Saturday, October 22, 2011
7/9/93 – Found a big town called Sequim (pronounced “scum”) on the way to Port Angles. Through port Angles, into Olympic National Park (saved another $4 with the Golden Eagle Pass - $7 Padre Island, $5 Mt. Rainier, $4 Olympic is $16. Only $9 to break even). Up to Hurricane Ridge Lodge where we had lunch and listened to a ranger talk bout the mountain goat problem (12 introduced in 1920 turned into about 1200 by 1988 – wiping out the unique plants on the Olympic Peninsula).
Then we started out to take the baby trail, shifted to the medium, and then did the High ridge Trail and the “Overlook Spur”. I’ve seen stairs that were shallower than parts of the trail. The Overlook Spur was only 600 feet long and not steep at the beginning, but it also was round topped and maybe six feet wide where you could walk. In the center you couldn’t see down either side, but if you moved over you could. The glaciers carved the Olympic Mountains and a distinguishing characteristic is the extremely steep slopes. As a result, you could see that if you sent over the edge you could not possibly climb back up. The drops were several hundred feet on either side – maybe 1,000 feet or more to the valley floors. When we got up to the top, you had the drops on three sides, a few trees hiding the ridge on the fourth, and an Olympic marmot chewing on a root. The BW climbed up on the peak and said “take my picture.” I started the hike with film in the camera and an extra roll in my pocket (had two extra rolls in the van). I shot the last exposure as she was climbing the knob. She never wants me to take her picture – how was I to know? To make it even worse, there were several totally unobstructed, magnificent views on the second half of the loop. This visitor’s center is at 5230 feet, and I was taking pictures of clouds going by below us on the first half, but by the second half it was totally clear (it took us 1 hour and 40 minutes to cover 0.9 miles (1.0 with the spur) but we were not moving fast going either up or down.
Then we stopped in Sequim for halibut steaks for supper (delicious). They have a clam chowder cook-off there on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, so we thought we would go back today (9/10/93).