Olympic National Park

DSC_1563Cold, overcast and rainy.  I guess that was to be expected but we weren’t prepared for it!  After dropping to 37 degrees and snowing at Hurricane Ridge, we decided we need to resupply with warmer clothes!  Why did I bring all those shorts and sleeveless tops?  So now our photos look like we’re Michelin tire men because we have on leggings and those awful (at least mine are) hiking zip-off pants.  As much as I have previously disliked them, I greatly appreciate them now.

Despite the snow on our first day and cold rain every subsequent day, we did explore the park and even found a couple of sunny interludes to explore the beach.  Unfortunately, they were at high tide so we didn’t get to experience the famous tide pools.  In case you haven’t guessed it by now, we are fair weather hikers.  Don’t mind a light rain or mist if it’s at least 65 or so but in the 40s or low 50s – um, no.

We stayed at Crescent Lake (more about our lodging choices in a subsequent post) in what they call the Storm King building.  Two story, 10 units total tucked away in the woods with a wall of windows looking out at Crescent Lake.  Lake Crescent was a good choice because it’s somewhat centrally located, however, I foolishly thought we’d kayak on the lake when I booked this!   When/if we go back, I would opt for a Singer Cabin room because they receive some sun and have awesome dutch doors looking out at the lake.

Olympic is huge and there is no road that bisects it so everything is accessed off of the highway which is clogged with huge two-trailer logging trucks.  They are used to the curvy road and, I suspect, oblivious to the beautiful surroundings so they go FAST.   Pretty unnerving at times.  The Park is also so diverse – snow on Hurricane Ridge, a rainforest (really no surprise), and then the beach.  You can really see the power of Mother Nature here.  Just accessing Second Beach was a climbing challenge – over a hundred feet or so of huge driftwood trees pushed back to the beach access by the surf.  Trees here are huge, by the way.  Incredibly tall and incredibly big around.  It’s no wonder the logging industry is also so big here.

Getting to Olympic involved taking the ferry from Port Townsend to Port Angeles.  About a thirty-minute voyage over calm waters.  So calm in fact, that there were several tables set up with puzzles.  I can imagine working on a puzzle if I had to use the ferry to commute.  We enjoyed a couple of really good meals in Port Angeles, the closest town of any size to Lake Crescent (although we “coffeed” at a great little espresso hut in Forks of Twilight fame).  Wonderful Thai food at Sabai Thai and seafood at Kokopelli.  We also warmed up briefly at a coffee shop in downtown Port Angeles – really an internet stop for us – but the shop was only open 10-5.  WHAT???  We had to find the library to finish uploading pictures.

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