Climb a mountain, walk a lake — Mt. Walker and Lake Leland

I see a blue, cloudless sky through the tree tops.

Hmm . . . This is a good day for Mt. Walker!  The road up the mountain cuts off of Hwy 101 less than two miles from Falls View Campground.  I’ve read that one can see across Puget Sound to Seattle and view Mt. Ranier from the look-out point.  I’m not particularly fond of high places and look-outs, but this is so close.  It’d be silly to pass it up.

The road is narrow, winding, and steep, of course.

1-P1070163Mt. Walker’s peak is only 2, 759 feet in elevation.  It seems higher than that because one starts at such a low elevation next to Hood Canal (which is a glacial trough, not a canal). The road climbs aggressively with steep, sharp turns.

We park at the north view point.

I position the Perfect Tow Vehicle in the sunshine. My laptop is plugged into a dash inverter so it can be charged throughout the day.

Boy, it’s nice to see sun hitting the solar panel!

1-P1070164(And before anyone thinks otherwise, that front tire is not going flat.  It looks like it in the photo because the wheel is turned and there’s a shadow.)

I open the side door for the crew and we head up to the view point. 

After much excited prancing around, Bridget stops and makes poopies in the path.  Groan.  We go back to the PTV so I can get a dog-poop bag. We return to the scene, I clean it up, and we go back to the PTV again so I can put the poop bag in our on-board trash bin (no receptacles on the mountain.)  Well, we’re off to a great start! 

1-P1070146That must be Quilcene Valley in the photo below.

1-P1070147Instead of driving to the south look-out, the crew and I hike it.

It must be beautiful up here in the spring when the rhododendrons are blooming.

1-P1070150Spike and Bridget love these little adventures!

I’m concerned that the walk may be too long for Spike.  He’s really into it though, trotting along, alert and peppy.

Okay, dear reader . . .  I want you to look very closely at the next photo. I’ve darkened the photo to help you. Squint your eyes and look through the thick haze. At the top of the photo, exactly in the middle is Mt. Ranier!  Do you see it?  Do you?  That’s great if you do, because I don’t and I didn’t when I was there.

1-P1070158 I’m plagued by fog and haze. 

My first view of the Pacific was like looking at a white sheet.  My first view of Mt. Ranier was a bunch of white clouds.  My second view of Mt. Ranier is . . .  well . . .  you see how it is.  No Seattle skyline either.


It doesn’t matter.

The crew and I are healthy, happy, and breathing fresh, mountain air.  How great is that?  I get as much enjoyment, if not more, from common sights like the one below.

1-P1070161The walk back to the PTV is mostly uphill.  I keep a close watch on Spike.  He’s walking a bit more slowly, but still plugging along, enjoying himself, doing his favorite thing (peeing on bushes).  I stop and sit on a rock to give him a rest.  He doesn’t want to stop, so we keep going.

Down the mountain, I take Highway 101 north.

I’m not sure where we’re going.  We go through Quilcene and go past forest, homes, and a few farms of vegetables or cows.  At Route 104 I turn east.  This is the way to the floating bridge going over to Port Gamble.  After about a mile I realize I’m pushing myself.  I turn around because I’m not in the mood to drive a superhighway.  I guess the drive up and down the mountain was enough for this day.

Instead we go to Lake Leland.

It’s off 101 a few miles north of Quilcene.

1-P1070173The crew wakes up from their brief nap.  “C’mon, guys!  Let’s go for another walk.”

A man fishes from the pier.  It looks like his two sons and daughter are with him.

1-P1070171We pass by folks fishing from the bank on our way to walk the trail by the lake.

1-P1070189Spike finds an opportunity and goes for it!  Bridget wades for a few moments.

1-P1070183Spike’s like a young pup today!  Go, go, go!

1-P1070198We come upon a picnic table.  “This is a good place to stop.”

1-P1070191 My Sevylor, two-person, inflatable canoe could go on this lake.

1-P1070172I’ve taken it out twice in the two-plus years we’ve been full-time vagabonds.  I thought I’d use it a lot more than that.  What is holding me back?

1-P1070178I don’t like the job of inflating it, for one thing.  It’s noisy.  The last thing I want to do in a beautiful, natural setting is make noise!  I should get rid of it.

1-P1070168I’d rather have a hard-sided kayak.  Pull it off the roof and set it in the water.  I don’t think one would fit on top of the PTV next to the panel.  I’d have to get one big (wide?) enough for all three of us.  Have to look into that.

I’m just mulling things over . . .  Sitting by a lake tends to make one do that.

