For those Twilight fans out there, you know that the Olympic peninsula is one of the rainiest places on planet earth. While this is a great reason for vampires to take up residence, it is not always the most welcoming weather for camping and hiking. Nonetheless, Timothy’s birthday (which happens to be MY 1/2 birthday) only comes once a year and the Olympic Mountain Range has been an untouched adventure for us.
We packed up the car on Friday afternoon and headed up to the Edmonds ferry with our friends and neighbors, the Rodenbecks. After dinner in Port Angeles, Tim and I drove out to camp in the Elwa valley. Challenges to setting up our tent included heavy rains and the fact that the batteries has fallen out of our headlamp into the dark abyss of the subaru. We managed thanks to our matching Arc’teryx jackets (yikes).
Our first Saturday adventure was a drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge which is rarely opened past October. Leah, Rick, Tim, and I found ourselves in a grey, icy cloud of mist and snow as we wondered into the visitor center and took a picture of the 3-diminsional map of the actual mountains hidden outside. Not to worry we did capture 17 pictures of deer on the way up and back. None of them are making the post.
Our next adventure was a short hike in the Elwa valley to some natural hot springs. As we made our way around looking at different pools in our gore-tex and wool we ran into the following: girls in bikinis staking claim on certain “hotter” pools, a naked man who wasn’t in any hurry to put his hiking clothes back on, and a group of about 10 Korean women who showed up, excitedly stripped down to their bathing suits, and began frolicking in a pool. Oh, the things you don’t expect to see in a national park…
Our adventure concluded with a hot dinner off the old whisperlite at our campground including 3 rounds of a hot chocolate specialty drink.