Sunday, March 28, 2010

Special 'Thank You' to FONP and ONP

Last Thursday I had the honor to be the guest speaker at the Friends of Olympic National Park's annual meeting in Port Angeles, and enjoyed giving a narrated slide show presentation to a packed auditorium in the Olympic National Park Visitors' Center.

I really had a LOT of fun sharing my experiences in the park; everything from coast trips to extended backpacks into the interior, to the Bailey traverse and ascents of Mount Olympus. Of course, I shared many humorous stories from these trips as well!

The audience included the likes of Don Stoneman, Dave Skinner, and many other names of trail notoriety over the last several decades. I also got to meet new Deputy Superintendent of ONP, Todd Suess - a very nice guy who is bringing a fun attitude and wealth of experience to his new position.

Talking with the likes of Don Stoneman after the event was a real honor and treat for me. I also enjoyed learning more about the park from Larry Baysinger, whom I will have to take up for a guided trail ride with my family soon! Of course, the icing on the cake was seeing Dave Skinner arrive and getting a chance to catch up with him (and poke some fun with during my presentation!). I called Dave a week prior with an invite. He received my message only an hour before the event and still found time to attend!

I have so many people I would like to personally thank, beginning with Rod Farlee of FONP who really made it all happen, and who's efforts have gone far beyond this event. I would also like to thank FONP President Larry Stetson, Vice President Greg Halberg, Secretary Karen Jenson, and Treasurer Dan Peacock. All were very nice people who went out of their way to welcome me and acquaint me with their group. If I am forgetting anybody (and I probably am), I apologize.

Finally, a very special Thank You to ONP staff members Greg Marsh and Chris Eckard for their hands-on help in setting up the equipment for my presentation and making sure everything ran smooth. Chris in particular was a great help during my presentation.

The picture of Mount Angeles above was taken the next morning during a drive up to Hurricane Ridge. I followed it up with a drive out to the coast and to the Hoh Rain Forest, capping off a wonderful trip to the peninsula.


  1. Thanks for an inspiring evening, gorgeous photos and engaging stories and anecdotes, Don! It was apparent that you and the audience both really enjoyed the evening. You've got a real talent at speaking, at keeping the pace moving along and the audience engaged. Very enjoyable!

    And thanks for introducing me to Dave Skinner! Now I'm one of the "in crowd" of Olympics hikers who've met him - whether on the Skyline, the Sol Duc, the Bogachiel, the Snow Dome - or just in the Visitors Center! grin

    p.s. Don Stoneman has just been awarded a 2010 Clallam County Community Service Award for his many volunteer trail maintenance efforts!

  2. I wish I could have been there too .. I've not seen one of Don's presentations per se .. but I am witness to his great enthusiasm and in awe of his talent as an exceptional nature and landscape photographer .. we have been friends for a while now -- having much in common .. and he and friend Dale helped get us to the top of Olympus last summer on the same trip where we too met Dave Skinner and are now among the elite to meet the great Olympics legend ;)

  3. Thank you for all the kind words Rod and Kathy! It really was a special evening and a lot of fun. I was honored to be a part of it.