Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tubal Cain - Spring Adventures Part 2

Mt. Buckhorn and Tubal Cain Mine - Olympic Peninsula, WA
Waiting for the Ferry to Port Townsend

My good friend Haley came up for a visit the weekend after my finals. Naturally, we headed into the mountains.  This was my first time exploring the Olympic Peninsula. This place is a seriously awesome playground for backpackers! 

Our first adventure was camping overnight in a parking lot because we missed the last Ferry on Friday. In the morning we made crappy camp coffee and ate grapefruits and waited.
I really like ferries.

We found a mine!
Next adventure was finding our trail. We may have gotten lost on some dirt roads going in the wrong direction before we made a route correction and got to the Tubal Cain trail head.

The name is from an abandoned copper mine. Yes, we looked for a shaft. And yes, we found it! Too bad neither of us packed headlamps.

In too deep. We decided to come back with headlights.
We agreed to explore it the next morning. We went as far as Haley's dying phone battery and a desire to keep our feet dry would safely allow.

Haley did a little research and found that the mine had been abandoned due to its remote location and the diminishing hope of finding gold somewhere in its dark recesses. It goes back about 450 meters into the mountain, and there is a bunch of old equipment lying around in the surrounding area.

Also, if you're ever exploring here, there is the wreck of a B17 further up in the canyon. We didn't get to that this time around.

The trail to the pass and a view of Mt. Buckhorn

Back on the trail we headed for the mountain pass. Since we had gotten a late start we weren't feeling too ambitious.

However, I've found that many grand adventures begin with, "Let's just see how far we can go."
In this case, the answer was, 'all the way to the top.'

Look at that lovely mountain. Don't you just want to stand on top of it? 

Sure. Why not?
We took our time, hiked at our leisure and still had daylight to spare. The weather was beautiful. The trails were fantastic, and this first look at the mountains on the peninsula left its mark.

Up and Up!

 Kudos to Haley. She hates snow traverses and is afraid of heights but she muscles through it because she loves mountains.
She wrestles with her fears and inhibitions, and she comes out victorious and stronger than ever.
Haley inspires and encourages me, and I am so glad to have her as an adventure buddy and friend.

View from the top!
Mt. Buckhorn is 6,988 ft tall. The climb is easy and very rewarding.
Look at all those mountains to climb!
By the time we got back to the mine shaft, we'd completed 17 miles. Not bad for a late start and unambitious beginnings.

This is definitely an area I would come back to. What a great hike! I am thankful for a God who delights to delight us, and for friends to go adventuring with.

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