Jesse Murch

Blog

Day One - Vance Creek and Cronuts

Vance Creek Viaduct

I love the whirl of the plane turbines right before take off, that gentle humm turning more violent as they reach ideal speeds symbolizes new experiences on the horizon. It was early in the morning and the smell of breakfast foods transferred onto the plane from the terminal we were to leave behind shortly. On my right Mike ( @mike_sap ) sat fighting for his armrest and trying to gain some sleep, this process may have been easier had he realized his seat reclined earlier then leaving the airport in our rental. A quick chirp of the wheels as we touched down and fast forward through baggage claims and annoying rental services we were on the Seattle roads looking for food and to kill time before the completion of this road trip trio in the form of model/photographer Kayla ( @kaylasavage_ ) landed a few hours after us. A few slices of pizza later and a quick nap in the jeep found us back at the airport to scoop up the girl in the yellow raincoat.

The traffic out to Olympic National Park was less then ideal and forced us to a pit stop for Cronuts, i know it was a hard decision, then to a local super market where we all had the same idea to pick up granola bars and water. Now that we had sugar comas and a pallet of granola in the backseat we continued the drive up toward Olympic. Slowly the traffic dissipated and gave way to curving pine lined roads up and down cascading mountains. Every so often one would catch the slight twinkle of the emerald ocean water peaking back through the forest. The destination of the day was an old wooden and steel train bridge that would span across a deep canyon to opposing mountain tops. Vance Creek Bridge, has become quite popular on social media especially for its railing-less sides giving way the opportunity for the note worthy dangle shots that have become insanely saturated online. Having heard of trouble with officials we parked a few miles down and hiked in, the trail out started as an old service road for the bridge and quickly became nothing more then a foot path, weaving, winding, up over that rock, down under that tree, hop across the stream, repeat, repeat, repeat. Then all at once the mammoth evergreens gave way to blue skies and in the foreground the massive bridge reached far across. Fellow hikers whom had made there way towards the other side seemed like miniature figurines dancing from plank to plank. 

Kayla taking photos

Mike on Vance Creek

Once we gathered our courage we slowly and precisely stepped on each tie making our way out to the center of the bridge. The wind pushed against my back as i stood over looking the vast scar in the earth before my eyes, looking down my eyes had trouble computing the height difference between the tree tops and where i currently stand. A babbling stream slithered through rocks glistening in a milky teal beauty. The sun was still high in the sky and although not pleasing for photographs gave way to every hidden detail in the mountains. My heart fluttered as i sat on the edge of the second tallest archway railroad bridge in the country, also being that it was built in 1929 didn't help the nerves, still gazing out over the edge was freeing and enlightening all at once the only thing on my mind was each second of that moment as it danced away into past. 

Kayla on Vance Creek

Now back at the jeep we continued on into Olympic National Park and found shelter in the form of a local campground for the night. Our site was nestled in the dense rainforest on a bed of soft dirt and pine needles. It was dark at this point and the temperature was dropping so we quickly set up our respective tents, showered in the camp stalls, and had a delicious dinner of granola bars and water before calling it a night. The temperatures even though being June quickly dropped as we all found out at different points through the night waking to a shiver down the spine, or a foot not wrapped in the safety of sleeping bag or blanket. Waking up to sunlight twinkling through greenery we quickly broke down and headed off to see what the park had to offer us on day two.