Take a Hike!
On October 3, 2012 | 4 Comments | travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the world’s greatest art, and I have crawled around some of the most ancient ruins that humans have located. At some point I always say, “I don’t need to see any more.” But I never get tired of looking at mountains!

In the summertime, eager tourists visit the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy her many and varied terrains. From the Hoh Rainforest of the west to sunny Sequim, there’s plenty to see and do. Festivals abound in the summer, and campgrounds fill.

When the tourists go home, though, locals take advantage of hiking opportunities. A nip in the air makes for perfect hiking weather. Though the best of the wildflowers have gone for the year, the leaves are starting to change color. If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of marmots playing, enjoying sunshine, or just waddling around before they start to hibernate later this month.

We moved here in part because of our love for hiking, but other activities have kept us busy. Then, at a recent auction to raise money for the Jefferson Land Trust, which helps preserve farmland and wilderness in the area, we signed up for a guided hike that took us to the Elwha River, the site of the largest river restoration project in the world. The Elwha Dam has been removed, and removal of the Glines Canyon Dam is forthcoming. Restoration is a slow, careful process so that the salmon can return safely.

Later, we hiked at Hurricane Ridge. Hubby and I tried to hike it in June, but the summit was still covered in snow. On this day, however, we had glorious views, as you’ll see below.

This area is just about 1.5 hours from where we live. To think, we used to get on airplanes to go see this scenery, and now we don’t have to!

Have a hiking spot you want to share? I’d love to hear it!

When we lived in Houston, we never saw fall color, so we’re giddy as we watch the leaves start to turn.

Here’s the site of the former Elwha River Dam. Protective matting has been laid and native plants are being installed to prevent invasive species from rushing in.

One of the many magnificent views in Olympic National Park

The Olympic Mountains capture the rain, creating a “rain shadow” effect that keeps us much drier than other parts of Washington State.

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