Mailbox Peak Hike, November 2018

It was time for a calorie burn after Thanksgiving, so my wife Linna, niece Chloe Wei and my good friend Matt Kerby hiked up Mailbox Peak via the old trail two days after stuffing our face with roasted duck, lamb and cold Chinese sliced beef.  

Rick Freeman, Chloe Wei & Linna Freeman enjoying the peak of Mailbox Peak.  

The famous Mailbox Peak

We ascended and descended the old trail (red)…4,000 feet up in 2.5 miles.  I have descended the new trail (blue) a couple of times, but the 5 miles one way down seems to take forever.  My knees are tender and some of the larger step-downs send agonizing jolts of pain on the 2.5 miles old trail, but I will bear the pain to forsake the extended 5 miles. 

Granite Mountain Hike, September 2018

Linna wanted to complete another fall color hike before the season was over and from the WTA trip reports, Granite Mountain was reaching full peak.  We met up with Mike Curry at the trail-head at sunrise and got an early start on the hike knowing that it was going to be a busy day on the mountain…especially on a beautiful fall sunny day.

The reports were accurate, vibrant fall colors decorated the mountain.  Near the pond area and the back side were abundant with thick flamboyant fall leaves.  We had lunch near the look-out tower huddle by some of rocks to protect us from the chilly wind.

On the decent we ran into hordes of hikers seeking the same pictures we took. Chloe Wei, Rick Freeman and Mike Curry enjoying another hiking day.

Rick Freeman & Mike Curry

The colors we were seeking…..near the pond.

Mike Curry, Linna Freeman and Rick Freeman loving Granite Mountain

Linna Freeman overlooking Mount Rainier

Mike Curry hiding from the brisk wind

Olympic Backpacking Trip, August 2018

My good friend Jim Darmiento ask me to join him and two other friends on a four day/three night backpacking trip that actually turned into a three day/two night backpacking trip.

We started that the Dosewallips trail-head via the River Road…also known as the gateway to the eastern Olympic Mountains.  The River Road is wide gravel road good for bikes and horses and it was a great way to warm the legs up with 38 lb. pack before picking up elevation gain.  After walking pass the Elkhorn campground we finally started to ascend upon the river valley.

After about 9 miles or so the first day we made camp at the Dose Forks camp.  The camp was pretty full, but a couple who was only having lunch gave up a nice spot so we sit-up our single man tents.  AJ brought along some whisky, but it didn’t take long for the four of us to finish it off.  We all slept pretty well the first night.Our before picture at Dosewallips River Road, only 40 miles to go.  Paul Shinners, AJ Soule, Jim Darmiento and Rick Freeman

We set up our single man tents at the Dose Forks camp.  When our group first got here, there was no tent spots open.  Luckily, an young couple were sitting on the log (in background) having lunch and asked if we were looking for a spot to pitch our tent and it was like “oh hell yes”.

Jim and I in the hut at Camp Siberia.  It down poured through-out the night….we stayed dry under the shelter.

Third day at Anderson Pass.

We finished our third day and last day with 19 miles with wet backpacks at Graves Creek Campground.  Total trip was 40 miles!  I want to thank Paul for carrying my .45 caliber Kimber gun on the last long leg.