Posted by Ken Campbell June 29, 2011 1 Comment 1012 views

Another atypical expedition day… but mostly what I expected. Connecting Capital Lake and Black Lake is critical for making the claim that the Olympic Peninsula is an island, but getting from one to the other involves more walking than actual water travel.
Percival Creek tumbles into Capital Lake on the west side through a heavily forested gulch. Railroad tracks follow the stream’s course up the hill, making it easy to follow along for a while, and the creek itself is a beautiful lowland waterway, green and full of life. Unfortunately, the woods are not really pristine, and I pass the middens of several homeless camps as I make my way up from the lakeshore. The garbage looks out of place – old diapers and toilet paper, torn sleeping bags and stained, diseased mattresses – like a herpes blister on the Mona Lisa’s smile. I take photos of the pretty stuff instead.
Percival Creek gets smaller as I get closer to the top of the hill and it eventually tails off to the south. Between the creek and Black Lake there is a canal, a half-built monument to commerce that never really developed. I need to find out more about the history of this section. (If anyone can steer me toward the who, what and why of the canal, please get in touch.)
It’s a little green world, and a relatively clear water trail. The water flows slowly, almost imperceptibly, as a light rain begins to fall. Everything is green, everything. The banks of the canal and the uplands that surround it is covered in grasses, reeds, brush and trees. I walk through some of the meadows that front the canal, pushing through waist-high grass, sticking my nose into the wildflowers.

The water in the canal is completely slack where it meets up with Black Lake. Gravity has not begun to work on it yet, at least not as far as I can tell. I look out onto the lake, where my trip is to continue on the next day. I can’t see the south end, where I know the swamp awaits, but I can feel it. I’m on my way.

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