Gray River Backpacking

Zoe, Aliya, and Martin go to enjoy their first taste of true backpack camping. Definitely a bit more challenging than car camping, but more fun to be way out in the woods. We found an incredible campsite by the side of the Gray Wolf River on the Olympic Peninsula.
First up, the ferry ride out to Bremerton.  Amazingly it was warm enough to sit out on the upper deck and enjoy the evening sun. img 5693 img 5696 Our first night was car camping at a nice USFS campground.  Our site could have held at least 6 tents. Maximizing style and class!
img 5707 img 5709 OK...now it's getting real.  Everybody's getting their backpacks loaded up.  Everybody, even the kids, had to carry their fair share. Look how clean and happy everybody is.  That's Michelle, Brian, Martin, Kathryn, Aliya, Gavin, Zoe, and Aidan.  Zilly's somewhere about. Gavin's first stop isn't more than 15' into the hike.  Could be a long day at this rate.
Stop #2 and we've yet to reach the trailhead sign.  But look at the mud! Studying where we're going on the Grey Wolf Trail. img 5722 The start was a very mellow slope along an old, overgrown logging road. Can you read Zoe's body language?  Yep, it says "I'm tired and want to go home."  Took some coaxing to get her going and Kathryn's stories ultimately saved the day.
It's a tad bit damp here. img 5726 img 5728 img 5729 img 5733
Hello Zoe Zoe is looking much happier now after a little rest and some food.  She powered up for the rest of the hike, which included a decent climb. img 5740 img 5742 img 5744
Resting at the top of our ascent before heading back down to our evening camp site. img 5747 img 5748 Here it is!  Our home for the evening.  Right on the Grey Wolf River with a steep slope heading uphill behind us. Wow.  Pretty and noisy.
Brian and Aidan holding each other up. Ummm...thanks Gavin. img 5760 Not so sure fires are allowed here, but there was already a fire pit so we scrambled to build a fairly pitiful fire. Sleep HQ
The kids adventuring up the hill. Martin took off the next morning to find the end of the trail about a mile further along. img 5768 This is what much of the trail looked like. The kids have fun while Martin works refilling our water bottles.
img 5771 img 5773 Kathryn before coffee. Fairy Palace construction. The kids precariously perched looking into the rushing water.
img 5783 img 5786 All loaded up and ready to head back home. img 5790 img 5792
img 5793 Food break at the trail's high point. img 5796 img 5797 img 5798
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A flutterby landed on Aliya's finger. Zoe's artistic foot shot. img 5810 img 5811 img 5812
img 5813 img 5814 img 5815 img 5818 An offering to nature.
img 5821 Almost done, but running out of gas. We made it!  Everybody's still smiling. Whew.  Feels good to get these off our backs. img 5826
Zoe's first take though if you ask her now she'll tell you she's never going hiking or backpacking ever again.