This fall we’ve been “stuck” on the Olympic Peninsula while repairing Celeste, but it’s been a great place to be stuck. Not only have we made some wonderful friends, but we’ve gotten to explore the peninsula quite a bit. It’s the northwesternmost part of the contiguous United States and the mountains that form its spine are the second largest range in Washington State. The highest peak is the glaciated Mt Olympus, at nearly 8,000 feet. Rainforests and lakes surround it, draining to the dramatic Pacific coastline of beaches, breakers, and rock formations. Much of it is national park land, so is beautifully wild and undeveloped and full of animals. It’s been a wonderful area to hike and explore on our days off from boat projects and work. Here are a few photos:
This is Mt Olympus seen on our 18-mile, 4,000ft day hike (phew!) back in August.
We’ve tried to keep fit and get up into the mountains this fall with more big hikes. Here are some from a different loop (~14 miles, ~2500ft) which we did twice in October. Click on any image to start a slideshow.
Our biggest hike since August has been a loop which took us above treeline, among the mountain goats and patches of snow. We did it just in time before some big snowfalls that have now made it hard to find parts of the trail and buried much of it several feet deep. This hike was 13 miles and we gained (and, lost of course) 5,700 feet.
Our most recent hike (on Friday after Thanksgiving) was back up to the lake we’d passed on the mountain goat hike, and it was a real treat – fresh snow about 2.5 feet deep! It did mean we had to stop at the lake, but it was so beautiful! We just wished we had our skis with us!
A little earlier this fall, we made a trip to the western shore of the peninsula, to the Pacific coast – Port Angeles is on Juan de Fuca Strait on the peninsula’s northern coast. We hugged some big trees and wandered the beaches with their dramatic sea stacks. Now just to get out there by boat!