Twig Adventures

PNT Route Options

My intention for this post is to help future PNT hikers in answering the age-old question: Which way should I go? I’m not saying that anyone has to follow my advice, just explaining why I chose certain options and what I thought of them at the time. Though, there are a few routes that I STRONGLY encourage, either for the wow-factor or to hopefully save a hiker some misery. The PNT is full of ‘alternates,’ so it’s very much a choose-your-own-adventure type trail, similar to the CDT. Recalling that the official trail is depicted as a red line on the Far Out app, alternate routes are usually drawn as a blue line, but sometimes other colors such as purple or[…]

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PNT Summary and Stats

After having several months to reminisce and go through my daily blogs, I have only warm and fuzzy memories of this hike. Was it my absolute favorite? Well…it seems like every trail becomes my new favorite but it certainly ranks high. Like most long distance trails I’ve done, there were some really incredible days, many that were uneventful and quiet yet still enjoyable, and only a few that weren’t so great. I’m pretty happy walking just about anywhere, so you may want to take my overall impressions with a grain of salt. Certainly some hikers do not enjoy the PNT, mostly I think because of the road walking, bushwhacks, and rough trails. Yet these can also be some of the[…]

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PNT Bonus Days: Kulshan

Tuesday-Saturday, August 29th-Sept 3rd, 2022Port Angeles to Port Townsend to Whidbey Island to Sedro-Woolley to Mt. Baker to Mt. Vernon to Seattle12 miles hiked, Gain/loss: 7412′ Thanks for sharing in my adventures on the PNT. If you want more, then here it is… a LOT more. Fair warning, this is an exceptionally long-winded post about my bonus peak bagging adventure, plus the days before and after. I recognize that all my later posts from the PNT were overly long, mainly because I wrote them much later off-trail, with access to a real keyboard. But I also had such a fun and exciting time at the very end, I wanted to capture as many of the details as I could, for[…]

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PNT Day 60: All Good Things…

Monday, August 29th, 2022, 0615-1330Chilean Memorial to Cape Alava, then to Ozette via connector trail, WEBO mm 1248.2, Section 10 Olympic Coast16.6 plus 3.3 miles, Gain 890′, Loss 870′, elevation 0′ Another perfect night on the beach and this day we awoke to clear blue skies, not even a hint of fog. I must admit, aside from a kinda wet start (which I didn’t even mind), I’d been blessed with nearly perfect weather the whole route. While the trail might have been punishing at times, at least I didn’t have the complicating factor of punishing weather to deal with. I packed quickly but was second to last out of camp. I found everyone just ahead, slowly beginning the day’s routine[…]

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PNT Day 59: Life’s a Beach in the PNW

Sunday, August 28th, 2022, 0615-1900Hoh River/Diamond Rock to Chilean Memorial, WEBO mm 1231.6, Section 10 Olympic Coast23 miles, Gain 2460′, Loss 2450′, elevation 15′ What an amazing night on the beach! I slept so soundly to the rhythm of the surf…the most perfect white noise machine ever made. Also, my concern over excessive condensation proved untrue. I couldn’t believe it when I woke to a mostly dry tent. I don’t recall ever having a dry tent when pitched fully exposed on a marine beach. It’s just not supposed to happen and especially not in the PNW. And as far as I could tell, no critters came by to raid my food. It’s funny that the Everglades NP raccoons are so[…]

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PNT Day 58: To the Beach

Saturday, August 27th, 2022, 1035-1900Bogachiel State Park to Diamond Rock–Pacific Ocean, WEBO mm 1208.6, Section10 Olympic Coast24.3 miles, Gain 2050′, Loss 2290′, elevation 2′ It was a boring day of walking connector roads but at least it ended spectacularly. As such, I wasn’t in a hurry to leave the hotel room in the morning. It would have liked to spend a whole day, or at least until checkout, if it weren’t for the 24 miles that needed to be walked. I had to be at the mouth of the Hoh River in order to make a low tide passage early the next morning. Tides dictate everything along the beach section of the PNT. I’d known this beforehand and was looking[…]

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PNT Day 57: Forks

Friday, August 26th, 2022, 0635-1600Hyak Shelter to Bogachiel State Park, then into Forks, WEBO mm 1184, Section 9 Olympic Mountains23.3 miles, Gain 1770′, Loss 2900′, elevation 240′ I set up in the dark the night before and then packed in the dark the next morning…the hot springs dude would have been so impressed. This was, of course, my daily routine as a repeat southbounder of so many trails, especially as it got to be close to November. Since I was only 4 days away from finishing this hike, I wouldn’t have to deal with the short days much longer. The fresh scent of red cedar persisted all morning. A trail crew had been slicing a gigantic fallen tree into thin[…]

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PNT Day 56: Day of Lakes

Thursday, August 25th, 2022, 0640-2010Olympic Hot Springs to Hyak Shelter, WEBO mm 1161.1, Segment 9 Olympic Mountains28 miles, Gain 7730′, Loss 8170′, elevation 1370′ I didn’t pay attention to the elevation totals for this day, since I left it up in the air as to where I was going to stop and also because I took an alternate route that wasn’t on FarOut. Calculating later and realizing the big numbers, no wonder it was such slow going. The PNT was full of 6, 7, and even 8 thousand foot days, so this was nothing new. Still, it was a long day…but beautiful! I also took some long breaks at the lakes along the way, which were very refreshing. I contemplated[…]

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PNT Day 55: Olympic Hot Springs…3rd times a charm

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022, 1200-1820Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center to Olympic Hot Springs, WEBO mm 1132.8, Section 9 Olympic Mountains21.3 miles (plus 1.5 town), Gain 2850′, Loss 5780′, elevation 2050′ I took it kind of easy in the morning and didn’t make it to the ranger station until 10 am. Luckily things went well and it took me only about half an hour to get the permits I needed. It was much easier doing it in person. Sometimes it’s challenging to plan for travel along the beach section, because of limited tide windows. But I got lucky with low tides around 8 to 9 am, meaning I had ideal conditions from 6 am through noon each day. I went with a[…]

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PNT Day 54: Hurricane Ridge & Port Angeles

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022, 0615-1215Upper Cameron basin to Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center,¬†WEBO mm 1109, Section 9 Olympic Mountains17.6 miles, Gain 4960′, Loss 5140′, elevation 5250′ I was motivated by a town stop this day, so the miles came quickly despite more big passes. Eating mountains for breakfast…my favorite dish. I got a reasonable start but shortly stopped to talk with a camper near the trail. Wolverine had stayed next to him overnight, asking if he’d seen me. As we chatted, I noticed 2 juvenile deer standing a few feet away, looking like they expected something. I mentioned their noted thievery of anything salty and just then I saw an adult chewing on an article of clothing, off in the willows.[…]

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