Now that I can breathe a sigh of relief about the national parks being open during my vacation, I found an even bigger problem with my travel plans: SNOW!!! Since the trip is days away, I started checking trail reports. I did not anticipate that nearly every trail I want to hike would still be covered by a thick layer of snow in August. Apparently the Pacific Northwest got record amounts of snowfall last winter, which has failed to melt in the usual timeframe. The higher elevation trails are either impassible, impossible to reach because the roads are also snowed under, or both. Lower elevation trails can be challenging due to fallen trees and high flow creeks and streams due to melting runoff. The net result will be that we have to modify where we visit and will probably not get to do nearly as much hiking as I had hoped for. PDM might prefer this arrangement, but I am disappointed that I won't get to walk through an alpine meadow filled with wildflowers and surrounded by beautiful mountains (unless I can find one that isn't under several feet of snow).
I am also a bit concerned that with far fewer places to spread out, the crowds might be much larger than what we'd prefer (we would rather not have ANY company on a trail other than plants and wildlife of the type that doesn't eat people). Still looking through my books and guides for creative alternatives, and hoping that our innkeepers will be able to point us toward paths less traveled, or maybe the park rangers will have some suggestions. But I am still astounded that my August vacation plans are all shot to hell because of snowpack. That just amazes me - and never crossed my mind when planning this trip.