Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

We arrived on the peninsula and were engulfed in a sea of pines. The rain poured and I wondered if we should just admit defeat and find a hotel. Instead we decided to test our luck, grabbed some supplies from the Costco in Sequim, and headed up Hurricane Ridge Road to find Heart ‘O Hills campground. The campgrounds were slow and so quiet. Low fires burned in the camps around us and I realized it was foolish not to grab wood below. We had been coddled in the islands; now, at a higher altitude, the air was cold enough to see our breath and it was only afternoon. Somehow Luke put up the tent while the rain subsided and we pulled together a small meal. The site was magnificent- surrounded by the biggest trees I’d ever seen  covered in every shade of green moss. The air was almost mystical. In the middle of the night I heard a blood-curdling holler– one I later found out was that of a horned owl.

We woke up on our first morning there and there was snow falling outside! I dove into my sleeping bag and there I stayed until leaving was inevitable. I made a hot breakfast for us then back in the tent we went until it warmed up a bit more. At last we mustered up the courage to drive up to the ridge. The views were beautiful, sharing some similarities to Montana but having a deep green and overwhelming walls of pines that I had not yet seen. We pulled off at an overlook and took in the views of the towns below butting up against the ocean, before continuing on to the trail head for Hurricane Hill at the top.  The skies looked ominous, as they are known to do around these parts, but we made it up a lovely, easy trail and caught a glimpse of the magnificent view before the storm clouds rolled in and we hurried back to the car before the snow began to fall. We made ham sandwiches under the cover of the trunk and ate in the visitor’s center.

Then we spent another morning hiking to abandoned homesteads in the valley below. Coming upon these homes was so exciting, even if expected. The area around looked not much different than I imagine it did in the early parts of the 20th century when men made their fortune hunting the animals that settlers feared.

And on a particularly rainy afternoon, we walked Port Angeles sipping tea and shopping for decadent ingredients for my birthday feast before beginning the journey to the end of the peninsula for the last of our stops on our Pacific Northwest Adventure.

 

 

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