Location: Staircase, near Hoodsport
Distance: 6.5 miles
This was another adventure cut short. To take advantage of a rare sunny day and a forced day off, I eagerly looked forward to exploring a wild waterway - North Ford Skokomish River - beneath gigantic trees and ending at twin subalpine lakes. But then life happened. We got a late start, decreasing the odds of finishing the entire 15 miles. The last 1.2 mile of road to the trailhead was closed due to recent monsoon damage. Once we started up the path though, my feet found a soothing pace and my mind began to drift. It didn’t last long. We hopped across Slate Creek on slippery stones, balanced atop snow-covered logs and ducked under fallen trees. Then the trail disappeared. We kept blazing forward, satisfied every time we passed a ribbon tied to a branch, indicating we were still heading in the right direction. The trail proceeded past the remnants of a 1986 slide and came across an area that burned in a 1,400-acre blaze in 1985. Once we started climbing straight up above a cliff, slipping and sliding in the snow, it was time to turn around. My adventurous spirit was on vacation apparently, so we lingered near Lake Cushman and called it quits.