Hurricane Ridge and Lake Ozette
The 16th was our first day in the Olympics National Park. We went to Hurricane Ridge: clouds and rain. We did see our first (very beautiful) glacier lily, lurking at the edge of the normally flower-filled meadow, which this year happens to be under three feet of snow.
For the 17th we moved on to Lake Ozette. Lake Ozette is a pretty freshwater lake, about three miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The whole west coastline of the Olympic peninsula is designated part of the Olympic National Park. So, we arrived here fresh from a rainy yesterday to sunshine (good) and managed to grab the last available campsite by the lake (more than good).
Then we strolled off to see the local scenery. Three miles along boardwalks to the sea, three miles along the coast, and three miles back to the campsite. The boardwalks passed through temperate rain forest, comprising giant moss clad trees and a tangle of greenery below. More about that particular forest type in the article about the Hoh River Valley.
Two thirds of the time for this walk was spent on one third of the total distance of the walk. The beach section is full of fine gray sand, beautiful to look at but really tough to walk along. The view from the seashore was quite stunning. Outcrops of storm-swept rocks, the crash of Pacific ocean waves, and all along the shore are the smooth bleached trunks of ancient trees, stripped bare of branches by the waves. Lurking in amongst all this we saw deer and raccoons, not to mention several humans. The huge amount of seaweed and flies were less welcome.
Talking of raccoons, these are a major issue at the campsite. There
are signs talking about the zip unzipping and lid unscrewing skills they've
developed. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I said, and wandered off to look at the lake
as the sun came down. A small girl from the neighbouring campsite was more
alert fortunately, and came running over just in time to save the contents
of our picnic table from a thorough going over. Our little intruder was
sufficiently self-confident to stick around for the photo at the right.
While we cleared away he watched us from the trees, then the moment we
stepped away from the campsite, he was back looking all round the table
(click thumbnails for a larger picture) |
Rain forest scenery.
The rainforest again
A surprise visitor in camp
Strange happenings on the beach