1-P1070194“Well, pookies.  Have you had enough for one day?”

1-P1070193We go back to camp and find the campground almost empty.  It being Sunday the weekenders have left.  I heat up a bowl of soup for a late lunch and pour out some kibble for the crew’s early supper.  Bridget and Spike snooze on the blue rug in our outdoor room while I sit in the camp chair and finish my book.



I appreciate all orders, large and small.  Here are some examples of what RVSue shoppers have purchased recently from Amazon:

Omega Nutrition Center Juicer
Sangean AM/FM Portable Receiver
Happy Habitat for Indoor Cats
Bulova Women’s Crystal Watch
Brentwood Brushed Twill Bedrest
3M Command Medium Caddy

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87 Responses to Climb a mountain, walk a lake — Mt. Walker and Lake Leland

  1. mockturtle says:

    What type of surface is the road up to Mt. Walker?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Dirt with some gravel mixed in. It was damp and slightly slick in some places which was scary. I drove very slowly.

      • mockturtle says:

        That’s what I had feared. In spring, it may be impassable because it would be so wet.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I would think so, too. People do hike a trail to the top. A few cars were parked at the trail head at the base of the mountain.

          If you enlarge the google map in the sidebar and move southward, you can see NF Road 2730 going up the mountain to two loops where the view points are. The lighter line is the hiking trail to the top. It’s cool on “terrain” view.

  2. What a great day for you and the crew! I am sorry we missed the PNW area! Oh well… maybe next time! It looks so magical there, I would expect to see fairies and elves behind each tree! (No Bigfoots for this gal!) Bridget really seems to be posing more often! Radar and DoogieBowser have noticed!!! LOL! Glad Spike got a soak in and Bridge got her toes wet! haha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri . . . Yeah, the Keebler elf lives in the tree out back. 🙂

      Bridget is so smart that I think she realizes I want a photo of her and Spike soaking. So you wades in for the photo shoot and then steps out.

  3. Looks like you and the crew had another fulfilling day of explorations and got some gorgeous photos to boot! Glad Spike is feeling peppy and got in a good soak. Enjoyed the lovely portrait of Bridget yesterday too!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Linda . . . It was a good trip up the mountain even though Mt. Ranier was behind the haze.

      Spike has good days and bad days… probably having to do with arthritis. Yes, Bridget is a doll in that photo!

  4. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Looks like everyone is going to sleep good tonight!

    I must admit…I was squinting my already squinted Chinese eyes……hah I couldn’t see it either! Oh well…………..another day another vantage point.

    The lake looks peaceful. Keep your inflatable…you never know. A kayak will add drag to your gas mileage!

    Did the poop bag get “charged” along with your laptop? How’s the mice situation doing?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I haven’t heard any mice/chipmunks/rodents/whatever in the past few days. However, I only heard them when I sat in the driver’s seat parked for a long time, like when I had to drive somewhere for internet signal. I haven’t sat in the PTV parked.

      I know I shouldn’t get a kayak. Sometimes I wish I had one though, one that doesn’t need to be inflated.

  5. gypsy chick says:

    Mt. Rainier. Sounds like you’ve not been there yet. It’s more than worth the trip. I used to backpack there – nothing like it, IMO, cuz you can get very close to the mountain and it’s huge up close. Paradise is nice for a shorter hike and viewing.

    What gorgeous shots you have of the area!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I only stopped along the drive through White Pass at a view point for Mt. Ranier. I bypassed the road to Paradise . . . The word I had was no dogs on trails. Someone says they’re allowed on-leash, so I don’t know.

      Thanks for the compliment on my photos!

  6. Chuck Hajek says:

    Another bunck of gorgeous photos!!!!

  7. Mark Watson says:

    In your Mt Ranier picture, I made the mistake of looking down at the far haze- shrouded horizon, and didn’t see a thing. Then I thought Mt Ranier is high, so I looked up… way up above the horizon, and up higher even than any clouds in your picture. Then I spotted the mountain. I was looking for something far away and small instead of tall and big. It also helped to tilt the pc monitor to darken the image as you said. Looks like snow on the mountain too.
    I’ll make it there some day with the Casita in tow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope, Mark, when you get there the haze is gone and the view is perfect for you.

      Yes, you can see Ranier, but it takes some effort! While standing at the view point, I was looking right at it and didn’t see it until someone pointed it out to me.

