A Quick Trip to MY Olympics

I always forget that when I post “I’m going to the Olympics!!” on my Facebook page someone invariably assumes that I mean I’m going to the Olympic Games rather than my beloved Olympic Mountains which always makes my excitement seem somewhat silly.

Anyhow, Forrest found a set of wheels he wanted up in Sequim and I was more than happy to accompany him on the drive up there. We left Corvallis on Friday afternoon and made a brief pit stop in Monmouth to pick up Ezra and then headed north. We spent the night with our “motorhome and tent trailer” combo (aka the Cherokee and the trailer Ezra pitched his tent on) on the top of Mt. Walker (elevation 2085′). The view in the morning was fantastic but we had to hurry on to make our purchase.

After buying the tires (it was so nice of the couple to let us leave our trailer there overnight!), we headed up Hurricane Ridge. Ezra’s never been there, Forrest hadn’t been since he was about eight, and I always act like an eight-year-old given that view so it was quite lucky that we’d gotten a beautiful blue sky Olympic day. After a quick lunch and a perusal of the raised relief map of the peninsula in the visitors center (where I got Forrest to admit there’s lots to explore) we headed out Obstruction Point Road.

I’d never been out that way and wow was it pretty. I was a little shocked at the number of cars in the parking lot but once we started down the trail we didn’t see too many people. Our original plan was to hike out along the Deer Park trail for about three or four miles and then simply head back. Our plans changed. For the steeper.

Once we got a glimpse of Grand Valley from Elk Mountain looking over Badger Valley we decided to make a loop of it. This loop wound up being somewhere between 9 1/2 and 10 miles, depending on which source you believe) and had some serious elevation loss and gain–to the tune of 5,000 feet.

Totally wonderful variety and totally worth the sore legs. We got to be above the tree line, in the subalpine meadows, in the high elevation trees (much less undergrowth than lower in the Olympic valleys), mountain streams, and a mountain lake.

After our hike we headed down the mountain and camped at Heart O’ The Hills. We let the ranger talk us into going to his campfire program “Drama In the Dark” (I did successfully volunteer Forrest to read a poem, but he was a good sport). We sat around our own campfire for awhile and then crashed–it’d been a long day!

On our way back to Sequim we went out to Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge and played around on the sand. I was kind of up for the 10 mile hike out to the lighthouse and back but it didn’t sound like Forrest had any interest in that adventure. I did get to play in the water like a little kid. The waves were huge right up on the shore and I got soaked. It was amazing.

After retrieving Forrest’s wheels, we headed down the canal. I finally got to have my Olympic Mountain ice cream again which was INCREDIBLE. I love Hoodsport…I mean, really? Does it get any better? Mountains, salt water, Lake Cushman, ice cream, and oysters? That’s pretty awesome.

The drive home was uneventful (and felt way shorter than the drive up in the dark). Hurray for squeezing in another high country hike before the snow flies!! (The webcam showed a dusting of snow at Hurricane Ridge the following Tuesday morning.)

Originally posted on the blog: Evergreen Rambles.

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