In August 2010, the Sundberg, Hardison, and Ivey families hiked the Skyline Trail Loop in Olympic National Park. The loop links together three different trails and I have organized the photos by these trails: The North Fork of the Quinault Trail, the Skyline Ridge Primitive Trail, and the Big Creek Trail. We did the trip in the less traditional counter clockwise direction so we could get the kids across the Quinault River ford at the start of the trip rather then discover it was unfordable at the end of the trip- in the end it didn't matter since the river was easy to cross this time of year.
We did the trip in six days with a total distance of around 44 miles. The weather was fantastic- blue skies during the day, star-filled skies at nights, beautiful sunsets, and a full moon.
All four of the kids were amazing- they hiked the whole distance in great spirit and were an inspiration to us adults. I doubt that too many 11 and 12 year old kids have completed the loop much less 8 and 9 year olds! We ran into a party of men who thought we were crazy to have our kids out on the Skyline Trail- they may have been right but the kids looked a whole lot more prepared for the trip then the men were.
The photos were taken with a little Canon Power Shot. I would like to have taken my SLR but the packs were already too heavy- nothing like hauling an extra 10 pounds of bear canisters just to store food in!
A big thanks to Mark, Linda, and Mary for their adventurous spirit and willingness to take the kids on this amazing trip. And more thanks to Mary for all her menu planning and food preparation- we ate great! And thanks to Ranger Sam who didn't try to discourage us from our plans and then had the courage to hike with four kids for half a day.