T’was the night before Christmas all along the O.P.
Not a creature was stirring; even the marmots were asleep.
The stocking were hung by the campfire, from Olympia to Neah Bay
In hopes that St Nicholas would soon be on his way;
The hikers were nestled under their blue tarps and tents
While their dreams had visions of glissading and safe descents
In the wind, cold and wet, nobody complained
We focus focused on staying dry in the forests, world famous for rain
When out in the Hoh, there rose such a clatter
I sprang out of my tent, to see what was the matter;
Out to the Elwha, I flew up the ridge like a Hurricane
Looking and searching across the peninsula in the driving rain.
The moon broke through the clouds, showing Mount Ellinor
I saw the entire Olympic Peninsula, from rainforest to sea shore
Out of the corner of my eye, above the city of Forks,
I saw a red and white sleigh with eight tiny Rain-deer pulling serious torques
With a little driver, dressed in rain gear and a beard, full and thick
I knew in that moment, over the Olympic Peninsula, it must be St. Nick
More rapid then the Quinault River, flowing down to the Ocean
He called out names of Rain-Deer, causing quite a commotion,
Now Olympus! Now Elwha! Now Shi Shi and Dungeness!
On Constance! On Crescent! On Buckhorn and Skokomish!
To the top of the Mountains to the rainforest trees
We must visit everyone that understand the Olympic Beauty
As the sleigh got nearer, the winds blew the cedars and firs
The trees were too thick, I could see nothing but blurs
Until above my tent, the Rain-Deer finally flew
With a sleigh full of gear and St Nicholas too!
Then the sleigh set down on the nearby snow shelter roof
I heard the prancing and pawing of each Rain-Deer hoof.
As I peered toward the noise I heard a small hoot
Out of the ferns was St Nicholas, in Gore-Tex boots
Dressed in Outdoor Research Gear, from head to toe
He looked like he could handle hiking in rain sun and snow
A multi-day Osprey sack was flung on his back
He looked like he had hiked across Anderson Pass with that pack
A shine, deep green, like the forests, came from his eyes
His cheeks were red, like a Hood Canal winter sunrise
His smile was inviting, like the Marymere Falls Trail
And his white beard was the color of a spout from a Gray Whale
He held a pipe, burning just cedar, between his teeth
The smoke rose around his head, like a decorated wreath
He had a big broad face and a round little belly,
That shook, when laughed like beached fish of jelly
He spoke not a word, but laid out new supplies and gear
As he finished he came over, and shook my hand
Thanking me for sharing the world’s most beautiful land
As he walked away from our camp, he gave a whistle
And the Rain-Deer flew down, scaring a bear from the thistle
As he flew away he looked to me and the following he blessed
“A Merry Christmas to the Olympic Peninsula and the Pacific Northwest”
Discover a Hike a Week through Doug Scott’s Olympic National Park Area Guidebook