Through the Lens: Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Valley

Quicktime | YouTube
Sol Duc Hot Springs, Jeremy Sullivan Photo
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One of the new features we've built into the updated National Parks Traveler is the ability to have audio and video embedded into the site. As internet connections have become faster and have allowed for more downloadable media content in recent years, we thought it would help round-out the discussion on parks to include some original audio and video clips from time to time. I'm happy to present the first of such park media today. This is a video clip about the Sol Duc Valley in Olympic National Park. It would probably best be described as a travelogue, but I hope you'll find that it plays a little different than most you've seen. This video clip follows my journey first along the Lake Crescent road and then up the Sol Duc Valley. My first stop is to the Salmon Cascades (no jumping salmon while I was there though - September is typically the best month for that). I have a look around the Sol Duc Hot Springs, and then I finish up with a hike to the Sol Duc Falls.

We've got multiple options for viewing the audio and video content. If you've got iTunes or similar software on your computer, we've now got a podcast feed you can subscribe to. To get things started, you'll see that the podcast includes some content I had originally developed on the Park Remark website. Also, I'll be uploading video content to YouTube, so it will be easy to find and share with others. Look for videos uploaded by 'natparkstraveler' for our content.

If all that sounds a little too techie, don't worry, any audio/video content we upload will be viewable on this site. The software for video delivery is Quicktime, and for audio delivery its Flash, both of which you probably already have on your computer.

We've got some ideas we are already working on for additional audio and video presentations for the site. There are some interviews I'd like to present, and I've got more video content for future "Through the Lens" presentations. Please let me know if you've got some ideas for stories that you would like to see developed for audio or video on the site.

My favorite moments as a ranger in the parks were giving illustrated evening programs around the campfire. The web is my outlet today, and while I don't have the opportunity to see and speak directly to my audience, I still hold hope that you'll enjoy the show!

NPS Unit -


Great video! Thank you so much for providing this video for those of us who cannot get to the parks so easily, whether it's because of physical, financial, or geographic limitations. Glacier is my favorite park so it was wonderful to re-live our trips there. We'll be back soon but it's great to see the park at home through your eyes. Keep the videos coming!

Jeremy, very nicely done...tranquility at it's best! You sense the peace and quiet.

Hey Jeremy.

I love it! Beee-yuit-tee-full! Can't wait to see what is next! You're gonna uproot some controversial interviews, too, I hope!

You'd dig Van Burnette, a friend of mine in North Carolina who does fun trail videos for PBS. Your piece reminded me of him. He's on the We did a haunted hike episode (#8) near Blue Ridge Parkway this spring.

Keep up the good work!

Jeremy, did you do all the editing and titling in Flash, or something else? Nice work...

-- Jon Merryman

Hey, thanks everyone for the comments! It's very nice to get the feedback, especially when it's positive :-)

Anon: I've got material for more videos, now I need to find the time to create the finished pieces! I hope to have another one posted sometime within the next month.

Snowbird: I'm glad you had a sense of the peace and quiet, that's what I was hoping to share with this story.

Haunted Hiker: Did you recognize Lake Crescent at the beginning? I know you've got a couple of good 'haunted' stories about that place in your book.

Merryland: Didn't use any Flash for this piece, it was edited together with Apple's video software suite called Final Cut Pro.

YES Jeremy! I did notice Lake Crescent. I'm so pleased you remembered Ambulance Point and the Lady of the Lake! I just love Olympic. It was my "dream park" to work at someday before my wool turned black.

I worked at SOL DUC in the summer of 2008, and let me tell you, it is a commitment to be out there in such a remote location for 6 months or more. But being the avid hiker I am, I really enjoyed myself. Looking at these pictures gives a pang to my heart. That place will always be special to me, and I will miss living the life I did while working there. But, its on to the next adventure! To anyone who hasn't been, go to the Olympics. Its unlike won't regret it...