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It was great to be out and hiking in 5 weeks.  Weather has been rainy in the weekend for over a month.  It appears that the nice fall season was skipped after a nice summer.   For the last several weeks, temp has been in low 40s to 50s which are close to the winter.   Les and I decided to hike the Elbo Creek since the National Parks (Department of Interior) and National Forests (Department of Agriculture) are closed due to government shutdown and the mountain weather forecast had a high chance of showers.   It was 50% chance of showers after 1100 in Quilcene area but it did not rain.  It was getting dark while we were hiking back.  Time spent was 0930-1330.  My GPS could not receive satellite signals for over 2 hours even at the road junction at 2800 ft elev.   I knew that there was some issues with GPS reception in the area but not at higher elevation near the road junction.     I estimated the hiking mileages from my old file.

Trail Condition:
The lower trail was pretty much clear of the down trees.  The upper flat area near 2600 ft elev had lots of fallen trees and the fainted trails were obscured by tree branches.   Some routes were re-routed with the marking ribbons, but none of the routes were particularly difficult to navigate.   It's maybe because we were familiar with the routes.   We met a couple of solo hikers.    One hiker was coming down by turning around before the road junction.     For the first time hiker,  it would have been hard to get to the road junction.     The other hiker passed us as we were picking mushrooms near 1 mile into the hike.     He called out my name and realized that he was one of my co-workers which was a total surprise.    It was first time for him on the Elbo Creek trail.    When we got to the flat area, he was sort of looking around for the flags.     We took over leading the way, and went up to the highest point on the road.   Then, we went up to the Towers for additional elevation gain despite the area was socked in with clouds.    We took a short lunch break there and hiked out.

On the way up,  we harvested some golden Chanterelles and Matsutake mushrooms near the trails.   Looks like they were starting to sprout.   Those two types of mushrooms are the only ones that I can positively identify and eat. 

a Elbo Creek-Buck_Mt 1.jpg

b Elbo Creek TH.JPG




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