Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 3: Hurricane Ridge

On the July 29th, we packed up our campsite at Heart O' the Hills and headed to Hurricane Ridge. The visitor center had some beautiful views!We actually have a family photo here because I was taking pictures of Ellie and Steve and some random man came over and insisted we needed pictures of all ofus and took the camera. Like I said, it was beautiful up there.
After looking at our hiking options, we decided to hike to the top of Hurricane Hill as it was a shorter hike. The hike information said it was a 1.5 mile hike and gained about 700 ft in elevation, which sounded like something we could handle. However, we weren't aware that the hike dropped about 300 ft. in the first half mile, leaving us to gain 1000 ft. in a mile. The other things we didn't think about: carrying a 22 lb. child in one backpack and about 20 lbs. of water, snacks, diapers, clothing, and other gear for said child in our other backpack - as well as our arch nemesis on this hike - ELEVATION. Holy crap, people....

But, it was a great once we finally reached the top. I loved these flowers all along the beginning of the path. There were a lot a really gorgeous wild flowers, but these were my favorites.
Not far along the path this dear came right out of the bushes next to the path and walked between us and another couple, coming within about 10 ft of us with not a care in the world.Ellie was entranced. She really does love animals.
Here we are on one of our dozen or so breaks - partially because of elevation and our needing to breath, and partially because Ellie was a grump and needed to snack (as she's doing here) fairly frequently.
One of the views we stopped to appreciate because it was beautiful, and because it was at the end of a steep climb. Whether we wanted to stop for the view or to regain lung function, you be the judge.
This guy was hilarious to me - he was literally screaming/whistling over and over.From the same view where we saw the groundhog, we first got to spot the mountain goats that are known to hang out on top of Hurricane Hill.
When we finally got to the top of the trail we got to see them VERY closely. Some men who passed us on the trail as they were heading down warned us that these goats had been fairly aggressive. So, when they started walking towards us we tried to stay clear of them, still getting within probably 30 ft or so (top of hill means not tons of room to get away). Other people were getting close enough to touch them, but this is where a man died from being gored by a goat last year, soooo.... we chose a more cautious, more intelligent route.
These are a few of the pictures that show just how beautiful the top of the hill was, even with all the fog that was up at that elevation.I am in love with this picture.
After we appreciated the view, we headed back down the trail. Then we learned Ellie had been screaming and grumpy because of how tired she'd been. This is about halfway down the hill.And she was still so tired that when we got to the bottom of the hill, this is what she did while we got all of our stuff back in the car.
We felt about the same. My foot just finally finished healing from the blisters I got hiking this hill, and we wanted to give up a number of times, but we were so glad we made it all the way up. Not only was everything beautiful, but it saved our pride. We were pretty sure we'd feel 2 feet tall if we gave up considering there were old couples with walking canes coming down the path while we were wheezing on our way up. Thank goodness for that Rose/Bennett stubbornness and saving face....

After this hike, we drove to our next camp at the Hoh Rainforest. It was so beautiful and green.
Here we played more skip-bo, had another good night at camp, and got ready for another fun day.

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