Thursday, September 28, 2017
The last full day at Dosewallips.
I thought about putting my feet up and relaxing on this last full day at Dosewallips State Park, given how much I had seen and done here already, but I just couldn’t do that. There were hikes to take, sights to see, people to talk with … and yes, sigh, more Elk.
In particular, I wanted to see Murhut Falls on the Duckabush River. Descriptions online were most enticing.
So I jumped in the big white truck after breakfast and again left the campground … oops, but not before the Elk, yet again, blocked the campground road right beside the Ranger Station.
I took these photos as I inched past them in the truck. They had (again) slept overnight in the playground/ballfield next to the Ranger Station. Later in the day I asked the Rangers why the Elk were hanging around for a fourth day in a row … they had no idea. I began to wonder if I would find them on my back patio when I got home!
No telephoto lens needed for the photo above. She really was that close to my truck. With no bulls around, and with her “preorbital” eye gland relatively closed, I felt I was fairly safe inside the truck driving right past her, and I even had the window open. She didn’t even twitch an ear.
And then I left the campground and once again headed up the Duckabush River Road, past the Interrorem Ranger Cabin, past the end of the paved road, past a pull-out where horses are off-loaded from trailers for horseback riding on some of the trails, and eventually to a turn-off onto a very small dirt road that led into a large parking area.
Above, the drive up the Duckabush River Road. Below, my short video on YouTube of a bit of the drive.
Below, my even shorter video on YouTube of the drive on Duckabush River Road after it became a dirt road.
I was looking for the trail to Murhut Falls and thought this was the parking area for it, but not one of the the signs or posters in the photo below made mention of where I was or the name or number of the trail leading into the woods behind those signs. That felt odd.
I hung around for a bit, but no one else was around. It felt a bit spooky, frankly. I walked thirty feet up the trail and felt so spooked that I turned around and went back to my truck and drove out of there.
What was that all about!? Well, there is a story here and I’ll tell you about it at the end of this post.
But in the meantime, I was out in the truck on a beautiful day and was determined to go somewhere and see something!
The photo above is a small bay or cove that I then drove to called Pleasant Harbor. It’s only a mile or so south of Dosewallips State Park. Pleasant Harbor is home to a private marina, a yacht club marina, and a few Washington State Park buoys that you can tie your boat to for over-nighting. I have been here a number of times by boat. It’s an out-of-the-way location as far as boating in Puget Sound is concerned but it is such a pretty and protected harbor and the marinas are most welcoming to transient boaters. It was a perfect morning to drive around the shore of one of my old boating haunts.
On one of my boat cruises to this area, I had come across the tiniest marina I had ever seen (not in Pleasant Harbor, but nearby), so I set out in my truck to find it on this lovely morning. It took a bit of time, following old roads that ended up to be dead-ends, but eventually I found the correct road.
The name of the correct road was “Linger Longer Road” … don’t you just love that?
Once on the correct road, I got distracted as usual and stopped in the parking lot (above) of the Indian George Creek Restoration Site. I parked the truck and walked for a bit, then sat on the edge of the beach and watched and listened to the world. What a peaceful place.
From that parking lot, I could see this home (in both photos above) that was on the very edge of the saltwater marsh. What great views they would have of winter storms, not to mention all manner of migrating and local birds.
A bit further down Linger Longer Road, I found the tiny marina I had been seeking … Herb Beck Marina, officially in Quilcene, WA. It’s tiny, but it boasts a fuel dock that offers ethanol-free unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel. I suspect most of the boats here are used for local fishing, shrimping, and the like.
Right next door to the marina are these large black tanks (below). Originally owned by Coast Seafoods, this facility is now owned and operated by Pacific Seafood in partnership with Penn Cove Shellfish (Coupeville, WA, on Whidbey Island).
The facilities are used to produce oyster, clam, and mussel larvae and seed which are then transported to the company’s hatcheries and farms. Eventually full-size oysters, mussels, and clams are packaged and sold fresh directly to grocery stores and restaurants for our enjoyment.
This sign below is actually the side of a refrigeration truck that was parked there, either picking up or delivering a load of something important in the process.
Driving away from the marina and the seafood plant, I spotted this old pusher tug sitting on blocks by the side of the road.
This outdrive unit was about 8 feet tall from the top gear to the bottom skeg. The boat seemed to be permanently “on the hard” (on land) so I’m not surprised the propeller had been removed.
A peek (above) into the engine room. The engine was missing the cover to the heat exchanger and there was a bit of rust in evidence, but the hoses and clamps and belts honestly looked practically brand new. Who has the key? Let’s see if she’ll start!
Heading back to Dosewallips State Park, I managed to avoid getting on Highway 101 unless there was no other route. The back roads provided views of the foothills of the Olympic Mountains and views of some of the local folks.
See the little black bird at the feet of this fine Shire draught horse?
I drove back to my trailer in the campground for lunch and inquired at the Ranger Station about that spooky parking area and the trail there and told them how eerie the place felt.
The nice Ranger fellow told me two hikers had reported that there was a lone backpacker up that trail who had shouted at them and sworn at them, and then that angry guy had disappeared into the woods. The Ranger said that other Rangers had been hiking that trail for a couple of days trying to find this guy with no luck.
No wonder that trail felt sinister. According to the Ranger, chances are the guy has moved on, but I’m just as happy that I paid attention to what I felt and returned to the truck and left when I felt spooked by the place.
The Ranger very gently let me know that I wasn’t even at the trail to Murhut Falls and then he showed me on the map where the correct parking area and trail were. In answer to my next question about the weird guy, the Ranger suggested I carry bear spray which is stronger than regular pepper spray and will deter humans who are on drugs where regular pepper spray sometimes has no effect.
Double strength pepper spray (also called bear spray) for use on humans — and wolf urine spray for use on bears and such — have now been ordered. If I ever come back to my trailer smelling like chili pepper pizza and wolf pee, then you’ll know something fairly noteworthy happened. 🙂