with parking: Highway 112 just past the Elwha River bridge for 15 vehicles; just off Dan Kelly Road from Highway 112 with space for 100 vehicles and pull-in horse trailers; small lots at Joyce-Piedmont Road and Crescent schools; and at the Lyre River. The trail is wellmarked and users are expected to not deviate from it by making shortcuts. “Builders and maintainers of the trail do not appreciate people cutting corners or attempting to build alternate routes,” James said firmly. “Stay on the trail! Cutoffs may make it more exciting but this is not that kind of trail — this is for intermediate riders and it’s not a place to take kids under 10 because they just don’t have the bike skills.” James emphasized that horses and their riders rule the right of way on the trail. “If you encounter a horse, get you and your bike off to the downside of the trail. Talk to the horse and rider so the horse knows you’re not an animal and let them by. Horses

have absolute right of way on the trail,” James said. “To ride a mountain bike 25 miles, you need to be physically fit and if you’re going to be distracted, you’re going to seriously hurt yourself — you’ve got to pay attention,” James stressed. “Be aware and considerate of all users and be prepared to stop, especially around blind corners. We tell you at the start you have to

be responsible for yourself, so bring your bike tools because you’re going into isolated country. Bring pepper spray because you can encounter cougars and bears. And remember no one’s going to come and get you and your cellphone probably is not going to work.” James, a frequent rider of the OAT himself, also believes, “If you’re physically prepared and have the right gear, you’ll be riding one of the

most scenic trails in Washington.”

EATING YOUR OATs, GETTING YOUR GOAT

Lorrie Mittmann of Port Angeles was involved in building the Adventure Route between 2005-2009, almost from the first shovel of dirt. “I was the volunteer coordinator for the Olympic Discovery Trail at the time and worked with a volunteer crew to build some of the Adventure Route,” Mittmann said. “For this reason, I feel more of a connection to this trail than I do to other trails. I think of the fun I had with the volunteer crew, and the joy of making progress on it each week, every time I go running on the trail. I run on it about three times per week.” Mittmann said it was natural for her to be the one to start up the first trail running race on the Adventure Route, the OAT Run (Olympic Adventure Trail Run). She started the race with Scott Tucker, one of the race directors for the NW Cup downhill mountain bike races. His experience in event organizing helped get the run going in 2013.

Rich James, the chief designer of the Adventure Route Trail, makes his way up a common feature of the trail: a steep hill. Summer 2017 LOP 13


“You’re going out on the Adventure Route Trail and you’re going to have an adventure!” — Rich James

The OAT Run is a 12K and halfmarathon point-to-point trail run, known for its beautiful scenery, great volunteers and fun afterparty at Harbinger Winery in Port Angeles. The race takes place each April. For more information, visit www.oatrun.org. “The following year, Scott and I started the GOAT Run (Great Olympic Adventure Trail Run). It is ‘Great’ because the distances are longer — a half-marathon and a full marathon, also point-to-point,” Mittmann explained. “This time, instead of going west to east like the OAT Run, the course goes east to west, ending at Lake Crescent inside Olympic National Park. The finish line is at Log Cabin Resort. The race takes place each September. “There’s more information at www.greatoatrun.org.” Mittmann noted both races donate a portion of proceeds to the Peninsula Trails Coalition, for the construction and maintenance of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Olympic Adventure Trail. The OAT Run also donates money to the local chapter of the Back Country Horsemen. Each race is capped at 125 runners per distance, she said. “The OAT Run sells out every year and more than half of the runners are from the peninsula and about a third from Seattle area, Victoria and other states. The GOAT Run brings in mostly off-peninsula, Victoria and out-ofstate runners, about two-thirds of the participants from out of our area. GOAT Run has runners from as far away as Hawaii, New York, Colorado and Alaska.” Anyone interested in race sponsorship or volunteering should contact Mittmann at olympicadventuretrail@gmail.com. Gay Hunter, another avid fan of the trail, said, “Running along the Adventure Route requires attention not needed for city streets or the lovely paved sections of the (Olym-

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ABOVE: Volunteers calling themselves the Thursday Trail Crew began construction in 2004 in conjunction with Clallam County’s 10-man chain gang. The crews used only chainsaws and hand tools to build the high-quality single-track trail and multiple bridges. The Thursday Trail Crew continues to maintain the trail every week. BELOW: Thursday Trail Crew volunteers load tank-type wheelbarrows to remove materials in the trail’s plotted path. The also used the wheelbarrows to lay down hundreds of pounds of gravel for the trail. SUITABLE ACTIVITIES: Horse riding, mountain biking, hiking SEASONS: Year-round WEATHER: View weather forecast DIFFICULTY: Moderate/ strenuous LENGTH: 25.0 miles ELEVATION GAIN: 2,800 feet HIGH POINT: 1,400 feet LAND MANAGER: Olympic Discovery Trail PARKING PERMIT REQUIRED: Discover Pass DEFAULT PARTY SIZE: 12 MAXIMUM PARTY SIZE: 12 pic) Discovery Trail. Roots and rocks, twists and turns, among other natural features demand balance and care. Of course, that is also the thrill

of trail running: the ever-changing conditions! Winding through various habitats of the Adventure Route keeps you alert to seasonal changes.

Mountain views inspire as you traverse open slopes. The longer the run, the more friends are met and made along the way.”


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www.olympichearing.com Summer 2017 LOP 15


A trail for all time

THE OLYMPIC DISCOVERY TRAIL is a great place for exercise: for you and your family, your dog and even your horse. It’s also a great place to clear your head; breathing in fresh air away from the noises of civilization can give you a new and positive perspective on life. But the trail also provides many opportunities to view and learn about the native plants in our region. The flora along the trail is diverse, at times dramatic, and changes with the season. So let’s take a walk …

A BERRY TASTY SUMMER

Trillium

Flowering red currant

Story and photos by Jeanette Stehr-Green

A stroll along the ODT in midsummer reveals the abundance of wild, edible berries available in the Pacific Northwest. Here are just a few. The most well-known berries along the trail are the non-native Himalayan and evergreen blackberries (Rubus armeniacus and R. laciniatus, respectively). These thicketforming shrubs have stout prickled canes that can reach out and grab you and their large, delicious berries attract both humans and wildlife to the trail. But the ODT offers much more in the way of native berries. The trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus), also known as the dewberry, is the only native blackberry on the North Olympic Peninsula. It has long vines that can trip walkers who step off the trail and small, tart berries that progress from red to dark purple to black as they ripen. Blackcap raspberries (Rubus leucodermis) are a common resident of the ODT. They look like blackberries (because their mature fruit is black) but are actually a form of raspberry. Blackcap raspberries are among the more flavorful native berries in our area. One of the most spectacular-looking berries along the trail is the salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). This large shrub produces raspberry-like fruits in shades of yellow to red. The flavor of the berries varies with sun exposure and access to water but is usually described as mild with a hint of citrus. Red huckleberries (Vaccinium parvifolium), a relative of the blueberry, is a bright green bush found on the forest’s edge. It produces translucent red, round berries about a quarter of an inch in diameter that have a taste that is much tarter than its blue cousin. Be aware that although you can find many wild berries along the trail, some are extremely poisonous. Just because a berry is eaten by wildlife does not mean it is edible by humans. Know what you are picking and eat only the berries that are reported to be edible by experts.

FABULOUS FALL Salmonberry 16 LOP Summer 2017

As days grow shorter, and nights grow cooler, the ODT takes on new color.


Bleeding heart The shorter days of fall are a signal to deciduous plants to stop producing chlorophyll, the pigment that accounts for the green in leaves. With time, the chlorophyll disappears, allowing the color from other pigments found in the leaves of some plant species to shine through. One such group of pigments, the carotenoids, causes leaves to appear yellow, orange and brown when the chlorophyll disappears and another group, the anthocyanins, causes leaves to appear deep purple and red. Splashes of fall color can be seen along the ODT from September through November where deciduous trees and shrubs predominate. Commonly seen colorful plants include vine maple (Acer circinatum), big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) and Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus). Sunny areas which favor photosynthesis also favor the production of anthocyanin pigments because these pigments scavenge sugars produced through photosynthesis from the leaves. As a result, open sunny spots along the trail usually offer plants with the most vibrant fall color.

