Elwha Exposé

During our four-day trip to Olympic National Park, the In My Backyard Team headed to the Elwha River. Beforehand, we, the SCA interns had put together some research to share with the group about the history of the Elwha, the construction of the dam, and finally the dam removal which is scheduled to conclude in September 2014.

To give you some background information, the Elwha is a 45-mile river on the Olympic Peninsula, intersecting the beautiful Olympic National Park. The river flows north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In 2012, the Elwha River dams, which had directly caused a dramatic decline in the salmon population, began to be removed.

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Started from the Bottom Now We’re Here: Hurricane Hill

While in Olympic National Park our team decided to head to Hurricane Ridge for some hiking. Hurricane Ridge is about 17 miles from Port Angeles and is a quick and beautiful car ride. Hurricane Ridge has a visitor center with exhibits and films. There are also a few short meadow trails around the visitor center that are only .25-.5 miles. We decided to hike the Hurricane Hill Trail which is about 1.6 miles one-way and 700 feet elevation gain. If you’re anything like me, you have no concept of elevation gain and have no idea what 700 feet looks like. To clarify, 700 feet in 1.6 miles is moderately difficult. (But I am pretty out of shape so you can make your own assumptions).

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Meet Claire!

Hiking and trying to be trendy

Well hello there friends! My name is Claire and I am one of the four SCA interns working on the In My Backyard project. I am going into my junior year at Santa Clara University and I am an Environmental Science major with a physics emphasis and a Theatre minor. I was born and raised in Seattle which probably contributed to my everlasting love of the outdoors. When I was a kid I would frolic through the vast yard of my childhood home. I loved to watch the wind rush through the trees and feel the rain on my skin. However, if you asked my parents if I was an “outdoorsy”kid they would laugh and say no. I really did love being outside, but whenever we went camping some disaster would strike like the time I managed to get a 102 degree fever in the middle of an 8 mile hike or the time I got hypothermia on one of the San Juan Islands when our tent was pitched over what some would call a stream.

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