The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Archives: Oct. 2010


Laurie Axelsen, a former Rainier and Olympic ranger, dies in Utah plane crash

A one-time ranger Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks died late last week when the small plane she was riding in crashed in southern Utah.

Laurie Axelsen, 41, and Brent McGinn, 49, took off from the Bryce Canyon Airport in a privately-owned Cessna 172 for a pleasure flight over Mount Dutton, continuing on to Page, Ariz. Both were off duty at the time and had flown to Bryce Canyon so McGinn could meet friends and scout out elk hunting locations.

Early on Saturday, Glen Canyon’s dispatch center received a report that the plane was overdue. A search was soon started

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10/10/10: Top 10 LAST CHANCE IDEAS

1. Mount Rainier National Park, last free admission day is Nov. 11.

2. Drive North Cascades Highway before it closes late November or early December.

3. Visit Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens, closes late October.

4. Drive road to Sunrise at Mount Rainier, set to close Tuesday.

5. Spend a night at Lake Crescent Lodge, closes Sunday.

6. Watch the full lunar eclipse on Dec. 21. Next one will be April 2015. Check out NASA’s eclipse website.

7. Drive to Hurricane Ridge

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10/10/10: Top 10 Afternoon Adventures for Kids


1. Hiking and birding at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

2. Fish at Bradley Lake, Puyallup.

3. Go geocaching at Fort Steilacoom Park.

4. Beach play at Tolmie State Park, Lacey.

5. Walk, ride the Foothills Trail, Puyallup-South Prairie.

6. Watch salmon at Minter Creek Hatchery, Key Peninsula.

7. Explore Discovery Pond, Tacoma Nature Center.

8. Play at Saltwater State Park, Des Moines.

9. Camp at Millersylvania State Park, Maytown.

10. Walk the beach at Chambers Creek, University

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10/10/10: Top 10 Late-Season Delights


1. Hike the new boardwalk at Nisqually National Wildlife Refgue, due to open in November.

2. Go eagle watching along the Skagit River.

3. Camp in a yurt at Grayland Beach State Park.

4. See the falls colors along Skate Creek Road in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

5. Spend a (discounted) night at Lakeside Cottage at Millersylvania State Park.

6. Hope for clear weather to watch the Leonid meteor shower Nov. 17-18 and Geminid meteor shower Dec. 13-14. is a good website for information

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10/10/10: Top 10 Hunting spots

Top 10 Hunting Spots
1. Deer, Elbe Hills, above Elbe-Ashford

2. Deer and elk, Packwood

3. Waterfowl (saltwater), Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

4. Elk, White River and Mashel game management unit

5. Waterfowl (fresh and saltwater), Chehalis River near Elma and Montesano

6. Deer, Capitol State Forest

7. Black bear, national forest land

8. Forest grouse, Oly National Forest and Skokomish Valley

9. Pheasant, release sites like Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Hunter Farm near Shelton and Skookumchuck near Tenino

10. Waterfowl (saltwater), Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay

For more information on regulations and rules for hunting in Washington visit

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10/10/10: Top 10 Fishing Spots

Top 10 Fall Fishing Spots

1. Green River

2. Narrows Park, Gig Harbor

3. Munn Lake, Tumwater

4. Kennedy Creek, Olympia

5. Nisqually River

6. Ocean beaches for razor clams

7. Spanaway Lake, Spanaway

8. Deschutes River, Thurston County

9. Spencer Lake, Mason County

10. Hood Canal at Hoodsport hatchery.

For up to date fishing conditions check our fishing report. The News Tribune and Olympian update our fishing report every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Bookmark or subscribe to the rss feed to stay up to date on what’s biting where.

Also reed Jon Aqui’s fishing blog at

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10/10/10: Top 10 Things to Train For


1. Climbing Mount Rainier

The companies guide on Mount Rainier. If you are not experienced you should not climb without a guide.

Alpine Ascents:

International Mountain Guides:

Rainier Mountaineering Inc.:

2. Your first Triathlon

Tri Freaks is a good resources for triathlon training and finding events:

3. The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic

Cascade Bicycle Club:

4. Hiking the Wonderland Trail

Mount Rainier National Park:

5. Cycling around Rainier in a day

RAMROD is held in late July each year and is sponsored by the Redmond Cycling Club:

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10/10/10: Top 10 Mountain Bike Trips


  1. Duthie Hill near Issaquah
  2. Skookum Flats near Greenwater
  3. Banner Forest near Port Orchard
  4. Lake Sawyer near Black Diamond
  5. Tiger Mountain near North Bend
  6. Skokomish River Trail near Shelton
  7. Tongue Mountain near Randle
  8. Skate Creek near Ashford
  9. Capitol Forest near Olympia
  10. Carbon River Road at Mount Rainier

For more information on these mountain bike areas check out the mountain bike trail database compiled by the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, a trail advocacy group that builds and maintains terrain for mountain bikers.