Saturday, September 20, 2014

Olympic Peninsula

Do you know the name of this ship? It was moored near the cruise ship Pier 91.

I think I might have seen this in a yachting magazine, it was in Seattle only a few days so I did not have a chance to walk down and check it out.

Just for comparison

Taking the Bainbridge Ferry for a two night excursion to the Olympic Peninsula and the rain forest.

Took 104 then 101 to Port Angeles then a short road to the Olympic Forest. About a three hour drive from Seattle including the ferry ride over.

Yeah 17 mi up 7% grade, 7% does not seem like much but Interstate highways are restricted to 6% see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(slope)

Not the best day to be up here but it was pretty spectacular since the valleys were clear of cloud cover, You could see down, just not the peaks of the mountains.


See: http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm and they have a great webcam that is fun to view at different times of the year.

That's Port Angeles center bottom, then the yellow line up to the "You are Here" at Hurricane Ridge.

The Olympic Peninsula is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the West, Straight of Juan De fuca to the North and the Hood Canal to the East.
Occassional the clouds would open up for just a few moments allowing a glimpse of a nearby peak.

Looking South off the Ridge.

Up High!

Do not know what birds these were, just to fast for a good photo.

You can hike up to this high point on the ridge, maybe next time on a clear day it would be worth it so we took the lower trail to the other side of the ridge.

From the parking lot you can hike up a small hill over the ridge to a observation point looking North

See the video here: http://youtu.be/hbYD2sbZfQY


I think this boy has his Dads Hiking blood in him.

Another trail for next time.

Several tunnels along the 17 miles.


We were on a schedule of sorts so did not stop at all the observation points along the mountain road but this one looked good. this is looking North over Port Angeles The Straight of Juan De Fuca, and the Cascades in Canada

The water blends in with the sky

A little closer Port Angeles


Lia and Russell's  first visit to this area was here at Lake Crescent Lodge so she wanted to show us this incredible mountain lake: http://www.visitolympicpeninsula.org/lakecrescent.html

The Lodge: http://www.olympicnationalparks.com/accommodations/lake-crescent-resort.aspx


Mountain lakes in the Olympic Pensiula carved out by glaciers receding are very deep ( Lake Crescent is 624' deep) and lend to the micro climates they exist in. 



Shaped like a Crescent as the lake winds around the Mountains for 8.4 miles.


The spirit of the Olympic Forest begins to descend upon you here.

All things Drew.


Step back in time as you enter the Lodge.


Also known as Olympic elk, is the largest of the four surviving subspecies of elk in North America.[2] They live in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest and were introduced to Alaska's Afognak and Raspberry Islands in 1928.[3][4] The desire to protect the elk was one of the primary forces behind the establishment of the Mount Olympus National Monument (later Olympic National Park) in 1909.[5]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roosevelt_elk

Lake Quinault Lodge our spot for two nights.
 http://www.olympicnationalparks.com/accommodations/lake-quinault-lodge.aspx

We arrived just in time to toss our bags in the room and head down for the Lake Quinault Tour with tour Guide Charlie

The Original Lodge

2nd addition to the Lodge

and we stayed in the third addition

The Admiral and I become absorbed in the Life force around us and know this is unlike anything we have ever felt before.

Just one sunset photo this day but all inspiring, put The Olympic Forest at the top of your list Now.


A couple of small sailboats.


Far away but the Admiral was sure they were Eagles but we had to get the picture on our computer to know for sure.


High up on the far left and Osprey's nest.

A couple of local Indigenous fisherman

Charlie told us about a wonderful hike to the top of this hill.

what we must have looked like.

Here's to the Spirit of Lake Quinault.

A new Serenity
 Olympic Peninsula

Russell had to go to Z├╝rich Switzerland for work so our Daughter planned a weekend for us on the Olympic Peninsula.They had been there before to Lake Crescent Lodge and so she had some local knowledge of the area. She of course knew I wanted to make this trip so she planned out three days full of activities for us. The long road trip would just be another chance to train 1 year old Drew for our upcoming visit to Texas where long road trips are common place.
As we drove by Port Townsend and Port Angeles I could hear the waterfront calling me but I knew we had to stick to my daughters schedule so we turned left up Olympic Hot Springs Road and soon found the entrance to Hurricane Ridge, a slow 17 mile drive up  a winding narrow 7%  grade which much more than 7% to me. Most of the peaks were overcast but you could see clearly down into the valleys and there are some spectacular views even on a day like this. Due to our schedule we just had a couple of hours to spend and with a 1 year old that is enough but we if make it back we will dedicate most of the day and do some of the hikes. You can make this a day trip from Seattle and since you do not have to schedule a day trip like a hotel stay it would be good to wait for a clear day to visit. The more you know about thee Olympic Peninsula the more important it is to visit Hurricane Ridge named from the Hurricane force winds that pass through here during the winter storms often stripping bark off the trees.See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Ridge
Back to 101 heading West,  just a short drive to  Crescent Lake and the Lodge. Our trip to Hurricane Ridge was short so we did not really have time to absorb the Spirit of the Olympic Peninsula, but here you begin to  realize how special this visit will be. This deep lake is a favorite for diving due to its clarity see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Crescent  and  http://www.straitscuba.com/Dive%20Sites/Olympic%20Penn%20West/Lake%20Crescent.html
We had to be at lake Quinault by 6:00 pm so the stay was short but we got more than the Gist. Lake Quinault Lodge is just over a 2 hour drive down 101 heading South down the Pacific side of the Peninsula.A great drive and one that completes our previous two road trips to Gig Harbor and Grays Harbor. This was Labor Day weekend so the Resort was full but you never felt like you were in a crowd, the area so huge and all those people just sort of scatter out into the forest. We arrived and just had time to check in and throw our bags before walking down the short distance to the little dock and boarding a Pontoon boat for the Lake Quinault Sunset Tour led by tour guide Charlie, a local who lives and teaches in Port Angeles but spends his summers at Lake Quinault as a guide. This tour is worth it on two counts. One you are out in the middle of one of the most fantastic valleys surrounded by one of Two temperate rain forest in the  US Pacific Northwest, and Two Charlie. Charlie is a passionate local who loves his gig as a guide and teacher of all things about the Quinault Rain Forest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinault_Rainforest You get some history, rain forest facts, stories from the indigenous and those who first settled here motivated by the Homestead Act of 1862 http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=31  Charlie ties it all together to sort of provide you with a current State of the Union in the Quinault Valley. He believes the Quinault Rain forest is the mother of them all due to the fact of the valleys orientation toward the Southeast which benefits from all the winter Northwest Storms that come down from the Yukon. Due to the counter clockwise spin of the fronts entering the valley from the Southeast giving the Quinault Rain Forest the full force of every weather system that passes over the Olympic Peninsula.




No comments:

Post a Comment