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Royal Lake '04,  Olympic National Park,  Aug 26, 2004 - Aug 27, 2004     page 2 / 49

The trail continued along Royal Creek, which looked nearly identical to the Dungeness. The forest was gorgeous. Moss covered the forest floor like wall to wall carpeting. Several large mushrooms were seen, some five inches in diameter! After another mile or so, the trail began a more aggressive climb. Occasionally we exited the trees to pass through winter avalanche chutes. Then we would re-enter the forest to continue our climb.

It drizzled a bit on our way, threatening to rain again. We took a break under an enormous fir tree. The trunk must have been eight feet in diameter! The gravel underneath appeared totally dry. No sooner had we sat down to rest, and the rain increased to a moderate intensity for nearly ten minutes. The tree canopy provided us with the perfect temporary shelter. We watched and listened to the rain. Finally it tapered off, so we threw on our raincoats and continued on up the valley.

As we climbed, the rain gave way to drizzle then subsided altogether. At times it was foggy. At other times thin areas in the cloud cover allowed bright light through, giving us hope for clearing.

The fog slowly lifts