PHOTOS: Olympic National Park with the Alderleaf Wilderness College

Hello from the Pacific Northwest!

I’ve left the high plains of Wyoming and ski towns of Colorado for a nine-month adventure learning to reconnect with nature and be a steward of the land with Alderleaf Wilderness College, based just outside of Seattle. It’s an awesome alternative to traditional college that focuses on permaculture design, wildlife tracking, naturalist skills, ethnobotany, and so much more. A huge perk of Alderleaf is all of the field trips we get to take to beautiful places like Olympic National Park. More specifically, we spend most of our time around Lake Ozette and the Hoh Rainforest. Here are some photos from the beautiful Olympic Peninsula:

A short ferry ride from Lynwood to Kingston is an adventure in itself. We saw plenty of glaucous winged gulls, pelagic cormorants, and even a sea lion. 

A short ferry ride from Lynwood to Kingston is an adventure in itself. We saw plenty of glaucous winged gulls, pelagic cormorants, and even a sea lion. 

The lush coastal ecosystem provided plenty of mushrooms for foraging. We were able to harvest a few choice chanterelles for cooking that night. 

The lush coastal ecosystem provided plenty of mushrooms for foraging. We were able to harvest a few choice chanterelles for cooking that night. 

Although it was late in the season, bog cranberries were still present, and a favorite snack among the students. 

Although it was late in the season, bog cranberries were still present, and a favorite snack among the students. 

An Alderleaf student hunts for bog cranberries amongst dense grasses.

An Alderleaf student hunts for bog cranberries amongst dense grasses.

After miles of hiking, we finally broke out of the forest and arrived at the coastline. The tide was just beginning to go out, and we ambled along the tide pools, investigating tiny crabs, weird aquatic plants, and some petroglyphs nearby. 

After miles of hiking, we finally broke out of the forest and arrived at the coastline. The tide was just beginning to go out, and we ambled along the tide pools, investigating tiny crabs, weird aquatic plants, and some petroglyphs nearby. 

Seeing fresh bear tracks is always exciting- especially when you scare off the bear that left them. We came across a medium sized black bear looking for food on the coast (a regrettable time not to be carrying a zoom lens). 

Seeing fresh bear tracks is always exciting- especially when you scare off the bear that left them. We came across a medium sized black bear looking for food on the coast (a regrettable time not to be carrying a zoom lens). 

More photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwoDX5X