BEAUTY IN WINTER’S DARKNESS

Although many of us become stay-at-homes as the weather turns cold and gray, a walk along the ODT in the winter can be magical. Even the most familiar of places is transformed at this time of year. In winter, the sun is lower in the sky, casting

longer shadows and adding depth to the landscape. Mundane objects (like grass and rocks) become more interesting when dusted with snow or ice crystals. Bark texture and color often become more noticeable in winter in the absence of leaves. • The reddish-brown bark of western red cedar (Thuja plicata) is stringy, soft and flexible, tearing off in long fibrous strips. • The peeling bark of Pacific madrona (Arbutus menziesii) reveals the silky, smooth new skin beneath. • Big leaf maples have gray-brown bark that is ridged and often host to mosses, lichens and ferns. • The bark of red alders (Alnus rubra) is thin, grey and smooth, often with patches of white and greenish lichens which give the branches a scaly appearance. Some plants actually become showier in wintertime. For example, stems of red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) and the orange-red hips of wild rose become more vibrant; snowberries (Symphoricarpos albus) cling to their white, berry-like fruits even though their leaves have fallen; and native willows (Salix spp.) sport furry catkins in late winter.

SPRING ARRIVES

With a slight warming of the weather, spring begins to emerge and a showy progression of flowers takes place along the ODT. One of the first heralds of spring is the trillium (Trillium ovatum, also known by the fitting

Edible Wild Berries of Choice

Only some of the wild berries that grow in our region are edible. Some are extremely poisonous. Do not experiment as the results could be life-threatening. Know what you are picking and eat only the berries that are known to be edible. The following berries are edible and generally considered tasty; but the flavor often varies from site to site. In general, plants that get plenty of sun will provide the biggest and most flavorful berries. •  Trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus) •  Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus, formerly Rubus discolor)* •  Evergreen blackberry (Rubus laciniatus)* •  Blackcap raspberry (Rubus leucodermis) •  Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) •  Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) •  Black huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum) •  Red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) •  Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) •  Oregon grape (Mahonia spp.) •  Salal (Gaultheria shallon) •  Wild strawberry (Fragaria spp.) •  Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) •  Blue elderberry (Sambucus cerulea) *Non-native species

Summer 2017 LOP 17


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name the Wake Robin). This plant is easily recognized by its three-petaled white flowers that rise above a whorl of leaf-like bracts and is often found in wooded or shaded areas along the trail. Other flowers rapidly make their appearance, coming and going as the season marches into early summer. Some spring flowers, like the large pink clusters of the Pacific rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum, Washington’s state flower) and the rose-colored sprays of red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), are showy and hard to miss. But a plethora of delicate flowers can be seen on closer inspection of the trail’s edge, including Pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa), pioneer violet (Viola glabella) and the fairy slipper orchid (Calypso bulbosa). Searching for these less obvious native flowers is worth the time. The appearance and location of flowers depends on the species, sun exposure, moisture and elevation. To see the greatest variety of flowers, visit different parts of the trail. Because some wildflowers are threatened or endangered, and picking these species may be illegal, leave all wildflowers to reseed and

REFERENCES

For more information on native plants on the North Olympic Peninsula: • Pojar J. and MacKinnon A. “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast – Revised.” Lone Pine Publishing: Vancouver, British Columbia, 2004. • Turner M. and Gustafson P. “Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest.” Timber Press, Inc.: Portland, Ore., 2006. • Stewart C. “Wildflowers of the Olympics and CasCalypso orchid cades.” Nature Education Enterprises: Port Angeles, WA, 1994. • “Winter in the Woods: A Winter Guide to Deciduous Native Plants in Western Washington” (WSU Publication MISC 0274). • Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. WTU Image Collection. Available at http://biology. burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php. bloom again next spring. The ODT is a trail for all seasons, so take a walk and enjoy. Jeanette Stehr-Green is a WSU-certified Clallam County Master Gardener. She writes gardening

articles for both the Sequim Gazette and Peninsula Daily News and provides presentations to the public on a variety of gardening topics. Stehr-Green is an ODT enthusiast and can be seen with good friends (looking like very happy kids) hiking and biking along the ODT throughout the year.

SUMMER 2017 CALENDAR OF EVENTS JUNE PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY • Into the Mystic Faire, Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center, June 16-17. • Secret Garden Tour, Master Gardeners, June 17. • Taste of Port Townsend, multiple venues, June 15. • Annual Longest Day of Trails, Larry Scott Trail, Port Townsend, June 17. • Port Townsend Summer Band Concert, Chetzemoka Park, June 25. • Rakers Car Show, Memorial Field, June 17. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY • Petals and Pathways Garden Tour, various locations in Sequim, June 24. PORT ANGELES • Concerts on the Pier, Wednesdays starting June 28. FORKS/WEST END • West End Thunder, Forks Municipal Airport, June 24-25.

JULY PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY • Pocket Yacht Palooza, Northwest Maritime Center, July 22. • Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Fort Worden State Park, July 2-9. • Concerts on the Dock, Pope Marine

Plaza, downtown Port Townsend, every Thursday evening, July 13-Aug. 31. • Fiddlin’ on the Fourth, McCurdy Pavilion, Fort Worden, July 4. • Independence Day Concert, Port Townsend American Legion Hall, July 4. • Fiddle Grand Finale, McCurdy Pavilion, Fort Worden State Park, July 4. • Olympic Music Festival, Wheeler Theater, Fort Worden State Park, July 15-16. • Edensaw Brewfest, Port Townsend Brewing Company, July 22. • Jazz Port Townsend, Centrum, Fort Worden State Park, July 23-30. • Jazz in the Clubs, multiple venues, July 27-29. • Acoustic Blues Festival, Fort Worden State Park, July 30-Aug. 6 • Port Townsend Summer Band, American Legion, July 4. • Port Townsend Summer Band Concert, Chetzemoka Park, July 30. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY • July 4th Concert in the Park, Sequim City Band, James Center for the Performing Arts at Carrie Blake Park. • Annual Sequim Lavender Weekend, July 21-23. • Hurricane Ridge Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show, Sequim High School ballfields, July 28-30. • Art Jam, July 21-23, 505 E. Silberhorn Road, Sequim. PORT ANGELES • Fourth of July Celebration, downtown parade, music, fireworks at City

Pier/Hollywood Beach, July 4. • Old-Timers Car Show, Port Angeles downtown, July 7. FORKS/WEST END • Forks Old-Fashioned 4th of July, July 1-4. • West End Thunder, Forks Municipal Airport, July 8-9. • Quileute Days, La Push, July 14-16. NORTH/WEST COAST • Clallam-Sekiu Fun Days, July 7-9.

AUGUST PORT TOWNSEND & JEFFERSON COUNTY • Annual West Coast Wooden Kayak Rendezvous, Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Aug. 12-13. • Uptown Street Fair, Tyler and Lawrence streets, Aug. 19. • Port Townsend Summer Band Concert, Chetzemoka Park, Aug. 19. • Quilcene Museum Wine Tasting Gala Event, Center Valley Road and Columbia Street, Aug. 11. • Olympic Music Festival, Wheeler Theater, Fort Worden State Park, Aug. 12-13, Aug. 19-20, Aug. 26-27. • Port Townsend Summer Band, Port Townsend Community Center, Aug. 27. • Blues in the Clubs, multiple venues in Port Townsend, Aug 4-5. • Acoustic Blues Showcase, McCurdy Pavilion, Fort Worden State Park, Aug. 5. • Jefferson County Fair, at Jefferson

County Fairgrounds, Aug. 11-13. • Kiwanis Classic Car Show, Memorial Field, Aug. 19. • Annual All-County Picnic, H.J. Carroll Park, Chimacum, Aug. 20. • Art Port Townsend Studio Tour, multiple venues, Aug. 26-27. SEQUIM & DUNGENESS VALLEY • Sequim City Band, James Center for the Performing Arts, Aug. 12. • Air Affaire, Sequim Valley Airport, Aug. 26-27. • Strait Stamp Show, Masonic Lodge, Seventh Avenue and Pine Street, Aug. 12. • Tour de Lavender, various locations, Aug. 5-6. PORT ANGELES • Ride the Hurricane, bicycle to Hurricane Ridge, Aug. 6. • Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival, Joyce, Aug. 5. • Clallam County Fair, Clallam County Fairgrounds, Aug. 17-20. • Paint the Peninsula, multiple venues, Aug. 21-27. FORKS/WEST END • Rainforest Run, Tillicum Park, Forks, motorcycles, Aug. 18-20. • West End Thunder, Forks Municipal Airport, Aug. 12-13. • Hot Thunder Night, Forks Municipal Airport, Aug. 26. NORTH/WEST COAST • Makah Days, Neah Bay, Aug. 25-27.