  8. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Jules has an Ocean Kayak…flat and wide..there are plugs in the bottom so the water doesn’t get in it. It is heavy to lift…especially over your head. She doesn’t like the sit in ones…because she can’t get out without tipping it over.

    I on the other hand have a Sevylor Tahiti inflatable.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wouldn’t want a sit-in one… I was thinking of the “recreational” kind where you sit up higher… not a fat one.

      I fixed my spelling from Sevelor to Sevylor. Thanks for the hint. 🙂

  9. Jeff says:

    Rainier is incredible up close. We went to the south side and then over to the east (Sunrise) side. On the east side we sat for hours just looking at the mountain and watching the climbers through binoculars. They were like little tiny ants when we first spotted them. Stayed at the White River campground on the east side right next to a creek and had a great time watching the Marten try to keep hidden from us. Also I can’t seem to get enough of the Hoh rainforest as we have stayed for many nights at the campground there watching the Hoh river.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jeff . . . We won’t be going back to Ranier this trip, maybe in another summer. I want to return to the area and camp along the American River,too. I’ve read historical fiction that features the American. Can’t do everything in one trip. However, the Hoh area is on my list as we circle around the peninsula.

  10. kgdan says:

    You are making your way through my “growing up” stomping grounds. Did my student teaching at Port Townsend elementary; H.S. choir performances @ Quilcene H.S. Graduated from Forks H.S. After Forks as you make your way to the Hoh River valley on hwy 101 you will pass by Bogachiel State Park then cross over the Bogachiel River Bridge. Great steelhead fishing in the winter. After the bridge look just to the right in the open field. When I grew up my family owned a general store, gas station and 8 cabins there—now all gone! Kinda spooky when we pass by. The Hoh rainforest is mystical—rains ave. 140″/yr. Now you know why I moved to the Yakima valley! Hope you get to hike down to Ruby Beach and take a look at Kalalock cg.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kgdan . . . You are “rooted” in the peninsula! Several readers have mentioned the Hoh rainforest so I’d better be sure to go there! That is an awful lot of rain . . .

      And yes, I plan on Kalalock, too.

  11. Andrea in Glendale says:

    So much enjoyment as usual..thank you Sue. Pookies…I didn’t think any one else used that compfy word it : )

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Andrea . . . I have a gazillion pet names for the crew. I don’t know where they come from. I’m not thinking about it and out pops a new name! Ha!

      In the Unabridged Crew Dictionary, pookies is listed as a variation of the term, poopies.

  12. rvsueandcrew says:

    This comment was sent to me in a message on a forum. I share it here. (I like comments here so my readers see them.)

    Hi Sue, OK, I read your blog regularly. You mentioned you have only used your kayak a couple of times because of the hassle of blowing it up. Here is a link for a folding kayak that I find interesting. It folds into a compact package, and only weighs 25 pounds. It is not cheap, at $1,950., but looks like a well made product. I would buy one, except that my wife and I each have wooden kayaks that we made from kits. Anyway, I thought that I would pass the link onto you. It is always good to look at other options. Happy travels! Paul

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Paul . . . Interesting but a bit out of my price range!

      • cinandjules (NY) says:

        Yikes!!! At that price … better paddle itself!

        I forgot when I was picking your brain the other day.

        The total length of the PTV and BLT is ?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Um… I think … 17 feet + 17 feet . . . 34 feet!

          Yeah, I’d have a time putting together that origami kayak, even if I were crazy enough to spend that kind of money.

          • BuckeyePatti says:

            Origami kayak…too funny.

          • Angie2B says:

            I saw a guy on “America’s Funniest Videoes” trying to unfold one of those folding kayaks. He lost his footing and fell into it. It folded itself up with him in it. :-0 lol

      • Mick in TN says:

        You could go to an auto parts store and buy a portable air tank. They are about the size of a small propane tank. You charge it at any gas station that has a public air hose. Then fill the Kayak without running the noisy compressor.

      • Ilse says:

        Not quite THAT expensive without the dislexia, lol. Ad says $1,095!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Pretty good proofreading, Ilse!

          Once the price goes over a thousand bucks, it doesn’t much matter to this miser how far over. 🙂

    • Alan Rabe says:

      Hi Sue. Check this out. a modular sit on top kayak. It comes in three pieces, You actually buy it in three pieces, so if one should become damaged you can just replace that part. Total for whole kayak is about 750-800. Neat part is it comes apart for traveling and so is easy for you to deal with. This is a link I got to thru amazon as one of their sponsored links.

      (Link removed.)

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, Alan . . . I took a look at it. Interesting!

