March 29, 2018

Olympic Peninsula Trip - Day Twelve (Part One)

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Brinnon, Washington
Dosewallips State Park

We awoke fairly early (any time before 7:30 is early for us while camping) and I wonder if it was due to the road noise from Hwy. 101, which picked up with the morning traffic, or if I subconsciously wanted to spot some elk grazing nearby. Sadly, there were none to be seen and there wasn't a view of the sunrise either, so I decided to head across the highway to the day-use parking lot, which has a view of the Hood Canal. 

Still quiet in the campground, so we weren't the only ones to sleep late.

You can see the cabins in our loop, most of which were vacant during the week.

This shot gives you an idea of how much green space we had behind the trailer. It's a great site!

The sun was already up, but it was still very pretty. 

I walked through the dry camp area and down to the river, where I spotted TWO eagles perched in the tree with the nest! Of course, I didn't think to bring my good camera, but got a few shots with my phone.

I also spied a salmon swimming upstream to lay its eggs!

Found this nice site in the dry camp area, which would be great if you didn't need hookups. There were several others that looked like they would be nice, too. The ones along the river would be perfect once the salmon were gone. Pretty smelly while they're spawning.

Fun mural underneath the bridge leading back to the main campground.

Ah, the elk were nearby! After breakfast, we learned from another camper that the herd was back behind the ranger station, so I decided to go check it out (with the good camera in hand!). Sure enough, there were maybe 30 or so bedded down in the shade by the picnic tables. So cool to see them so close! I took a lot of shots and have culled them down to just a few.

At first glance, these guys almost look like large boulders behind the picnic tables.

You can easily see the strength in those legs and body! Roosevelt's cows weigh up to 600 lbs., while the bulls can reach 900 lbs. 

According to the Elk Network, the Roosevelt's Elk is the "largest in body size of all subspecies, but not antler size."
Roosevelt’s elk: Ghosts of the Jungle - Amidst the dark, looming cedars and firs lurks a large shadow of an animal. It’s the Roosevelt’s elk of the Pacific Northwest. These elk hide out in the thick coastal rainforests where they easily eluded early hunters. Roosevelt’s plump up on berry bushes and willows all winter, munching more grasses and small leafy plants in spring and summer giving them the largest bodies of any elk. They also have the darkest coats, which help them blend into their shady environment.

I was definitely being watched and took all of these photos with a zoom lens. 

I decided to head back to the river to see if the eagles were still around, which they weren't, so I headed back to the trailer. 

I took my journal and laptop out to the picnic table to join Rod, who was busy working on an editing project. It was so lovely to sit and relax outside. I even read for a little while (Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck), before fixing lunch. It was a great morning!


  1. I bet seeing the eagles, salmon, and elk was awesome!

    1. Kathy, I love seeing any wildlife! All of these sightings were a big thrill for me.

  2. All the animals were wonderful. Yes, we see the elk when we go to NM. Sometimes they are pretty close and they do wander through people's yards up there. And lay in the flower beds. Ha! There have also been wild horses, but we haven't seen that herd in a while. Maybe have been higher up the mountains.

    1. Kay, aren't the elk majestic animals? I suppose I wouldn't like them as much if they ate my shrubbery or bedded down in my flower bed, though. :)


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