Saturday, July 20, 2013
Olympic National Park - Hurricane Ridge Hike
Roger here... Kaia, who is almost 15, said, "I don't want to go on a hike." Kaia said, "I have a headache." Kaia said, "I think I am sick." Kaia said, "My nose is running (it was --- allergies). Dianne said, "If you promise to take me on another day, I will stay with Kaia and you go on the hike with Amanda." So, that is what we did. (I needed some cooking time anyway for pot roast and mac and cheese -- D.)
Amanda was eager to go hiking in the mountains. So was I. The trip to the top of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park was relatively short. We went straight to the Hurricane Hill Trailhead (3.2 miles --- round trip). Our first views from the trail looked very promising. We were not disappointed. The scenery and the wildlife made this an unforgettable day for both of us.
The highest of the Olympic Mountains served as our backdrop as we moved along the trail.
It was fun looking back down at the trail as we climbed above the tree-line.
When we reached the top, we had a spectacular view of the clouds below us and the Straight of Juan de Fuca, with Vancouver Island in the background.
The vista at the top also included a jaw-dropping view of Mount Olympus.
We both played in the snow. It was fun watching the snowball disappear over the edge of the mountain.
"Amanda! You are too close to the edge. You don't know whether there is anything under that snow!"
"I really don't want to watch you slide into that melting pond."
There was amazing scenery. It was fun playing in the snow. However, there was something else that made this time special --- something that transformed Amanda from a young lady and a wonderful mom into the little girl who used to live in our house.
Amanda and the deer
Here is a shot of Amanda taking a picture of one of the many very tame deer that we encountered.
I wish I could describe the squeal of delight that Amanda made when she spotted the first deer emerging from a glade onto the snow bank.
Is this a happy face, or what?
Amanda and the marmot
A shot of Amanda taking a picture of an Olympic marmot. She broke some of the trail rules by slowly stalking the very tame marmot through the grass --- the first time I have ever known her to break a rule ;-).
According to the national park information, these guys are pretty rare. We were lucky enough to see two of them.
Amanda and the mountain goats
A shot of Amanda taking a picture of a female mountain goat and her two kids. Amanda was photographing one of the deer when a fellow hiker told her that there were mountain goats on the other side of the trees. Another squeal of joy as she abandoned the deer and scampered to her next victims.
A park ranger had told us earlier not to get too close to any of the mountain goats we might encounter, especially ewes with kids, so we kept our distance.
However, at one point, the ewe stopped grazing and headed for the trail where Amanda was standing. She wisely stepped aside to let them pass.
One last photo of the mountain goats --- this time, just the kids.
Amanda and the black bear
As we began our descent down the trail, we were talking to a family about the mountain goats we had just seen. A young couple, just off the trail, overheard us and alerted us, "There is a bear right over here." Off Amanda went. I did not get a picture of Amanda taking a picture this time, because the bear was moving pretty quickly down the slope and I wanted to get my own picture. It was far enough away to not be a danger. These pics were taken with a zoom lens.
All during the trek, Amanda repeated the phrase, "This is the best hike, everrrr!" I have to agree with her.
To celebrate, I goaded her into doing the Sound of Music twirl in the alpine meadow.
All good things must come to an end. It was time to head back down the mountain. We followed one of the black-tailed deer down the trail.
A misty fog drifted along one side of the trail during our descent.
We stopped on the way down to take a picture of a freighter in the Juan de Fuca Straight with Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria in the distance. We also stopped at a lavender farm before heading to the motor home.
I bought some lavender oil for Amanda. Amanda cut a bouquet for Dianne.
A perfect day with my little girl.
The pet picture of the day shows Tequila giving Amanda encouragement while she edited the many pictures that we took on this day.