October 7, 2015

Hurricane Ridge

"We live in a world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. 
There is no end to the adventures we can have if only 
we seek them with our eyes open.” 
Jawaharlal Nehru
Imagine this...each of you are writing your travel experiences at this moment on this blog, for a multitude of family, friends and blog followers to read. Our fellow bloggers can agree on this, it is definitely not an easy task to find words to describe the wondrous views of our natural lenses. But we have chosen to write because we want all of you to see, to feel, to imagine and maybe place yourself in our place and best of all, someday go out and experience these jewels for yourself. Our dear friends, Patrick and Cheryl, fellow lifedancers, highly recommended this next scenic gem and we listened. This place and those surreal views reminded us of why we share...natural wonders are inspirational.

Hurricane Ridge, named for it's intense gales and wind, is the mountainous area in Washington's Olympic National Park. We were told that on a clear day you can gaze far into the Olympic Wilderness, from deep valleys to steep ridges. 

We first stopped at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, located 17 miles south of Port Angeles and sits at an elevation of 5,242 overlooking the Olympic Mountains. The upper level of the center offers staffed ranger information and resources, exhibits and wonderful views (on a clear day), while the lower level features a gift shop and snack bar. This stop was a perfect way to acquaint ourselves with the park, trails and viewpoints.

There are spectacular vistas from the trail, but the best are at the viewpoint at the top of the trail. You can have views of the Olympic Mountains to the south, Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the north and Port Angeles below you. But for that, you need to hike the 1.6 mile trail, with an elevation gain of 700 feet, through subalpine meadows to get those rewards. And it was more than worth it!

No photos can describe our experience gazing upon the Olympic Wilderness and Mountains. Wispy fog tendrils rose beneath us, while rays of sunlight broke through the moving clouds allowing us brief glimpses of Blue Glacier on Mount Olympus. Glaciers have carved and adorned this park for millennia, but Olympic Mountain Glaciers have now lost over 30 percent of their surface area and some of the smaller glaciers in the park have completely disappeared.

If those magnificent views were not enough to stun our senses, add the shrill calls of mating hawks which caught our attention above us. Diving in death defying spirals down toward the valley floor and then just as suddenly, riding a thermal uplift and soaring straight upwards. 

As we slowly worked our way back down, we had a very cool visit from one of the local residents.., and I do mean "local. The Olympic Marmot is endemic to Olympic National Park and are found nowhere else in the world. This beautiful guy...or girl was just basking in the sun, posing for us as we walked by.

With our exploration time of Western Washington "running low", we were very happy to make the time to do this hike. For a visit to Olympic National Forest would not be complete unless you make the time to experience Hurricane Ridge.We would come to realize over the next week that there are far more things to do and places to see than we could have imagined.

Here is another item that we highly recommend...thanks to that amazing Susie.

"Poo Pourri Trap-A-Crap" Products are preventive Bathroom Odor Sprays. Although this is the most wonderful product for an RV/Motorhome bathroom, they will also work perfectly for your home. Now don't start laughing...unless your shit don't stink...but reality is reality. These little sprayers last a long time...up to 100 uses for the purse size 2 ounce sprayer and twice that for the rig size 4 ounce sprayer. They take up less room than those large aerosol cans most people stock in their bathrooms and feature no harsh chemicals or aerosol. In fact we heard from a reliable source it is made of " 4 parts Atlantis sea water, 2 parts Bermuda Triangle air and 1 part Unicorn pee." Just spritz in the toilet water before you poo.

At Waypoint 47.9692565-123.4985193

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