2022 Collector's Camping Trip

A Walk In The Woods



Dates: May 12-16, 2022

Location: Olympic National Park, WA


Thank you for deciding to come along on this camping trip. It blows my mind that people value my work enough to collect it and I'm extremely grateful for it. I'm planning this trip for a few reasons. Firstly, I want to spend quality time with the people that I value. Social media is a challenge for me and I greatly prefer to get to know people in person. Secondly, the location of this camping trip is one of the most special places to me and it's where I go to find the things that heal me and fill my soul. It's where I go to find solace and peace from the things that drag me down and it's one of the few place where I feel true contentment. I want to share that with you. Expect chill vibes, good people, true relaxation, and pretty sights.

The rain forests of Olympic National Park are some of the most beautiful forests you can find. Thick carpets of moss and lichen hang from enormous maple trees which filters the light into a green glow. Carpets of oxalis and shoulder-high ferns flank the trails which weave through twisted vine maples and meadows of dew covered grass. It’s as if the settings of fairy tales were inspired by these very forests. A rushing glacial river provides an acoustic ambiance that is only pierced by the chirping frogs at night and song birds during the day. And if that wasn’t enough, our campsites will be situated in the middle of it all.

For each collector who comes, I will create a 1/1 water abstract for you as you are standing next to me in the river, seeing what I see and experiencing what I experience as I photograph water.


Location

This is something that I keep on the DL because of how special it is to me, but I am willing to share it with you.

The campground is the Queets Rainforest Campground which is accessed from Highway 101 between Amanda Park, WA and Queets, WA. If you are traveling in for the camping trip you can either fly into Seattle, WA or Portland OR. There is no need for a high clearance vehicle to get to the campground, though if you want to save on packing a tent, it is advised that you rent a vehicle with folding back seats in which to sleep.

More information on Queets Campground: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/sams-river

Chances are high that we might take a day trip to nearby Ruby Beach so that you can get some love from the Pacific Ocean.


Provisions and Gasoline

Whether you are traveling from Seattle or Portland, you will have the opportunity to pass through Aberdeen, WA. This is the last city that you will pass through which has many amenities, grocery stores, and shops. It's also the hometown of Kurt Cobain and their city motto is "Come As You Are". After leaving Aberdeen the options for fuel and supplies are limited, so it is advised that you take care of those needs there. If you are using Google Maps or another GPS service, note that it sometimes routes you around Aberdeen so if you are needing to make the stop in town, make sure you are being routed there.

The last town that you will pass through before turning off the highway into Queets is Amanda Park, WA. This small town near Lake Quinault boasts a mercantile with limited groceries and camping supplies, a post office, internet cafe, and a 24 hour self-serve fuel station. This is also likely to be the last location with available cell coverage. After you turn off Highway 101 about 10 miles north, cell service becomes spotty and then nonexistent. From Amanda Park it is 21.5 miles to Queets Campground.


Approximate Times and Directions to Queets Campground

  • From SeaTac: 3 hours 40 minutes/157 miles.
  • From PDX: 3 hours 57 minutes/202 miles

From Amanda Park take U.S. 101 North for 10.6 miles, then turn right at the Upper Queets Valley entrance to Olympic National Park. Follow USFS 21, also called West Boundary Road, for 6 miles, bearing left at the Y. Bear left again at 2 more miles, and yet again after another one-third mile.

Follow the main road to the last left turn and descend a half mile down to the lower river terrace and turn right onto the Queets River Road.

Continue past the Queets Ranger Station, which will be unstaffed, until you come to a Y. Turn left to enter Queets Campground. The campground is at the end of the road, so there is no danger in passing it. In the past couple of years they have been putting up more and more signage directing you into the Queets Valley, making it much less confusing than it sounds.

A few notes:

  • Please follow the directions to the campground that are above. Google Maps WILL properly mark the location on a map, but for some reason it won't take you directly there.
  • After you turn off of 101, travel cautiously:
    • Herds of elk inhabit this area and I often see them on the road or just off to the side in the forest. You don't want to hit them.. they're as big as horses.
    • On the unpaved portions, drive slowly. The road currently has a lot of potholes and they're hard to spot and sneak up on you.
  • If you are looking to grab provisions on the way in, make sure your route takes you through Aberdeen for the most options. Sometimes you might be routed around depending on the traffic. In Aberdeen you have:
    • Walmart
    • Big 5 Sporting Goods (next to Walmart)
    • Safeway (grocery store)
  • There is no electricity at the campground but I will have an inverter that anyone can use to charge batteries in their car. You'll just have to run your car to do so.


Weather

The averages for the area in May are pleasant for this area of the country with a high of 64°F (18°C) and a low of 43°F (6°C). It is not likely that we will encounter rain, but it is possible. Pants and several layers with a coat should be enough for the trip. If you’re the type of person that runs cold, be sure to pack several layers including light gloves and a hat to keep your head warm during the colder times of the day.

I also like to take dips in the river. So if that's up your alley.. bring swimwear or something that you don't mind getting wet. Including a pair of shoes if preferred (but not necessary) as the river bottom is rocky, not sandy.


Things to Bring

Queets Campground is more of a ‘primitive’ campground. There is no electricity and no running water. There is no cell service. The sites consist only of a picnic table and a fire ring and there is one pit toilet that serves the campground. I view these things as a bonus. The lack of services and cell signal keeps away the crowds and not having screens to escape to will only help us immerse ourselves in the environment. However, unless you want to make the 41 mile round-trip drive to the store, you will need to be prepared.

If you do not have camping gear, there are plenty of online places that rent out kits. https://xscapepod.com/ is one that I have had clients use before with good results. You can rent specific items or kits that include everything you would need. I can work with you on having the gear sent to my address and I will also take care of returning it for you. Just let me know and we'll work it out.

  • Food: Plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the duration of the workshop. Quick and easy to prepare meals will make your life easy. Canned soups, chili, peanut butter and jelly, jerky, and quick-cook pasta dishes are great option s.Dehydrated backpacking meals are also a great, though they are expensive and unnecessary for car camping.
  • Water: I will have plenty of tap water on hand for drinking and cooking, but I prefer to filter the river water and drink that.
  • Shelter: Tent, sleeping bag, and pad. Sleeping in your vehicle is also an option, though padding and a sleeping bag (or blankets) are still recommended.
  • A camp stove and fuel for heating water and food.
  • Bug Spray
  • Baby Wipes are great for wiping yourself down and feeling refreshed.
  • Swimwear if you'd like to take a dip in the river.
  • BYOV (Bring Your Own Vice). I won't have a cooler for beer, but I often keep drinks in the river to keep them cool by making a corral of rocks so they don't float away.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or needs. I'm here to help!

TJ

503-758-8627