        Your link did not take me to Amazon so I had to remove it. I tried to substitute one of my links (in order not to have a competitor posted here) but I could not find it at Amazon.

        Amazon does have modular kayaks of other brands.

        • Alan Rabe says:

          I searched for it in amazon, it didn’t find it in the results, but below the results there are “Sponsored Links” and the one for LLBean was one of them.
          What I liked was you didn’t have to use the middle part, or even buy it. the front and back fit together to make a small kayak and if you add the middle you get a tandem.

  13. Hi Sue.
    I was raised in a small town at the foot of Mt. Rainier. Eatonville. This weekend we will be attending the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Even though I’ve lived in Oregon longer than Washington, I still consider my mountain Rainier over Hood.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Mt. Ranier must play a huge role in your memories, Betty. I can see where it’d feel like “your” mountain.

  14. Wayne Scorr says:

    I am trying to figure out what to do for 3g coverage. I don’t know if I need a booster or just an antenna. maybe Mick could help me if you would pass on my email address?


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Have you read the internet antenna page? (See header.) Mick will probably answer you here in the comments section.

  15. Wayne Scott says:

    That was Wayne Scott.

    Small keyboard on phone! Sorry

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No problem… Lots of us use an alias here. Secret: My real name isn’t RVSue. 🙂

    • Mick in TN says:

      Hi Wayne, Good to hear from you. The answer is simple, buy the antenna first and from Sue’s experience you won’t need the amplifier. There is an antenna section at the top of the blog. You would need to attach the antenna pole to your 5er so you could rotate it, maybe the ladder? You would also want it easily removable for storage inside for travel. Guess you lost my email < mkent blomandnet

      • Mick in TN says:

        That didn’t work: mkent(at)blomand(dot)net

        • Phyllis says:

          Mick is about to get busy! Thanks we all needed that email address.

          And about that air tank thingy for the kayak – couldn’t she just use the thing she has to air up the tires for the kayak?

          Phyllis in Oklahoma

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            The air compressor I use for my tires makes as much noise.

            Note to readers: Please ask Mick your questions here in the comments section first so everyone can benefit from the answers. Private emails could lead to Mick having to answer the same questions over and over. Thank you.

  16. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Hoh area is beautiful, we camped at Forks and drive to areas to explore…the beaches are wonderful too. We also drove all the way around Mt. Rainer on a beautiful sunny day and it is awesome from different view points. Try smoked salmon while in the area..yummy. Yes, I saw Mt. Rainer thru the haze right away…it’s majestic! We took one dog on our trip to Acadia NP and he was allowed on some trails but always had to carry poop bag. The Atlantic coast is so much calmer than the Pacific coast. Love both coasts and beaches. It boggles my mind to see sooooo much water (ocean). While in Maui, we saw ocean horizons all around…we crossed it in eight hours flying from Phx, AZ. Looking out the window, with the clouds below us, it looked like we were flying upside down…no wonder inexperience pilots get confused which way is up.

    The forest does look like where the Keebler elves live. Beautiful and green.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Rita . . . The Atlantic is calmer than the Pacific? I always thought it was the other way around.

      Your trip must have been fantastic. Quite a change from Phoenix!

    • Mick in TN says:

      Keebler in the PNW = soggy cookies. LOL

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You’re right! I never made the connection.

        I tried to pour salt the other day and it dropped out in a big lump. The toilet paper is soggy and my wooden kitchen matches won’t light. I take a shirt out of the closet and it feels wet. I haven’t eaten a cookie since the Carter administration, but I imagine they’d be soggy once opened in the PNW.

        And as long as we’re on the subject… how does having a cookie made by an elf make it better than one made by a person? I never got that.

        • Rita says:

          You’re right…the Atlantic gets hurricanes but not the Pacific ocean…I was thinking waves crashing on rocks and surfers riding on high waves.

          • Alan Rabe says:

            Not true, the pacific gets hurricanes too. They just come from the west and hit the west side of Mexico.

            • Alan Rabe says:

              Clarification. Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones are all the same thing. Cyclones occur in the Indian ocean, Typhoons occur in the west pacific and hurricanes occur in the east pacific.

        • SueMagoo says:

          You can put dry rice in you salt and it helps to wick away the moisture; putting the matches in a ziplock bags might work to keep moisture out of them and you could put yout tp in a sealed plastic container.

  17. Allison says:

    Because elfin cookies are magic. Sorry the mountain has not been out for you this trip.

  18. Gayle says:

    The water photo with the lily pads is sparkling and painterly, very Monet! You know what they say: If you are baroque you are out of Monet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cute! You sound like an art appreciation major.

