Adventure Log: Steam Donkey Trail, Olympic Peninsula

Flutterby and I went on our first adventure together today! (Well, not counting taking my mom for an Easter Sunday drive. She loved the heated seats!)


There was snow on the deck when I left, but the sky was going blue. I did not start Flutterby from inside the house to warm her up before I climbed aboard. It was chilly out though—34º according the Flutter’s thermometer. Picked up my road latte at 8:20 and we were off up I-5.


Left the interstate at Tumwater and headed toward 101 N. and the sparkling Hood Canal toward the snowy Olympics and the town of Brinnon to Dosewallips State Park. Temperature up to 42º.


I hung my new Discover Pass from Flutter’s mirror and donned my knee straps, since the meniscus tear in my right knee has been bothering a bit after garden work. I skipped the ankle brace—didn’t have it, anyway, as it turned out. Took my trekking poles, but didn’t use them.


I’ve finally found some new hiking pants that fit my criteria; i.e. crop length, not grey, zippered pockets. I didn’t realize until I got them home that they matched the socks a generous friend gifted me with. And not until I put on my shoes today (that need to be replaced), did I discover they also match the pants. Matchy-matchy.


Washington Trails Association trip reports had confusing information about where to start the hike, so I just picked one: Maple Valley Trail. A mile or so in, I crossed the fire road to Steam Donkey, so named for the machine that dragged logs to the railroad—that also ran through the area—in the early 1900s.


The trillium were blooming at the lower elevation, but other than a few buds, not much else in the way of spring. I chased a flicker with my camera as it flew from tree to tree, but wasn’t able to capture it.



Nurse stump, dressed for the ball.



It was a perfect hike for the first of the season. Not too long, about 3-1/2 miles or so. A lovely pond, many bridges across streams. Much of it looked not unlike the woods behind my house, but it was good to be out in the air and the mountains. I’m hoping to beat my epic hiking record set last year, with both new and favorite trails. I started a month earlier, so I’m on my way.






Back at the campground, I ate my lunch at a picnic table then drove on up the highway to the Dosewallips Recreation Area and Rocky Creek Falls, behind the Rocky Creek hydroelectric plant, just a few hundred yards from the road. Breathtaking. Saw two gangs of elk along the road.


Dosewallips River
Rocky Creek
Rocky Creek Falls


Ended the day in Hoodsport with Lemon Lavender ice-cream as the cloud cover (the beginning of the next 10 days of it) began rolling in. Perfection. I love where I live.




2 thoughts on “Adventure Log: Steam Donkey Trail, Olympic Peninsula

  1. Blooming trillium and the chasing of flickers are a lovely rite of spring and what a beautiful day you chose to explore. The pictures make me a little envious as my first venture this year was still a snowy wonderland. Soon the mountain meadows will be full of wildflowers and the hiking season will begin in earnest. Can hardly wait to see where your curiosity takes you this year !


    1. “I love to go a-wandering, along the mountain track; and as I go I love to sing, my back pack on my back. Valerderi, valdera…” I look forward to seeing where your feet take you too!


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