Category Archives: Olympic Peninsula
I just got back from a three day trip around the Olympic Peninsula with some friends….what a trip. I’ve done it several times in the last decade because I’ve wanted to get to know my backyard on a personal level. Each time I visit the rainforests, the beaches and the mountaintops, they are different. Not only different from each other, but never the same as before. The Rainforests have been ravaged by the intensified winter storms that hit the Northwest coast every year. The huge trees are scattered like pick up sticks, the sun reaching the forest floor for the first time in hundreds of years. The ecosystem will change, for sure. The winds in places look to have been hurricane strength, with microbursts in places that took down almost everything. It will take generations for some of the forests to recover. But that’s nature. The forests in the lee, the lands around Lake Crescent, appear to have been spared, mostly. By comparison anyway.
The beaches are always fun and different every time I go. The logjams at Ruby come and go, and the sands seems to migrate up and down the coast. Some times the beaches are rocky, sometimes sandy. I saw a photograph of the large, singular rock on Ruby Beach being bashed by a wave at least 10 feet taller than its height. It was dramatic and told the tale of sand migration.
We ended the trip with a quick snowshoe up at Hurricane Ridge, a return visit to the snowy slopes. If you haven’t been this year, there is still a mammoth amount of snow, and the back country snowboarding and cross country skiing are still in full swing. Oh to be young again…..
Last week my husband and I decided to take advantage of a glorious day after a large front had passed through the region, leaving at least a foot or two of new snow in the mountains. Living on Bainbridge Island, we are only a hour and a half from Hurricane Ridge that is open most every day during the winter months. This must be a lot of work for the National Park Service to plow the road and to keep it free from falling rocks. When we arrived at the summit, we were not disappointed. Fresh snowfall and an almost empty parking lot greeted us – it was midweek and the ratio of Rangers to snowshoers was almost 1:1. Once into the trees, we were in a winter wonderland and we had it all to ourselves. The snow was dry and fresh and the air crystal clear and clean. It was a wonderful mid-week break from the lowland winter gray.