Summer 2017 LOP 19


A TRAIL RUNS THROUGH IT OLYMPIC DISCOVERY TRAIL HAS LIFE OF ITS OWN AND HISTORY TO PROVE IT Story and photos by Mary Powell

A

cross the North Olympic Peninsula, amid a jagged mountain range, a rugged national park, sparkling lakes and streams, a lush rainforest unlike any other in the lower 48 states, Roosevelt elk wandering about, stunning coast lines, fertile farmland, lavender fields, and a few cities in-between, an extraordinary trail system traverses what will eventually be 120 miles of this magnificent, yet diverse, terrain. Aptly named, the Olympic Discovery Trail is indeed a pathway to discoveries of all sorts. As one walks, bicycles, jogs, skateboards and in certain areas, rides horses, the trail offers up a continuous change of scenery at every bend, hill and dale. If you travel any distance, it’s easy to discern the microclimates of this unique piece of Washington. Depending on where you start on the trail, a forest of evergreen trees, lacy ferns and thick mosses eventually turn into open fields of grasses and plenty of wind. Halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles, cows are seen munching in pastures and vegetables aplenty grow in nearby farmland. The Olympic Discov-

20 LOP Summer 2017

ery Trail winds through this and more: parks and towns, rivers and ravines, beaches and national recreation areas. The trail also exhibits a wide diversity of fauna and flora. In many ways, the ODT is the highway for non-motorized travelers. It has been estimated 125,000 hikers, bikers, runners, walkers and equestrians use the handicapped-accessible trail each year. That number spikes when hundreds of runners hit the trail for the annual Olympic Discovery Marathon, held the first weekend of June. My dog Oliver and I walk the trail nearly every day (although one Mr. Dave LeRoux claims nobody uses the trail more than he does. Hmmm). I hop on at the end of Keeler Road in Sequim and usually clock in about three miles or so. It’s a friendly walk. Whether I know a walker or bicycle rider, hellos always are exchanged, although most of the time I only remember the dog’s name. On the weekends, we head down to Sequim Bay State Park, which translates to a 7-miler, round trip. That part of the trail is where the forest shows itself in all its splendor. A deer might cross the trail, squirrels keep Oliver on his toes and once, a coyote began to follow us. Fortunately, he or she decided to go its own way.

Barbara Hanna, communications and marketing director for the City of Sequim, sums up the popular perspective regarding the Olympic Discovery Trail. “It’s a wonderful asset to this community,” she stated simply.

RAILS TO TRAILS

Of course, this wonderful asset didn’t simply appear one day on its own, but it did have a blueprint for its existence. “The history of the ODT project truly begins with the construction of the first railroad grades in Clallam County,” writes Chuck Preble in the history portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail website for an advocate group known as the Peninsula Trails Coalition. Preble, a retired engineer, is a walking history book when it comes to the illustrious past of the ODT. Not only does he know timelines and dates, but he rattles off the names of visionaries who were part of the trail’s inception and construction; Ken Loghry, Larry Scott, Mike Langley, Jan Morse, Kathe Smith, Dave LeRoux and Rick Tollefson, a few of whom we will hear from a little later.


The problem is the more “trail” people one talks to, the wider the variations. But overall, the story of the birth of the ODT is fairly agreed to by all. And it is at once simple, yet complicated. Long story short: Rails built in 1887. Service between Port Angeles and Discovery Bay and between Port Angeles and Port Townsend starts in 1915. Automobile puts kibosh on train travel. End of passenger service by 1931. Trains used for freight and timber hauling only. In 1980, railroad lines try to revive passenger train service between Port Angeles and Port Townsend. Not happening. By 1985, train tracks being removed. It was about three years later, with the tracks being torn up and the railroad selling chunks of the railroad corridor, that three bicyclists had a brilliant idea, which was to develop a trail across the derelict railroad grade. “This small group of bike riders saw an opportunity for a ‘rail trail’ and began promoting the idea,” Preble said. According to Preble, Larry Scott, who had roots in Port Townsend, and Ken Loghry, were “the two ring leaders.” They and a few others formed a group — now known as the Peninsula Trails Coalition — to get the idea sold and get it into the county’s comprehensive plan. The PTC, which became validated in 1988, held meetings in both Port Angeles and Port Townsend. “They did wonderful work in preparation for the trail,” remembers Preble, who was once the president of the Peninsula Trails Coalition and now serves on the board as the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe liaison. “They did a good job of imagining what it would be like. Its (the trail) purpose for being and objectives haven’t changed. I really have my hats off to them.” Larry Scott died in the early 1990s, which is why one of the first sections of the trail opened to users in Port Townsend was named the Larry Scott Memorial Trail. In 1993, Clallam County’s countywide policy plan — required by the state’s Growth Management Act — was adopted. The document contained transportation policies to support non-motorized projects linking parks and communities throughout the North Olympic Peninsula. “Without this vital piece of legislation the likelihood of the ODT becoming a reality is doubtful,” Preble maintained. In 1995, Clallam County received its first grant funding, money from The Intermodal Surface Transportation Enhancement Act of 1990. This grant was used to purchase 1.3 miles of former railroad grade between Carlsborg and KitchenDick roads in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. “The ODT, at that time, only a gravel surface, was on its way,” Preble said.

SAVING RAILROAD TRESTLES

Dave LeRoux was among those first cyclists and Peninsula Coalition Trail members. A “trailie” since he and his wife Martha moved to Sequim 35 years ago, LeRoux has been on the forefront of making the ODT a part of the North

Here, the Johnson Creek Trestle rises high above Johnson Creek. Volunteers with the Peninsula Trails Coalition in 2003 refurbished the former railroad trestle, making the ODT at Whitefeather Way the then eastern terminus in Clallam County. Opposite, Runners take to the Olympic Discovery Trail, a perfect place to train for the annual Olympic Discovery Marathon held the first week of June. Or, the trail is the perfect place for weekend runners or joggers taking in a bit of exercise.

Olympic Peninsula. (Remember, he is the one who says he uses the trail more than anyone.) “Just after I got here, they started tearing up the tracks,” said LeRoux, who now lives within sight of the trail halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles. Unfortunately, the railroad was quickly selling portions of its right-of-way, which is where the PTC planned to establish the trail. Nonetheless, the idea of the trail took root in the public sector. That’s not to say everyone was on board. “Letters to the editor in the local newspapers were full of opposition to the Rails to Trails project,” recalled LeRoux. “People didn’t want a trail in their backyard.” There was a good deal of unfounded fear, he said. The county commissioners, in particular Ed Biggs, came out against the trail project. “There was no foresight.” When Martha Ireland, a former Idaho resi-

dent, became a county commissioner in 1996, “that’s when things started happening,” said LeRoux, a tell-it-like-it-is kind of fellow. He’s also a get-’er-done one. He and the members of the PTC were not going to let a little thing like the sale of railroad corridors stand in the way of developing a trail on the railroad grid. A combination of state, tribal and federal grants, as well as financial support from local businesses and individuals, resulted in the acquisition of a 3,000-foot section of rail corridor that included a bridge over the Dungeness River. After the Trust for Public Lands bought the area for $25,000, then sold it to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, it went to its present owner, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, which in turn granted the PTC permission to redo the ramp, making the project possible. “It was the first domino to fall,” LeRoux said. “It was the first major chunk.”

