Anderson Pass in the  Olympics


It appeared the weather would be perfect for my hike into the Olympics as I drove into the Dosewallips Ranger Station on the east side of the Olympic Mountains.   To get there I had to travel along the narrow and twisting Route 101 that runs along the shore of Hood Canal -  a favorite and beautiful drive away from the urbanity of Seattle.

On my way up the West Fork of the Dosewallips River I spent the Diamond Camp, and indeed the weather was perfect.  The next morning I hiked on and up through Honeymoon Meadows and on to Anderson Pass.  Being pleased with myself and hungry, I sat on my new pack in the middle of the meadow and had aI lunch of bread from the Three Girls Bakery at the Pike Place Market with honey, cheese, turkey sausage and fruit.  It was  great - life is good.

I decided to leave my new Dana Design backpack there in the meadow, grabbed my camera gear, and went looking for the perfect picture.  As I was taking the first picture I could hear echos of hikers way back down the trail. A little later I looked behind me back across the meadow and saw what I thought was a large dog running across and thought those hikers must have brought a dog with them.  I turned back snapped the shutter and then it stuck me this is a National Park - no dogs!  A bear?  The BEAR,  MY PACK!!  I turned around knocking over the tripod and saw that the bear was running right toward it.  I picked up some rocks and ran toward my pack yelling and waving my arms, and tried to throw some rock at the moving target. The bear ran almost to my pack, then made a gentle curve and went back up to the trees on the side of the meadow.  My backpack was saved.

There are probably some lessons here like "be careful what you eat because there are sensitive noses in the woods," or "never leave your backpack unattended in a meadow," or "if you see a black animal bounding down a mountainside in the Olympic National Park - it is probably not a dog."