Monday, July 26, 2010

Olympic National Park: Marymere Falls and Hurricane Ridge

Monday, the 19th, Joan's and my wedding anniversary, we woke to the magic of early morning Crescent Lake.  The sky was clear, with just a bit of fog in the valleys.  Lazy, hearty breakfast at the Lodge, immersed in the peace of the lakefront.
Moments of Time Trail
Reluctant to leave the area, we went off on the Moments of Time Trail, but after a half mile or so switched onto the trail to Marymere Falls.  The trail passes through rain forest up to the base of the nearby mountain.  Then it's up a steep trail to a lookout.  The falls aren't as big as the ones we saw along the Columbia, but beautiful with the mesmerizing effects of falling water.

At noon we left for Port Angeles and the road to Hurricane Ridge.  In Port Angeles, we could see the Olympic Mountains and the bright snow. 

As we went up the road to Hurricane Ridge, we stopped at the lookouts, looking down on Port Angeles and Sequim - but not able to see Victoria through the haze along Vancouver Island.  By the time we reached the mile-high Hurricane Ridge visitors center, the air was crystal clear and the mountains with their glaciers seemed very close indeed. 

Joan and I were at Hurricane Ridge last year when it was equally clear, but there was less haze down on the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  We did the Hurricane Hill trail last year (huff, puff), but this year confined ourselves to the trails around the visitors center.

View from Ediz Hook
We left the spectacular mountain views in late afternoon and rolled down to Port Angeles.  We drove through the (now-Japanese) paper mill out onto Ediz Hook, the breakwater for Port Angeles' harbor.  It's about a three mile drive to the Coast Guard station at the tip.  We had another grand view of the Olympics, but Canada was obscured by haze.  A raccoon - how did he get out there? - kept track of us as we used camera and binoculars.