Summer 2017 LOP 21


ABOVE: A glorious view of Discovery Bay from the Olympic Discovery Trail heading to Blyn LEFT: The bridge over Bagley Creek near Port Angeles is one of the many bridges and trestles dotting the Olympic Discovery Trail. (Photo by Christopher Dorris) RIGHT: A bicyclist takes a ride along the Olympic Discovery Trail on a sunny spring day. Whether riding a bike, walking, running or even horseback riding (in some areas of the trail), the trail is a magnificent setting for any or all these activities.

22 LOP Summer 2017


It did turn out to be the first section of the Olympic Discovery Trail, but it was not an easy section to turn into a pedestrian walkway. Indeed, dozens of volunteers spent hundreds of hours to resurface the bridgework and the trestle. This section of the trail is now part of Railroad Bridge Park and the Dungeness River Audubon Center. LeRoux was right about the domino effect. Following the Railroad Bridge, the PTC acquired the Morse Creek trestle. In all, five original railroad trestles have been converted for trail use. The tallest is the Johnson Creek Trestle, which was rebuilt in 2003, again at the hands of volunteers brought together by the Peninsula Trails Coalition. LeRoux said safety was a big concern at Johnson Creek because of the rotting bridge deck and the height of the bridge at 86 feet. Preble remembers the crew using safety nets. Today, the curved trestle makes for a breathtaking walk-over, with incredible views of Johnson Creek far below. The smell of creosote is still in the air and if you close your eyes while crossing the trestle, it’s easy to imagine the train whistle announcing its approach. “My personal thought was to get the trestles first and the rest would fall into place,” LeRoux said of the remainder of the trail. “We were lucky to save the trestles,” he added, because at the time, the trestles and bridges were being sold for demolition rights. “But then the county started piecing things together and became involved in establishing the trail.” The cities of Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles — and to some extent, Forks, when the trail is fully ensconced at that point — also were on board with trail building matters. In the meantime, the trail continued (and continues) to grow, with volunteers on board most weekends. Volunteer time is an important asset, not only to build the trail, but to bring in grants as well. “For me it was like throwing a party every Saturday,” recalled LeRoux, who after a bit, coordinated the volunteer work parties. “Every Saturday a couple dozen people would show up. I learned I should feed them.” It was then LeRoux started the “Traveler’s Journal,” a presentation of the Peninsula Trails Coalition that appears in the Sequim Gazette. All the money raised is used to buy project supplies and food for volunteers working on ODT projects. “People were interested in helping, it gave them opportunities to do something to feel good about,” LeRoux said.

A TRAIL IN PROGRESS

From the beginning, the dream has been a 120-mile trail system that would start in Port Townsend, pass through the cities of Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks on to the Pacific coast near La Push. Nearly 80 miles of the Olympic Discovery Trail route are finished, however, there are gaps along the way. While it makes sense to construct a trail continuous from one end to another, the Olympic Discovery Trail didn’t lend itself to that model. Rather, it was built in segments — a few miles

here, a few miles there — starting with the Railroad Bridge, which is about in the middle section of the trail. Rich James, transportation program manager for Clallam County, is the go-to person for answers concerning those gaps in the trail. According to James, more than 30 miles of continuous paved trail is completed between Ediz Hook in Port Angeles and Blyn at the eastern Clallam County line. Another 22 miles of the trail are completed connecting the communities of Port Angeles and Sequim, with 12 miles administered and maintained by the county. Portions of the trail that run through the cities are administered by those cities.

“My personal thought was to get the trestles first and the rest would fall into place.”

— Dave LeRoux, on building the Olympic Discovery Trail The 5-mile trail between Sequim and the Jamestown S’Klallam tribal campus also is complete as far as Old Blyn Highway. Work continues at both ends of the trail. New trail segments west of Fairholme Hill have created trail connections to the Mount Muller trail, a crossing of the Sol Duc River and new trail constructed accessing the new USFS trailhead at Cooper Ranch Road near the Klahowya Campground. The Spruce Railroad Trail is under reconstruction until the summer of 2019, which includes the reopening of two tunnels. “When the entire section on the north side of Lake Crescent is complete in 2018-2019, it will give bikers a safe alternative to Highway 101,” James explained. The east-end project is a half-mile section along the tip of Discovery Bay in Jefferson County. However, getting the trail from there to Sequim has turned out to be lengthy and problematic. “This project dates back five or six years,” said Eric Kuzma, engineering services manager for Jefferson County Public Works. “The project has a lot of challenges associated with it.” One of the biggest challenges is the trail route in Jefferson County. Because the former railroad right-of-way along Discovery Bay is owned by private landowners, it’s not possible to route the trail along the water, which leaves the water side of narrow, winding Highway 20, which isn’t safe. Neither is the far side of the highway, which is too steep and rugged in many spots for a multi-use trail. The idea now is to extend the trail from Discovery Bay to Salmon Creek and north to Old Gardiner Road, connecting to Clallam County. Old Gardiner Road, Kuzma said, is not a heavily traveled road

and would be suitable for walkers and bikers. “We will continue to look at the feasibility of routes, at property ownership, road grades and funding,” Kuzma said. Fortunately, $1 million was appropriated in 2016 by Gov. Jay Inslee to be used for further planning to complete the trail from Port Townsend to Sequim.

BIGGER DREAMS

As if a 120-mile extraordinary trail isn’t enough to revel in and manage, there are those who continue to dream about extending the Olympic Discovery Trail or connecting with nearby trails. According to the Peninsula Trails Coalition, a trail connecting Kitsap County with Jefferson County is in the concept stage. Here’s the thought: The Bainbridge Island Non-Motorized Group considers this a “missing link” that would continue the 100-mile Mountain-to-Sound Greenway east of the (Puget) sound, to Bainbridge Island, across the Kitsap Peninsula to connect with the Olympic Discovery Trail at Discovery Bay. Another strategy includes a route in Jefferson County that might be from the Hood Canal Bridge to Port Ludlow, moving close to Anderson Lake State Park and connect with the ODT somewhere near Eaglemount Road, offering a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Discovery Bay. Catch your breath, because it doesn’t end there. The Bainbridge-Hood Canal Bridge route would run from downtown Winslow, along State Highway 305 to the Agate Pass Bridge, follow north to Poulsbo along the waterfront at Liberty Bay, cross State Highway 304, move to Big Valley Road and meet State Highway 3 just east of the Hood Canal Bridge. (I had to get out a map to follow this one.) This Kitsap-Jefferson county connection could become part of the developing North Kitsap String of Pearls, a cycling route that links the region’s historical waterfront villages with a system of interconnecting trails and open space corridors, states the PTC website. And if that weren’t enough dreaming, Washington’s Sen. Patty Murray envisions the trail to continue out of Forks to Grays Harbor County, possibly into Aberdeen, around the bottom half of the Olympic Mountains and back up to connect with the Kitsap-Jefferson piece. (My head just exploded!) Those are indeed lofty dreams, but so were the hopes and dreams of the pioneers among us who had the foresight to imagine a user-friendly trail extending from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean. With their unflagging commitment to the ideals of a trail set in the stunning setting of the North Olympic Peninsula, we who live here and visit here are the fortunate benefactors. Thus, the dreams of a bigger, better, longer, more magnificent trail are sure to come true. From Chuck Preble: “May you be young enough and fortunate enough to ride the dream!” Mary Powell is the former editor of and a freelancer for the Sequim Gazette.

