Camping at Lake Sylvia State Park in the Southern regions of The Olympic Mountain Range and hiking with the Sony A7 II.

Another fine weekend of camping in Washington’s State Park system.  This trip was close to home but felt like we were a long way out and deep in the woods.  Close to Washington’s Pacific Coast is Gray’s Harbor County.  Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Ocean Shores and Westport are a few of the cities (small towns) within reach of Lake Sylvia State Park.  Located just north of Montasano, Gray’s Harbor County Seat, is Lake Sylvia, one of the nicest campgrounds around and offers easy access to rain forests, ocean beaches and port towns.

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Lake Sylvia from campsite number 25. Looking south toward the bridge to the swimming area and club house. Sony A7 II and Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8

From the campsite there are miles of trails to enjoy including one that wraps around the lake.  One of the changes I’ve made over the past couple of years was to downsize photo equipment so hiking would be less of a chore.  I wanted to still take nice hikes and long walks but not with a heavy backpack loaded down with lenses, or a 12 pound camera body. So as cameras have gotten smaller and sensors have gotten better, it’s possible now to carry a full frame sensor camera and a couple of lenses and a tripod and come in under 7  pounds versus the nearly 30 pounds I used to carry.  And I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed anything.

We took a couple of day trips over to the coast and visited a couple of small towns and communities.

My friend Hope standing on the jetty at Westport. Only moments before this photo it was completely shrouded in a huge fog bank. Sony A7 II with Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8
My friend Hope standing on the jetty at Westport. Only moments before this photo was taken it was completely shrouded in a huge fog bank. Sony A7 II with Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8

From the Lake Sylvia Campground it’s about a 40 minute drive to the Pacific and the small towns along the coast.  Westport is a very active fishing community with big commercial fishing vessels and smaller charter boats for whale watching and fishing.  There are plenty of accommodations, hotels and seafood restaurants offering the freshest seafood you can possibly get anywhere.

Farther down the coast about 20 minutes are Grayland and Tokeland.  Both very small with few accommodations but incredibly beautiful white sand beaches.

But the campground area provides enough entertainment to not have to go anywhere at all.  Camping, wood fires, canoeing and kayaking, hiking trails and swimming and for those who like to take photos, there is an endless amount of beautiful and scenic landscapes everywhere you look.

Sunrise through the old growth trees along the trail at the park. Sony A7 II with a Nikon 100mm f2.8 legacy lens.
Sunrise through the old growth trees along the trail at the park. Sony A7 II with a Nikon 100mm f2.8 legacy lens.
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Sunrise and fog on Lake Sylvia. Sony A7 II and Sony/Zeiss 35mm f2.8
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September 11, 2015, Westport, Washington. Sony A7 II and Sony/Zeiss 35/2.8
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Oldest barbershop in Montasano. It’s been this barbershop since 1922. Sony A7 II and Sony/Zeiss 35/2.8

This barbershop has been a barbershop in this exact spot in Montasano since 1922.  As the story goes, back in the day,  it used to have two doors on the rear walls.  One went down to a bathhouse where the workers would go to freshen-up, then come back up for a haircut before going through the second door to a bar for a drink.  What great information you can get just by stopping to ask.

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Lisa, my best friend, traveling companion and without a doubt my better half. Maybe my better three quarters.
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How else can you start a day of camping without a good cup of coffee.

Thanks for following along.

Tom


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