Third Survey at Toleak Beach
Sunset over James Island. This was our view from Basecamp. Helped make up for the grueling hike to the beach.

Third Survey at Toleak Beach

The trail was heavily overgrown compared to our first trip out in early May. I felt Theresa’s absence like a weight on my back. Bending down for a better look I saw yet another bit of cougar scat. Unlike the previous trip this was obviously not fresh but that didn’t keep my head from constantly swiveling as I started up the trail to Scott’s Bluff.

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Horse of a Different Color
Feeding up and personal. Photograph by Steve Weileman.

Horse of a Different Color

For all we have in common Theresa and I couldn’t have more different backgrounds. She was riding a horse long before she had a drivers license where I was soloing sailboats offshore. Our first multi-day paddle together she complained that her, “utter wasn’t working”; our first horseback ride I complained I needed a ‘mainsheet and rudder’ to control this beast.

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Review: SOG Baton Q3

Between chores around base-camp and setting up camera gear I’m almost always in need of a small tool of some sort. Multi-tools have just the assortment of tools I most need, but honestly, I had wearing them on my belt. Then I stumbled on an intriguing alternative from SOG and there’s no going back for me.      

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Successful Bird Survey At Toleak Beach
Just a portion of the MME (Mass Marine Event); there were 10's if not 100's of thousands of these on the beach.

Successful Bird Survey At Toleak Beach

Looking toward the northwest I observed the dark clouds with a deep suspicion. Last time we attempted to conduct a bird survey on Toleak Beach we were hammered by wind and rain. I double checked the forecast. Saturday had a much better forecast but today the tides were better. A bit of a gamble -- which way to choose?

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Search For An Unnamed Waterfall
This drainage led us to some incredible old growth forest. Photo Credit: Theresa Weileman

Search For An Unnamed Waterfall

The sign stated that the private tree farm was closed to motor vehicles but opened to foot traffic. So, if we wanted to find our unnamed waterfall that meant hoofing the last 1.5 miles on foot. The thing that worried me was the high voltage wire crackling above the FJ.

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First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach

As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?

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Round 2 with Rocky
A view of Jefferson Lake located in the Olympic National Forest near the Hamma Hamma River.

Round 2 with Rocky

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on Rocky Brook Falls while out with friends. See Incredible Waterfall Hidden Right Under My Nose. We spent a fair amount of time photographing the Rocky Brook Falls but I wasn’t feeling satisfied. While flying my Mavic I noticed that there was a second fall behind the one we could see from below. I wanted to get to that second fall and looking at the maps I found a forest road that might make it possible. Plus this was something Theresa needed to see!

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Beached Cast Bird Workshop with COASST
Learning to identify our birds based on just a wing. Photo credit: Steve Weileman

Beached Cast Bird Workshop with COASST

I’ve been anxious to work with this group for sometime. When I submitted my application last year, I was disappointed to find out that I had missed all of the bird workshops scheduled for 2017. But, as they say, good things come to those who wait.

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