Summer 2017 LOP 23


THE ECONOMIC IMPACT:

URBAN TRAILS, SUCH AS THE OLYMPIC DISCOVERY TRAIL, ARE VALUABLE ASSETS Story and photos by Mary Powell There’s no doubt the North Olympic Peninsula is an idyllic spot to set down roots. Three good-sized towns are within easy access and are small enough to have the “everybodyknows-your-name” feel. Housing remains affordable, recreation opportunities are endless and business is booming. With that said, could a trail converted from a railroad route through the North Olympic Peninsula add to the seemingly perfect place to live? The answer is absolutely yes. “The (Olympic Discovery) trail is a huge draw for the peninsula,” said Sequim Realtor Mark McHugh. “It’s an asset for this community.” McHugh, born and raised in Sequim, said he never thought he would see the development of the trail. “So many people were against it, didn’t want it running through or near their property,” he said, remembering the arguments against the trail when there were proponents arguing for it. Now tourism, rising property values and quality of life escalate when a community has access to local trails and green space. According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy based in Washington, D.C, trails and green space are important community amenities that help to spur economic development. From homeowners choosing to live along a park-like trail to bicycle tourists making their way from small town to small town, trails are important community facilities that attract people and dollars. “Tourism is a wonderful asset to this community,” said Barbara Hanna, communications and marketing director for the City of Sequim. The city, she added, is very supportive of the trail. For the cities of Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Sequim, the consequences of a trail passing through is beneficial. In Sequim, six miles of the trail is on city streets and while not directly through the downtown corridor, it’s an easy detour to browse the stores on the city’s main street. Hanna worked with the city’s parks department and the Peninsula Trail Coalition to develop maps to clarify the path of the trail through Sequim. Same story for Port Angeles and Port Townsend. The first section to open in Port Angeles was the Hollywood Beach area, along the waterfront, which has a number of restaurants and shops for walkers and bicyclists. Eight miles of the ODT goes along the waterfront in eclectic Port Townsend.

24 LOP Summer 2017

Johnson Creek is a favorite for Olympic Discovery Trail users. A collaboration between the City of Sequim and the Peninsula Trails Coalition made the former railroad passageway a walking of biking link in the trail. The town of Forks, to some extent, shares in the spoils as well. However, the trail does bypass the it by a few miles. “You can blow a kiss to Forks and just head out to the beach,” Chuck Preble, former presi-

dent of the Peninsula Trails Coalition, said. Rich James, transportation manager for Clallam County, said the Forks portion of the trail is on the list of goals for completion of the Olympic Discovery Trail.


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Summer 2017 LOP 25


Trails can be powerful tools for economic development. The New York Times recently noted a National Association of Homebuilders study that found that trails are the No. 1 amenity that potential homeowners cite when choosing a new community. By consciously linking trails and businesses, and by providing new desirable housing choices along trails, communities around the country are building vital, economically stable neighborhoods that are truly sustainable. “The trail is a plus for property values in Sequim,” said McHugh, whose office at the east end of Washington Street displays a sign advertising a home with ODT access. “It’s a plus in marketing homes here.” Special events boost the coffers as well. The Olympic Discovery Marathon, an annual event the first week of June, brings hundreds of runners, their families and friends to the area. The 26-mile course begins in Blyn and ends in Port Angeles, all on the Olympic Discovery Trail. “The marathon has a huge economic impact,“ James said. “Most people who come up here for the marathon spend more time than just the day and they spend money.” James estimated the marathon generates about a million dollars to the communities on the peninsula, filling Sequim and Port Angeles hotels and restaurants with roughly 6,000 people in one weekend. The Tour de Lavender bicycle ride, set for the weekend of Aug. 5 this year, welcomes bicyclists from near and afar. The Sequim Lavender

TRAILS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

• Trails build strong, economically vital communities. Trails, according to a National Association of Homebuilders study cited by The New York Times, are the No. 1 amenity potential homeowners cite when they are looking at moving into a new community. • Trails provide communities with a valuable amenity that translates into increased housing values. • Trails revitalize neighborhoods and in many places has spurred development of new housing and businesses to take advantage of the desirable location adjacent to the trail. • Trails build local businesses. Bicycle tourists, a growing, affluent segment of the tourist market, contribute significantly to local businesses that are well-connected to trails. Along the Virginia Creeper Trail in southwest Virginia, visitors spend $1.59 million annually providing an estimated 27 new full time jobs. Source: Rails to Trails Conservancy Farmers Association say the Olympic Discovery trail is a very important part of the ride. Finally, the trail provides something perhaps more valuable than economic gain: Exercise and well-being for its citizens. Mindy Fullilove, Columbia University psychiatrist and author, likens the pedestrian pathways and urban trails to arteries in the circulatory system of a city: essential conditions for creating a healthy city. There is much to be said for cities where neighborhoods are physically connected and

where it is possible to move across a city easily. A coherent sense of one’s entire city is one benefit, as well as an ability to experience the different ecological zones and habitats there. A well-developed urban trail system delivers significant health benefits, helps to entice and tempt residents outside, and is recognized as a key positive attribute of quality of life. “While Clallam County has spent millions on the trail, and will probably spend millions more, it is worth the benefits it provides people up here,” added James.

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26 LOP Summer 2017

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Route Update

Trail Right of Way

Length of route, Port Townsend ferry dock to the bar at the La Push Resort, as you could ride it today: The trail should have 88.52 miles by 2019 or be 68 percent complete.

Segment

Seg. Total (miles)

Pave trail/low volume road

La Push to Hwy. 101

13.88

1.38

Highway 101 to Mary Clark Road

10.42

0

Mary Clark Road to East Beach Trailhead

29.72

27.72 (+2 when tunnels open 2019)

East Beach to Elwha River

14.65

0 (+6 for WL/Gossett Road 2019)

Elwha River to Morse Creek

11.74

11.74

Port Angeles to Sequim

16.98

16.98

Sequim to county line

8.72

7.05 (+1.67 for Diamond Point 2018)

County line to Discovery Bay

8.26

5.68

Discovery Bay to Port Townsend ferry

14.84

8.30

Total Length

129.21

78.85 miles (61%)

by Jeanette Stehr-Green based on guidance from the Peninsula Trails Coalition and American Hiking Society

To estimate the finished length of the ODT, a rough estimate is to add +3 miles for avoiding the Highway 20 route, +4 miles for current plans for the East Beach to Joyce route and +1.5 miles for taking the trail off Highway 101 to Forks, so about 138 ±2 miles when complete. With 79 miles done to date, the trail is 57 percent of the way. If the work in process is done by 2020, there will 10 miles more or 64 percent. — Chuck Preble, Peninsula Trails Coalition board member and Clallam County Trail Advisory Group member

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your voice (a simple “hello”) or by ringing your bike bell before passing. Pass on the left. 6. When using road sections of the trail, walk or ride in singlefile to the far right side of the road. Watch out for and always yield the right of way to vehicular traffic on these shared roads. 7. When bringing a pet on a hike, be sure to keep it on a leash and under control so that it does not get in the way of other trail users. To be safe, always be aware of your surroundings and ready to yield the right of way regardless of the rules.  For more information, including specific guidance on use of the Adventure Trail Route, visit www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com/ planning_info/trail_rules.html. 

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Trailhead markers indicate appropriate users for those portions of the trail. In general: Except for electric assist bicycles and wheelchairs, no motorized vehicles are allowed on non-road sections of the trail. Equestrians are only allowed on county-administered portions of the trail, not inside Port Angeles or Sequim city limits. Road bicycles (as opposed to mountain bicycles) are not appropriate on the Adventure Route.

