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Published: July 22nd 2021
The Olympic Park ranger station at Hurricane Ridge
Thanks to the awesome little heater we had in the cabin, we both slept long and well last night, even though the temperature got pretty low. We left the KOA this morning on our way to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic Park. Manoli had decided that the trip to Hoh Rain Forest was just too long, at 2 1/2 hours one way, leaving little time later for anything else. We arrived at the Olympic Park Ranger station a little after 8am. After getting our bearings, we started the looong drive up to the Hurricane Ridge station, only 17 miles, but winding and slow. It was only about 9am when we got there and the store and snack bar didn't open until 10am .On the plus side, there was plenty of parking. We took a few photos from the point, then started walking to the main trail. After only a short distance, I realized I didn't have anything to drink, and had no idea how far it would be, so I went back up to get the car while Manoli continued walking. I reached the first turnoff/picnic area, A, and waited quite a while for Manoli to arrive.
After using the restroom
View from behind Hurricane Ridge Main Building. Click to enlarge
there and grabbing a drink, we continued on down the trial/road, passing two other parking lots before we reached the true start of the trail. Before that point, I had no idea how far the trail went, but I soon realized it was going to be a whole lot of uphill walking. Along the way, we got awesome views, saw a bunch of little chipmunks, and took a lot of breaks. When Manoli went for the last climb to the summit, I decided to check out a side trail where people were stopped and gawking, assuming they had spotted some wildlife. Unfortunately, it was just a grouse, and Manoli had continued on up, so I took a couple photos, sat on a stump for a while, then returned to the main trail, at just about the same time Manoli was coming back down. See the photo of me walking across the meadow. At the summit, Manoli spotted a deer idly watching some kids playing in the snow. Yes, snow, in mid July!
We started back down the trail, stopping frequently for more photos of the beautiful mountain range, until we reached our car. Here we decided to eat lunch
"The Olympic Mountains" sign at Hurricane Ridge
at one of the picnic tables overlooking the mountain range. Manoli had made a couple of sandwiches and some fruit for us to eat. We spotted a deer grazing right next to where we were going to sit, then a very large crow walked almost up to our table, so Manoli gave him a few pieces of bread, which he very promptly grabbed and swallowed. After lunch, we drove back to the main ranger station to browse their store. I ended buying a very nice, but expensive mug for Manoli, and she picked out a cool Hurricane Ridge ball cap for me, along with t he usual pin I buy at each main site we visit. By this time it was after 3pm, so we headed back to the KOA, thinking about where we wanted to eat dinner. After resting in the cabin for a while, we decided to try some fish and chips, from a place called Traylor's which was supposed to be famous for their fish and chips. I went to pick up the food, getting a 5-piece fish and chips and a bowl of Manhattan clam chowder for us to share. The fish and chips were delicious
View from picnic area A
and quite filling, and the chowder was very good too.
Tomorrow morning we leave the Olympic Peninsular KOA, and drive down through Washington state to the Cascade Locks/Portland KOA, just past the border. It should be a short drive of only 4 1/2 hours, with little or nothing to stop and see along the way. We will decide where to go and what to see after we get there.
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