Friday, August 11, 2017

#Mountains - Hurricane Ridge - #Olympic National Park, WA - #SaturdaySnapshots

More photos from the July 17-19 hiking getaway with the #Auburn Senior Activity Center. We spent July 18th in the Hurricane Ridge section of Olympic National Park, not far from Port Angeles. Sunny skies, perfect weather with a cool breeze, and dramatic scenery that's hard to beat.
(Click on photos to enlarge)


Tame deer near the visitor center. What a view!
We walked to the top of High Ridge Trail and beyond
View from "You Are Here" on the map above.
See the hikers near the top of the rise?
View across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Canada.
My cell phone sent me a message saying "Welcome to Canada." 
Break for lunch. Food always tastes better outdoors, doesn't it?
To get to our lunch spot, we hiked along the side of the bare hill on
the left and up past those little patches of  snow in the middle
of the photo. The road into the park is on the right (middle).
Looking back the way we came.

I've posted photos from the rest of our trip here: Waterfalls 
More info about Hurricane Ridge HERE






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Friday, August 4, 2017

#Waterfalls - #Olympic Peninsula, WA - #SaturdaySnapshots

Today's focus is on waterfalls. Recently, I participated in a three-day getaway with the hiking group from the Auburn, WA, Senior Activity Center. We had a fantastic time in the northern part of Washington State's Olympic National Park. For the next few weeks I'll be posting photos from our adventure. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Our first destination was Sol Duc Falls (visited on July 17). Trail maps indicated a 5.5 mile round-trip hike via the Sol Duc Falls Trail and Lovers Lane Trail, but our FitBits and other GPS devices showed that we covered 7+ miles. (My FitBit showed a total of 9.3 miles for the day!) We were sure tired by the time we got back to the van! 


A portion of the trail to the top of Sol Duc Falls.

To get an idea of the size of the falls, find the person
on the viewing platform at the right of the photo.
The falls tumble 48 feet into a narrow canyon.
This notice gave us pause!

What a joy it is to walk alongside a gurgling mountain
stream. Wish I could have taken off my boots and soaked
my feet in the icy water.

Ninety-foot-tall Marymere Falls is about 1.8 miles
from our camp at Crescent Lake, WA
This portion of the trail to Marymere Falls
led up a steep narrow path.
Much of our hike took us through old growth forest.
My earlier post about the Nature Bridge facility at Lake Crescent is HERE
More info about Sol Duc Falls and Sol Duc Hot SpringsHERE
and HERE.
Overview of Marymere Falls and Marymere Falls Nature Trail: HERE.




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Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Camp! - #Olympic Peninsula, WA - #SaturdaySnapshots

Did you ever go to summer camp when you were a kid? If you did (and if you enjoyed it), you would have a great time at NatureBridge on beautiful Lake Crescent. Nestled in the northern portion of Olympic National Park (near historic Lake Crescent Lodge), the camp offers cabins in a beautiful setting. The organization's mission: "At NatureBridge, we foster environmental literacy to sustain our planet." The facility is open to youth groups, families, and others. (More info here: NatureBridge-Olympic

Along with members of the hiking group from the Auburn Senior Activity Center, I spent three days and two nights at this lovely facility.
Entrance to NatureBridge-Olympic facility

Crescent Lake

The cabin assigned to me ("Raccoon") had four bedrooms, each one containing three bunk beds. I shared my room with a friend. Other people reserved private rooms.

Me, ready to go hiking on a chilly July morning.
(My belly isn't quite as big as it looks in this photo. 
I'm wearing a fanny pack in front under my coat
to hold my camera!)


We shared breakfast and dinner in a "mess hall" with a group of teens visiting from New York. Most of them seemed to be having fun, but a couple of girls confessed that they weren't all that comfortable in the great outdoors! (Limited cell phone coverage.) Our senior group assembled our own sack lunches to take with us on hikes. (More about our hikes in future posts.) 


After a day of hiking, the NatureBridge dock was a great place to relax.

Other views around the camp:


I'll post more photos from our getaway and hikes at Hurricane Ridge, Dungeness Spit, and other areas in Olympic National Park in the coming weeks.












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Friday, July 14, 2017

#Snoqualmie Tunnel Trek - #SaturdaySnapshots

I've hiked along city streets beside Lake Union, on paths in Mount Rainier National Park, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, and more, but yesterday was my first time to hike through a tunnel. What a great experience! The Snoqualmie Tunnel (part of the 110-mile-long John Wayne  Pioneer Trail) was cool -- both in awesomeness and in temperature. The high temp at Snoqualmie Pass was probably in the mid-70s, but inside the tunnel I needed layers of clothing - 
a t-shirt, long-sleeved cotton shirt, and light jacket. Just right for the damp and breezy hike. 
[Click on photos to enlarge.]

That's me, looking dorky with my headlamp,
trekking poles, and waterproof jacket.

The tunnel is 2.3 miles long and was originally used by trains. The tracks have been removed, of course, and the walking surface covered in asphalt. Occasional drops of water seep from overhead. We all wore headlamps so we could see in the darkness, and the far end of the tunnel was visible as a tiny light far ahead. I had been concerned about feeling claustrophobic, but that wasn't a problem at all. 

Here's the view as I neared the tunnel's end.



Literally the light at the end of the tunnel.

Afterwards, we all stowed our coats and other gear in our backpacks and looked back at the mountain we'd walked under. 



Wow! We walked underneath a mountain!

Nice view for our lunch break.


Not a single cloud, and the sky really was this blue.

At trail's end I experimented with my camera's shutter speed a little bit to see if I could capture the movement of flowing water. 


First attempt:


Slower shutter speed:



I'm not sure which photo I like better. Any comments?

Video too:
video





More info:  Snoqualmie Tunnel

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