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Parts of the Olympic Discovery Trail are shared by hikers, bikers, individuals in wheelchairs and equestrians. So who has the right of way and how can all users be safe? Here are a few simple rules to prevent collisions (and other problems) on the trail. 1. Because there is two-way traffic on the trail, always stay to the right.  2. As the largest and (usually) least-predictable creatures on the trail, horses should be given the right of way by all other trail traffic. If a horse approaches, move to the side and give it as wide a berth as possible. So as not to startle the animal, talk calmly and avoid abrupt movements. If you are unsure about how to approach a horse, ask the handler for guidance. 3. Bicyclists always should yield to hikers. Because bikes are often moving considerably faster than pedestrians, it’s usually easier for hikers to step aside and allow a biker to pass, but a biker should never expect a hiker to yield the right of way. 4. If you are hiking or biking in a group, don’t take up the whole width of the trail. Form a single file to the right when necessary, allowing others to pass.  5. If you’re about to pass another hiker or biker from behind, announce your presence with

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Summer 2017 LOP 27


Drifting and

Sifting

“Dungeness Dragon” by Tuttie Peetz

DRIFTWOOD SCULPTORS MAKE STUNNING ART FROM ALL TYPES OF FOREST LEFTOVERS Story and photos by Mary Powell For a good many of us, walking on a beach, through a forest or even perusing our personal property is just that. A nice walk-about. Not so for Tuttie Peetz, driftwood artist extraordinaire. Peetz doesn’t simply take a walk, especially on a beach laden with chunks of driftwood of all shapes and sizes. Instead, with eyes cast down, she searches for the perfect piece of deadwood that she might sculpt into a perfect piece of art. She almost always brings something home, as is evidenced by a couple of relatively large piles of “to do” pieces of driftwood outside her workshop at her Sequim home. “There’s always that quest for the perfect piece of wood,” says Peetz, an award-winning driftwood sculptor and sculpting instructor. “Sometimes when I see a piece of wood, I know what I will do with it. Other times, I have no idea.” Yet, walking into Peetz’s workshop, it’s apparent she does have an idea of what to do with wood. The compact studio, built off the

28 LOP Summer 2017

side of the house, is filled with driftwood in various stages of completion. On shelves lining all four walls are stunning sculptures, some with names such as “Emerging Swan,” “Aimless Wandering” or “Nebula.” “Every single piece is unique,” Peetz said. Looking closely at all the works in the studio, I agree. It was something I never thought about doing, never mind the patience it takes to turn a chunk of wood into something spectacular — and patience is not one of my virtues. Peetz disagrees (not about the patience part). “Anyone can learn to do this,” she insists. But then adds she has a pretty good eye for changing “raw” wood into an art piece. It wasn’t always so. Peetz grew up in Maryland, but decided on the Midwest for college, earning degrees in finance and human development from the University of Nebraska. She and her husband settled in Nebraska, both working for a major pharmaceutical company. In 1993, they retired and chose Sequim to a build a home. Fortunately for a wood-lover, they built their home on 10 acres in the middle

of the woods halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles. Yes, she has found several good pieces of wood on their property. A few years after moving to the great Pacific Northwest, Peetz decided to go to a driftwood show. Next thing she knew, she was taking a class and the bug bit. So much so that she put together a workshop and studio, where she teaches classes. “I believe if you love something you should share it,” she says of her art.

CREATING A SCULPTURE

What do a bear tooth, a deer antler and a can of Kiwi shoe polish have in common? This is not the beginning of a joke. Rather, this odd combination of items are but a few of the tools that might be used to transform a piece of driftwood to a piece of art. If you’ve ever picked up a piece of driftwood, it already has been sculpted by the the wind or waves on a beach or from its journey from a nearby forest. Driftwood, Peetz says, is really dead wood.


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Summer 2017 LOP 29


“I believe if you love something, you should share it.”

— Tuttie Peetz, driftwood sculptor and instructor “A lot of wood comes from old clearcuts, from the desert or mountain and river drifts.” Most driftwood is the remains of trees that have been washed into the ocean, due to flooding, winds or other natural occurrences, or as the result of logging.” Peetz naturally shares her enthusiasm for sculpting. Her studio can accommodate up to 10 students, giving her the opportunity for oneon-one instruction. Depending on how many students are interested, she teaches four, six-week courses a year. Some students come from afar, making housing arrangements for the duration of classes. She recalls one fellow who was from Nova Scotia. The six-week course costs $50 which includes the use of Peetz’s tools. “I do ask them to buy a router blade to use for scraping off dirty, rotten wood.” She also asks students to bring one or more pieces of wood. “We look at the wood to determine if it is good piece or not,” Peetz says. “It is part of learning what to look for before starting to shape the wood into art.” After examining a piece of raw wood, and perhaps discerning what it might become, Peetz might cut off some rogue offshoots that could conflict with an image or design. Then she scrapes off dead cells with the router blade. Then comes sanding and sanding and more sanding, more sculpting and shaping and more sanding. After all that sanding, she might pull out a magnifying class and, you guessed it, sand some more. “I put hours and hours into sanding a piece,” she smiles, showing me a row of tools she uses, some resembling surgical instruments. Come to think of it, shaping, sculpting, restoring a future piece of artwork isn’t all that far from a surgical procedure, isn’t it? After sanding comes burnishing. Here’s where the antler, tooth and shoe polish comes in. A deer antler is a traditional tool for many driftwood sculptors, Peetz says, while polishing a nearly-finished

30 LOP Summer 2017

from old grapevine, and “Emerging Swan” is made from California redwood. “The Swan” is one of Peetz’s favorites; it usually has place in her living room.

OLYMPIC DRIFTWOOD SCULPTORS

Tuttie Peetz, driftwood sculptor, works on a “raw” piece of wood in her Sequim studio, which also serves as a classroom for students interested in the art form. She said at this point she had “no ideas of what this is going to be.” piece with an antler. Pressing down on the wood seals it and brings out a little shine. Some artists stop after burnishing the wood, however, Peetz likes to add a bit of wax — Kiwi neutral shoe polish. “Years ago I made my own wax, but then I discovered the Kiwi, it’s a lot easier,” Peetz avows. Peetz talks about a few of the striking pieces in the studio. Three of her favorites are situated next to one another on a table, each more intricate than the next, as if to say, “yes, I used to be a piece of dirty

driftwood on a beach, but look at me now!” Each piece has a backstory. The piece named “Aimless Wandering” is aptly named, both in how the original was found and what it looks like today, a sturdy branch twisting every which way. “I saw this piece caught in the branches when I was walking around the woods,” Peetz recalls. “I tried to reach up and pull it down and ended up falling into a hole.” Ah, the perils of harvesting the perfect piece of wood. “Temple Guardian” is made

In 2008, Peetz and several driftwood sculptor friends decided to start a sculpting group in Sequim. Previous to establishing the group, called the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors, many artists of that ilk were associated with or exhibited their work with the Northwest Driftwood Artists in Seattle. With more and more driftwood artists on the peninsula, it made sense to have an association closer. Plus, the NWDA closely followed what is called the LuRon method when sculpting wood. According to the NWDA website, the LuRon Method can be attributed directly to the efforts of Lucile Worlund, who developed a method for the art form. (The name LuRon is a combination of the first two letters of Lucille and her son’s name, Ron.) The goal of the LuRon method is to reveal the inner beauty of the wood itself as it occurred naturally. When shaping the wood into sculptural forms, it is the LuRon tradition to make any changes appear to have occurred naturally. “The problem for us (Olympic Driftwood Sculptors) is the LuRon method is too restrictive,” says Peetz, who likes at times to add a bit of color, perhaps some turquoise, to her work. “For me it was too limiting.” There is no right or wrong way to do driftwood sculpting, Peetz continued. “Our goal is to be creative and have fun.” Today, there are 75 ODS active members. A membership offers classes, monthly meetings, workshops, shows which give members opportunities to display their art, and of course, a lot of camaraderie with like-minded artists. The group is planning stages for the July show during Sequim Lavender Weekend (July 21-23), to be held at the Sequim Middle School.


As for Peetz, she and her beautiful creations will be on display and some for sale. She has exhibited throughout the Northwest, including several juried shows and has received a huge number of awards, as attested by a wall of red, white and blue ribbons displayed in her studio. In between carving up driftwood, Peetz finds time to serve on the board of the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Coming from the East Coast and then Nebraska, Peetz has certainly landed in the right place for finding the best in driftwood. “The trick,” Peetz insists, “is finding a great piece of wood. I look for wood with curves and twists.” And, she adds, driftwood sculpting is very much a Northwest art form. Which is the exact reason why Peetz’s work is so diverse, breathtaking and — for want of any further attributes — just plain good. For more information regarding the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors, visit www.olympicdriftwoodsculptors.org.

