September 2 Hurricane Ridge

Today we were back in explorer mode so we decided to take a spin into the Olympic National Park, specifically to Hurricane Ridge. We started by getting from our current RV spot at Diamond Point RV Park up the serpentine road to US-101 which we took west to the city of Port Angeles. There we turned onto Hurricane Ridge Road. At the bottom we were pretty close to sea level (Strait of Juan de Fuca level here) and we started to steady climb up the first five miles until we got to the Park Service toll booth where there was about a half hour backup in the traffic line. It was a gorgeous day today so we supposed that lots of folks had decided to go up to the Ridge to enjoy the view.

Once we got very close to the toll booth, a National Park Ranger was stationed alongside the traffic line who noted that we had a geezer pass to cross onto federal properties for free and she waved us through. Free access to National Parks is one of the very few benefits of getting older.

The road continues to climb through several climate zones before emerging at 4500′ almost above tree line where there is a parking lot and many folks wearing funny garb usually associated with pesky ferners. We heard Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and quite a few other languages that we couldn’t understand emanating from the myriad of folks on top of the mountains enjoying the view.

From the visitor center at the end of the road, Hurricane Ridge occupies the entire southern horizon from west to east. There are some glaciers clinging to the sides of the taller peaks and visible below is a massive old-growth forest. There were animals everywhere. We spotted hordes of deer and noted some gray jays hanging around the visitor area, dive bombing and snatching loose food from those foolish enough to keep their grub in plain sight. We even met some nice doggies who had accompanied their humans to the top of the hill.

The scenery is spectacular there. Click the link to see photos.

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