posted at http://markandjoannatravel.blogspot.com
August 31, 2009
Tonight is our last night in a tent and we are going to bed early to wake up for sunrise pictures.
Today we toured the most popular section of Olympic National Park – Hurricane Ridge. Taking down our tent in Elwa this morning was no problem and we were at the Heart ‘o Hills campground at the base of Hurricane Ridge in only 30 minutes. We were hear early enough to be able to pick and choose our campsite with nearly no one else here. All sites seemed to have that same cemented tent pads as the Elwa, so we gathered rocks again to use as stakes. We left the tent and headed the 17 miles up 5000 feet to Hurricane Ridge.
I’m now in favor of driving to the top rather than walking. =)
We had lunch in the picnic area down the road from the visitor’s center with the chipmunks and little birds looking for food treats. This spot had a great view of the Olympic Mountains. Then we hiked, or rather, strolled the paved trails in the area taking our time to read all the nature signs and learn what plants and views were were looking at.
We sat at Sunrise Point for a bit just staring out at the mountains. The sun was out making the clear day about 80 degrees in the sun, but 65-70 in the shade. It was very comfortable and the views were gorgeous.
We listened to a ranger talk about funny visitor stories that happened in the park. It was quite a humorous half hour. We followed the talk with ice cream from the cafe there at the viewing platform. Did I mention that today was relaxing?
We spied several black tailed deer in the area, usually followed by several folks with cameras, but no marmots.
We drove back to the picnic area for our dinner and watched 3 blue striped grouse roam the meadow while we ate. Then, it was back to the viewing platform for sunset and then driving back down the mountain to bed (or sleeping bag, I should say). The morning will come quickly.