FOOD & SPIRITS

The Cedars at Dungeness restaurants are The Double Eagle and Stymie’s Bar & Grill. Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and there are separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Call 360-683-6344 for more information. The Cedars at Dungeness is at 1965 Woodcock Road, Sequim. This winter the restaurant’s kitchen was expanded and revamped. Inspired by the changes, executive chef Richard White created new dishes with eye-pleasing presentations that focus less on bread and more on protein and fresh, raw vegetables. One such dish is the Open-Faced Halibut Sandwich with Thai Slaw Dressing:

THAI SLAW DRESSING: 1 ounce sesame oil 3 ounces rice vinegar 2 ounces chopped cilantro 0.25 ounce peeled garlic 1 ounce chopped parsley 1 ounce sesame seeds 1.5 ounces Kikkoman Aji-Mirin cooking wine

Artist Tuttie Peetz thought this piece looked a brain when she first noticed it while walking through the woods, so she said she performed a lobotomy. It is a burl, a rounded knotty growth on a tree, from a Douglas-fir.

Thai It On

The Cedars at Dungeness culinary variety THAI SLAW: Diced green cabbage, red cabbage, grated carrots. Mix lightly with dressing.

MISO MAYO: 4 ounces mayonnaise 0.5 ounce lemon juice 0.5 ounce Japanese Miso

HALIBUT: 4-6 ounces of fresh Northwest halibut Also, sourdough bread, olive or soy oil and sweet soy sauce

INSTRUCTIONS: Cook halibut in a hot sauté pan with soy or olive oil until opaque and lightly browned. Butter and grill one slice of good quality sourdough bread on both sides to warm. Plate halibut on sourdough and add Thai slaw. Top with Miso mayonnaise and drizzle sweet soy sauce over the top. Enjoy!

Richard White, executive chef at The Cedars at Dungeness restaurants The Double Eagle and Stymie’s Bar & Grill, says, “We developed an

open-faced sandwich with nice light flavors with garlic, fresh cilantro, light and bright colors without the extra bread.”

Summer 2017 LOP 31


CONVERSATIONS IN CONSERVATION: A common thread through a diverse landscape

Story and photos by Alana Linderoth Its name says it all: the Olympic Discovery Trail. From its meandering route, trail users can discover the assortment of natural, working and urban lands dotted across the Olympic Peninsula. Although not yet complete, the eventual, 130-mile non-motorized, multi-use trail will stretch across the northern Olympic Peninsula from Port Townsend to the east to the Pacific Ocean’s doorstep in La Push. Like a necklace, the Olympic Discovery Trail strings together a diverse landscape — fading from roadways and sidewalks in some areas to dense forests where only the songs of birds and creaks of swaying trees can be heard. For some, the trail is simply a method of transport, but for others it is a passage into a world of discovery and thought. “The Olympic Discovery Trail adds a lot to my general quality of life,” said Tom Sanford, a trail user and Port Angeles resident. “I find that my time on the trail is my thinking time. I try to go by myself, I ride really slow and I just think. Oftentimes while riding the trail, I’m inspired by this place.” Regardless of the countless times Sanford has biked along the trail, the stretch leading down to the Elwha River almost always ignites his curiosity. “I often find myself thinking about what the Elwha watershed might look like in 100 years,” he said. “The National Park Service has done a lot of intense work above the park boundary, but what can we do as a community to make sure the watershed maintains its beauty, as well as ecological and economic vitality into the future?” For Sanford, as executive director of North Olympic Land Trust — a community nonprofit focused on local land conservation — it is these types of questions that the Olympic Discovery Trail frequently uncovers.

THE TRAIL AND THE TRUST

The Land Trust has conserved a number of properties the Olympic Discovery Trail either transects or abuts. As trail users pass through the Sequim-Dungeness Valley and into Agnew, much of the surrounding farmland is conserved, including picturesque properties like Freedom Farm. Moving west, the trail passes between Lazy J Tree Farm and the public Siebert Creek Conservation Area. The trail soon borders a swath of conserved land known as the Discovery Trail Easement and west of Port Angeles it passes through the heart of the 115-acre Dry Creek Tree Farm. The Land Trust is supportive of the Olympic Discovery Trail because “it’s an example of a community project that builds community, encourages healthy living and draws outside visi-

32 LOP Summer 2017

ABOVE: Heading west toward the Elwha River, Olympic Discovery Trail users will pass through a conserved, 115-acre working forest known as Dry Creek Tree Farm. RIGHT: Otters play offshore, just east of Port Angeles along the ODT. tors to this place to add their economic piece,” Sanford said. “It is a win, win, win for the region.” Providing a public benefit is a requirement when conserving land via the Land Trust, explained Ruth Jenkins, property owner of the Discovery Trail Easement. Although Jenkins’ property is not open to the public, by bordering the Olympic Discovery Trail it allows trail users to forever enjoy the nature and green space it supports. “The stretch (of trail) alongside our property is quiet,” she said. “You can hear the birds. You do not smell car exhaust, instead you smell trees and it offers you a release from the stress that you didn’t know you had.” Conserved lands reflect just some of the diverse properties strung together by the Olympic Discovery Trail. Upon completion, the trail will pass through a range of 14 different jurisdictions including federal, tribal, state, county and city. Additionally, among each jurisdiction there are nearly countless underlying landowners and in some cases entities, such as timber companies.

PENINSULA TRAILS COALITION: A COMMON THREAD

“The multiplicity of jurisdictions, though often a complication, at times can work to the trail’s benefit,” said Jeff Bohman, Peninsula Trails Coalition board president. “The diversity of landscapes enhances the story of the trail and the trail experience, which leads to support, momentum, commitment and interest.” “Whether it’s to get more trail done or to maintain the trail, it is the exposure to that array of landscapes that helps to motivate,” he said. The nonprofit, all-volunteer Peninsula Trails Coalition was founded in 1988 and works to both develop and maintain the trail. The coalition’s effort as a voice for and driver behind the trail has been instrumental in bringing together the different landowners necessary to the trail’s


“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”

ODT bikers and hikers can enjoy pastoral scenes such as this where the trail goes through Freedom Farm, a 44-acre property near the hamlet of Agnew, west of Sequim. existence. Although many conversations are still to be had in order to complete the trail, it is by helping to facilitate such conversations that the coalition has been most critical, Bohman said. “Being the common thread and advocate despite the setting and situation across all those different jurisdictions with different attitudes, procedures, priorities and concerns, has been an important role of the coalition,” he said. By overcoming the challenges sometimes posed by the variety of jurisdictions and land use, the resulting trail is an engaging one — offering a wealth of experiences and striking vista points that are

– Winnie the Pooh

only multiplying as the trail grows. “This summer, we’ll have trail around the end of Discovery Bay and soon we’ll be adding trail around Lake Crescent,” Bohman said. “Already, there is trail going through Sequim Bay State Park, Johnson Creek east of Sequim, Morse Creek, and along the waterfront near Port Angeles, as well as Dry Creek and over the Elwha. Going through Sequim, a lot of people like the farm country and views up to the mountains to the south … Really, there is just beautiful location after beautiful location.” Alana Linderoth is the Community Engagement Specialist with the North Olympic Land Trust in Port Angeles.

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34 LOP Summer 2017

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THE DAYTRIPPER Life at Hurricane Ridge, as the park service notes, is “shaped by wind and snow.” And while there are activities abound in the wintertime at the ridge, hikers and sightseers alike have plenty in store during the summer months. Take a day trip to this majestic mountain for spectacular views. Looming more than 5,000 feet above sea level, Hurricane Ridge is Olympic National Park’s most easily reached mountain destination. Paved meadow loop trails traverse the ridge top near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The trails are handicapped accessible with some assistance and provide breathtaking views of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Vancouver Island to the north and snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains to the east and west. Mount Olympus rises to the spotlight at 7,965 feet. Located about 17 miles south of Port Angeles, the ridge is replete with flora and fauna, with blacktailed deer browsing among alpine lilies, Indian paintbrushes, phlox blossoms and other meadow flowers and marmots basking on rock outcroppings, hemlock and fir trees lining the cresting trails and valleys below. One of the more easy trails to access for the day hiker is the Big Meadow Loop which leads to the Cirque Rim Trail, with scenic overlooks past the Elwha Valley to the west. Because the summer crowd can be overwhelming, locals can avoid the summer tourist rush at Hurricane Ridge in several ways. One, crank back that alarm clock and get onto the ridge early; a sunrise over the peaks of the Olympics is worth the extra time. Two, ditch the main trails near the Visitor Center for the 3.8-mile trail leading from Sunrise Point to Klahhane Ridge. While a bit steep, the High Ridge Trail climbs to an impressive ridge-top view before dropping to a four-way juncture.

