Day 1: Press expedition all abuzz from wasps

EDITOR”S NOTE: This is the first dispatch from Roger Harnack, Peninsula News local news editor, one of the members of the “Across the Olympic Mountains” expedition this week. Packing a laptop computer and a satellite telephone, he plans to file daily reports.

ELKHORN, Olympic National Park — Day 1 — Aggressive wasps harassed our band of modern-day adventurers as we began retracing the historic 1889-1890 Press Expedition.

The group set out at 8:22 a.m. Monday from the Whiskey Bend trailhead, about four miles past the Elwha entrance station south of U.S. Highway 101.

Following the aqua-green Elwha River into the mountains, we reached our first overnight campsite at Elkhorn six hours 23 minutes later.

While our expedition made good time on the trail, most of the members of our 13-person “Press Expedition — Across the Olympic Mountains 2001” ended up with wasp stings, suffered mostly in the lush Idaho Creek area.

Craig Romano, an editor for Sports Etc. magazine, got the most bites. He was stung three times.

Kristi Agren of the North Olympic Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau and Steve Beckner of Northwest Travel magazine were each stung twice.

“I have two stings and some pretty gnarly mosquito bites,” Agren said. “And I scraped my knee.”

This full serialized report is exclusive in the Peninsula News, on sale throughout the North Olympic Peninsula. Or click on “Subscribe” to have your PDN delivered to your home or office.

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