      • Gayle says:

        Now that you mention it: will never forget college art appreciation class with an Italian professor — our class known as “Darkness at Noon,” we sat in the dark viewing art slides at lunchtime. FINALLY, 2011 Europe trip to see it all for myself — Uffizzi (Three Graces!) and Padua, Giotto’s chapel (the famous dive-bombing angels!). Nature is greatest art, and your photos make that point well.

  19. Chip Cavender says:

    I can not remember seeing a picture of a campfire or you mentioning campfires. Altho, I have only been following you “guys” for maybe 5 months. I travel solo and rarely have a campfire but I do like them. With all the rules about moving wood from state to state I carry a few fake logs. No huge bonfire but put one in the fire ring and it lasts about 4 hours. Puts off some heat and looks nice. Sometimes I will find a local log or two and put it on top of the fake log. I also have a small rectangular BBQ grill that I put on the ground and is just the right size for a small fake log.
    LOVE your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had a couple of campfires at North Fork, even showed a photo of one. I don’t carry wood for the reason you mentioned and wood on the ground is wet in these parts.

      I’m not big on campfires, especially since I spend most of the year in places where wildfires occur, where there’s drought, and where campfires aren’t allowed. (And I’m often online during campfire time . . . 🙂 )

      Never thought about using fake logs.

      Bit of trivia: Out of the last three campsites, two have had fires not completely put out (live embers, smoke). God bless our firefighters.

      Glad you wrote, Chip… Keep lovin’ my blog!

  20. Pauline says:

    Susan, I am so proud of your writing and picture taking. I was telling a friend the other day that you could write about paint drying and have the reader on the edge of his seat!! I love your walks through the forest…I love the green trees, the green foliage and plants and then the sparkling water. (Told you I am not a desert person) When I see the first picture with water, I automatically think…ahhhhhhh Spike will be happy. I think it is funny that Bridget gets in to the photo shoot.

    By the way, have you or your readers heard of BookBub? You sign up on line, check what genre of books you like and then daily they send you a list of books on sale for the day. Some are free. I have never seen a price tag over $2.99. You download them to your Kindle. I have gotten some very good books.

    Love you and travel safely

    • EmilyO of KS says:

      Pauline, there is also BookBlast. I have very seldom seen the same books listed on either.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline . . . Thank you. You always encourage me.

      DeAnne, a reader who comments here, sent me an invitation to sign up with BookBub which I did. Looks great!

      Love you… Hi to the family!

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        I’ve only gotten free ones, and they’ve been really good. I like that you can personalize it for your tastes rather than searching through tons of stuff I wouldn’t like. Enjoy!

  21. DeAnne in TN says:

    I just subscribed to Book Blast–lots of choices. I may never buy an eBook again! Your welcome, Sue. Loving our visit to the PNW. I’m more of a mountain person myself. Talk to you soon.

  22. Barb says:

    UGH. Mug-a-coast. It is too warm over here! Hope you are enjoying your wanderings though!
    Hugs from Hoquiam,
    PS Poo. The last item I bought via you to Amazon was broken… sent back 🙁 Oh well I continue to shop 🙂

  23. stan watkins says:

    I remember coming back to SoCal from Seattle with a salsa band and the pilot flew us near Mt. Rainier. It was as if I could reach out and touch it. I could even see the crevases in the glaciers. It was the perfect view and I guess the pilot flies the route so much that it wasn’t mentioned over the P.A. so it was a real surprize.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Talk about a million-dollar experience . . . Fantastic, Stan! The surprise probably made it even better.

  24. stan watkins says:

    I also use firelogs and when coming back to Cali from Nevada the Ag inspection station asked about firewood. If I had real wood it may have been confiscated and at the price of firewood these days that would have hurt.

  25. Marcia GB in MA says:

    I swinched my eyes up and then I could see Mt Rainier. When I was a kid we lived on the sound in Silverdale for a year or so. I’ll never forget the (rare) sight of Mt Rainier appearing to float above the horizon on a sunny day!

  26. Cari in North Texas says:

    Don’t feel bad about not seeing Mt. Rainier, I haven’t either and I lived in the area for about 9 months back in the early 80’s. Always too rainy or cloudy for us to see it.

    I love seeing your pictures of water and agree with your comment about mulling things over by the lake. I tend to do that too. And of course, seeing the crew in the water is always welcome! I do notice the Bridge is in more photos, maybe she’s getting the attention from us that she craves.

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