36 LOP Summer 2017

Make it a day at Hurricane Ridge Story and photos by Michael Dashiell To the left, the trail loops back to the meadow trails. Ahead is a short climb to Sunrise Point. To the right is the Mount Angeles Trail, which parallels Sunrise Ridge to Mount Angeles and offers top mountain views as it traverses flowered meadows and stands of sub-alpine forest. After about 2.8 miles, the trail encounters the Switchback Trail for a steep one-mile climb up Klahhane Ridge and a picnic point. The trail continues down the shale slope past Lake Angeles to the park entrance. A third option involves a drive beyond the Visitor Center to Hurricane Hill. The road is narrow and winding — deterring some would-be hikers — but leads to a 1.6-mile paved trail, a relatively easy hike with beautiful views.

RIDGE DETAILS

Olympic National park’s sevenday entrance pass, which allows a private vehicle to enter any of the park’s roadways, costs $25. Hurricane Ridge Road is open 24 hours a day from mid-May into October. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center has exhibits, an orientation movie and restrooms. It is open with a staffed information desk daily in summer months as well as on certain days in the winter. A foyer restroom and warming area always are open. Ranger programs are offered late June to September and a gift shop with snack bar is open mid-May to early fall. Picnic Areas A and B (summer only), located one mile beyond the Visitor Center, have restrooms, water and paved trails to tables. The closest vehicle campground is at Heart O’ the Hills, 12 miles downhill near the park entrance. Get wilderness camping permits at the Wilderness Information Center, 565-3100, in Port Angeles. Pets and bicycles are not permitted on paved or dirt trails. Park officials ask visitors to stay on designated trails and not feed wildlife. See www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm for more details.

TRAILS AT THE RIDGE

• Cirque Rim An easy, paved trail with views of Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca; wheelchair accessible with assistance Distance: 0.5 miles (one way) Elevation change: Less than 50 feet • Big Meadow Easy paved trail crosses open meadows with views of the Olympics; wheelchair accessible with assistance Distance: 0.25 (one way) Elevation change: Less than 50 feet • High Ridge Partially paved loop climbs to 360-degree views and a 0.1-mile, dead-end spur trail to Sunrise Point Distance: 0.5 mile (loop) Elevation change: +220 feet • Klahhane Ridge The first 2.8 miles of this trail is on a ridge to a junction with the Klahhane Switchback trail. An additional mile on the Switchback Trail climbs 800 feet to Klahhane Ridge Distance: 3.8 miles (one way) Elevation change: +250 feet the first 2.8 miles

• Hurricane Hill Paved trail climbs to a panoramic view of mountains and saltwater. The first 0.25 miles is wheelchair accessible with assistance Distance: 1.6 miles (one way) Elevation change: +700 feet • Wolf Creek Dirt trail descends 8 miles to Whiskey Bend in the Elwha Valley Distance: 8 miles (one way) Elevation change: -3,772 feet • Little River Dirt trail descends to the Little River Road Distance: 8 miles (one way) Elevation change: -4,073 feet • Hurricane Hill/Elwha Dirt trails descend from Hurricane Hill through meadows and steep forested switchbacks to the start of the Whiskey Bend Road Distance: 6 miles (one way) Elevation change: -5,250 feet Plan a whole day at the ridge and remember to pack a picnic — and a camera! Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette and an avid hiker with his wife Patsene and their dachshund Louis.

For the adventurous hiker, check out the 3.8-mile hike from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center to Klahhane Ridge.


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Enhancing Lives One Moment at a Time Summer 2017 LOP 37


LIVING END

THE JOY OF DISCOVERY By the Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith The beautiful passage (at right) from John Muir calls us out into the rich natural world around us here on the Olympic Peninsula. It reminds us to take the time to truly encounter life by taking regular pauses in the daily activities that fill our hours with things to do. The northern edge of this amazing landmass offers a perfect opportunity to experience the amazing variety of flora and fauna that grace this place. The Olympic Discovery Trail is a pathway of adventure for everyone to explore nature as they journey from the quaint Victorian streets of Port Townsend to the Pacific shoreline with its crashing waves and rugged beaches. To engage a life of discovery is to realize that it is the journey along the way rather than the destination that gives life meaning and purpose.

The markers are often not what we expect, so keeping wonder in one’s heart is essential to the journey. It’s about noticing the little things rather than rushing past them. There’s a scene in “The Horse Whisperer” when Annie finally gets to the ranch of this soul master of horses after much searching and feeling lost. She tells him she had trouble finding it because there were no signs. He looks at her and says. “Oh, there were signs. They just weren’t written down.” We too can have interesting and magical signposts along the paths of our travels. There are outer markers but there also are inner compass points to align our soul journey within and through the world with eyes of discovery. These assist us in keeping our feet on the path from the shore of our birth to the shore of our death. Here are four of those with which you can align your life:

“VERY SELDOM DO YOU COME UPON A SPACE … WHEN YOU MAY STOP AND SIMPLY BE. OR WONDER WHO, AFTER ALL, YOU ARE.” URSULA K. LEGUIN It is those choices of wandering a road less traveled or walking side-by-side with kindred souls. Every day is full of opportunities to explore, experience and enhance our world if we’re willing. The same path can be walked daily for years and yet no two journeys will be the same in this constantly evolving place of nature. It’s not about where we go, but more how we choose to encounter it. Having a deeper awareness of the world around us helps us orient to our own inner North Star that will ever guide us through the world.

38 LOP Summer 2017

L … LOVE Ask yourself what do you really love? What makes your heart sing? Remember the relationships that most enliven your world … be they people, animals or flowers in your garden. Then take the time to consciously connect to and appreciate those things. Always head in the direction of love expressing to find the gentlest path.

I … INNER LIGHT Now seek what makes you uniquely you. What are your inner gifts and talents? When you were a

“KEEP CLOSE TO NATURE’S HEART … AND BREAK CLEAR AWAY, ONCE IN A WHILE, AND CLIMB A MOUNTAIN OR SPEND A WEEK IN THE WOODS. WASH YOUR SPIRIT CLEAN.” JOHN MUIR child, what captivated your imagination? This is the reserve of your true power. We get exhausted from trying to be everything to everyone. Walk in nature and remember that an oak tree acorn can’t become a rose bush when it grows up. Seek inner guidance so your feet will remain on a pathway of insight and inspiration.

V … VALUE To decide which direction to move in and what obstacles to face, take time to remember what you truly value. Reflect on what really matters to you. Who and what are you dedicating your life energy to? At the end of your life as you look back at various crossroads, will you be happy with your choices? Align with how you want to live and you’ll end up where you want to be.

E … ENVIRONMENT One of our essential soul decisions involved not only where we were born but also where we’ve chosen to live and grow our souls. Of all the places in the world you could be, where feels most like home and why? What environment brings out

the best in you and inspires you to new possibilities? Place yourself in the soil where you grow best, remembering that a blue spruce planted in the desert will quickly perish. Take the time to let nature and life nourish you deeply. Living consciously a life of discovery will bless you and all those you encounter … whether you’re walking the Olympic Discovery Trail or the greater path of your life. Take the journey with a willing soul, an open heart, a curious mind and an adventuresome body. That way when you reach the farthest shore, you’ll smile … having lived the words of this anonymous sage: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’ ”

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at revpam@unitypt.org.


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Summer 2017 LOP 39


ORTHOPEDICS It’s the summit view of Mt. Townsend that catches your breath like it’s the first time—every time. It’s the mind-clearing, spirit-lifting climb to a new perspective. It’s finding yourself in the middle of nowhere, and finding yourself.

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Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula Summer 2017  

i20170613164205678.pdf

Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula Summer 2017  

i20170613164205678.pdf