Monday, August 19, 2013

Olympic National Park, three day update

Friday, August 16, 2013

It is somewhat hard to believe the rest of the world exists. It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s August. 

There was a question about some of the distances. Sol Duc Hot Springs is 12 miles from Hwy 101 and then Port Angeles is another 30 miles to the east, and Forks is 28 miles to the west. There are at least two rain forests, one is another 32 miles past Forks, and the second is another 69 miles. It is a big park and nothing is a quick drive.

Since it was bright and sunny, Friday morning seemed like a good day to hike the high country at Hurricane Ridge.

I once dreamed of hiking in our beautiful National parks, and now I am doing it!

How different this was from the hike thru the forest to Sol Duc Falls. At one point I felt like I was on the set for The Sound of Music. You know, the scene where Julie Andrews burst out singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music…”

Every direction you looked the view was breathtaking. Every moment it seemed the light changed. The hike was a bit hard, but the sights were very much worth it!

At the top of Hurricane Hill a very tame deer was busily eating the tips of the highest evergreen tree there. I could have reached out and petted her, but of course I didn’t because the rule is to keep the wild, wild.

We also saw this furry guy. He is an Olympic Marmot. He was close to the trail, didn’t seem afraid of us, but kept his back to us so he could make a quick get away if necessary.  I thought he looked like a very fat, fluffy cat crossed with a giant prairie dog.

After dinner we soothed our tired hiking bodies with a nice soak in the mineral hot tubs at the resort. They do charge a bit extra unless you are a guest at the resort itself, but we got a double discount. The cost was only $6.00 each because we are seniors and we went after 7 PM. That still gave us plenty of time for an hour-long soak and a shower before they closed for the night.

I don’t think I would want to go in the hot tubs and then drive to a distant campground outside of the park, but it sure was relaxing and the walk to the RV only took a few moments. The last number I saw on the clock before falling asleep was 9:44.  Snore!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

We are starting to understand the weather patterns here.  We woke to a very dark foggy world Saturday morning.  That was fine because our plan for the day was to drive out to Neah Bay, stop at the Makah Indian Museum and then go to Cape Flattery for a for a short walk.

The drive was quite scenic, and we stopped in Sekiu for a brief look at the boats moored there. They were having a salmon fishing derby for the kids. Everyone was walking around with a large fish in hand! I guess they had to check in their fish for the completion.  The town itself seemed very “real”, in that it was not a cutesy tourist spot.

We bought our $10 parking permit at the Makah Museum and went out to the Cape. Although it was just after noon, the sky was still overcast and wisps of fog filtered thru the trees. The forest was wet, but not dripping.

The path from the parking area to the sea overlook was wet and mucky but not slippery.  Much of it was boardwalk, with many steps up and down.

The view of the cape was intriguing.

 It was not much different than many other rocky cliff overlooks we have seen, but somehow knowing it was the farthest-northwest point of the continental United States made it special.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Forgot to grab the camera today.

We went on another six mile hike in the Elwah River area. It was mostly forested, with some great views of the river. At one point as we walked along a winding path, thru a fern and moss covered, sun dappled, grove, Craig said he felt like he was in a Disney movie, and that any moment a group of dwarves might appear singing “Hi Ho, Hi Ho …”  Quite a place!

[From Craig]  Every morning this week in Western Washington it has been cloudy and sometimes drizzled. But one must not give into despair and just plan to read all day, because it typically clears by 11. Sunday we forgot the camera. The Elwha valley had lots of very tall firs, some amazingly thin for their height. We will have to call up our visual memories, while you will have to go to other blogs for your daily fix of nature images. Sorry. 

Monday ... Off to see some Beaches.


  1. Just want to say I've enjoyed your blog over the last six months or so. We hiked Hurricane Ridge in '11, one of the highlights of that years trip. Good luck with the house sale, know what that is like. Enjoy the rest of your time away from the house.

  2. you got some great photos! thanks for sharing, hope you enjoy your day today!

  3. So glad to hear that you are having a wonderful time even if there is some rain. Enjoying your posts.

  4. You look like you're about to burst into song yourself, Merikay!

    What gorgeous photos you took.

  5. Looking good, Merikay! I am enjoying your blogs about the Olympic National Park area.

  6. You could both hum a few do "Sound of Music", and Craig can do "Hi Ho, Hi Ho". Thanks for sharing your lovely photos.

  7. Love my walking stick. Great help on a sandy beach!....but the surf stole one of my sticks the other day... Hope our paths cross in Oregon.

  8. Awesome pics, and I must say, you do seem to be a shadow of your former self.
    Lookin' good!

  9. Wonderful photos! Not sure which is my favorite... the one of the view from the Cape or you with your walking sticks. Aw... of course... the one of you. You look SO happy!

  10. yep another one of my favorite parks...

  11. Great pics & you, Merikay, are looking fabulous!! I NEED your diet!!

  12. I loved your photos in this blog post. Especially the ones of the cape. But they were all wonderful.

  13. Wonderful pictures - I sure enjoyed looking at them. I could see that Sound of Music scene - you should have burst into song...why not!!

  14. Love the pictures - especially the first one of you. Look like some awesome hikes!

    Glad that you are having a great and relaxing time - soak it in so you will be all rejuvenated for the next steps. :)

  15. Merikay, I thought this would be a cool thing for you to post about.

    Everyone that RV's are looking for neat things to do.

  16. I had to smile when you said that now you are hiking in the national parks. Look how far you've come. You look terrific, healthy, and happy. Great pictures of a beautiful place!

  17. Glad to hear you're having such a great time. The pictures are amazing. Take plenty because it will be a while before we get all the way up there!

    We've been to the southernmost point of the US, so I guess that's about as far away as one could get.

    Love the picture of you hiking with the beautiful background. You're still nice and slim. Two goals accomplished, huh?

  18. Great photos, especially the "doe a deer, a female deer".


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