Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Summer Trip to the Olympic Peninsula

In August our son Iain came for a visit, and we took him to the Olympic Peninsula for a treat. In 1938 President Franklin Roosevelt set aside a substantial part of the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington state as a national park, the Olympic National Park. You can read more about it here (not a government site, so feel free to click on it right now, it's still up.) Nigel and I visited this same area last year, a trip you can read about here.

One of our first stops on our first day there was Lake Crescent, a very deep lake with brilliant blue water that is part of the National Park. Click here to read more about it.

Crescent Lake in the Olympic National Park

We decided to follow a trail that leads from Lake Crescent to Marymere Falls, a 90-foot waterfall in the woods.
Me, my son Iain, and a big tree on the way to Marymere Falls

Big mossy tree trunk

The trail to Marymere Falls

Marymere Falls

The next day we visited Hurricane Ridge, a mountainous area in the National Park (elevation: 5,242 feet), with a beautiful panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains, including Mount Olympus. Read more here.

A view of Mt. Baker from an overlook on the way to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park

A view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which connects Puget Sound with the Pacific Ocean. The international boundary between the U.S. and Canada runs down the center of the strait.

The view from Hurricane Ridge

This deer was completely unafraid of all the people.

After our morning visit to Hurricane Ridge we hopped back in the car and headed for Second Beach, a stunningly beautiful Pacific Ocean beach on the western edge of the Olympic Peninsula that is also part of the Olympic National Park. It's not really a beach for swimming or sun bathing, but for exploring. A striking feature of it is the many sea stacks, large outcroppings of rock with trees growing atop them.

Interesting patterns in the sand

Iain's footprint

There are a handful of tide pools to explore

At the base of one of the sea stacks the ocean's waves have carved patterns into the barnacle-covered rock

A tide pool rock covered in mussels and barnacles, and with sea anemones and starfish clinging to the area still underwater.

All that exploring works up a healthy -- or not so healthy -- appetite! Iain gets ready to tackle an enormous burger and fries at the Kokopelli Grill in Port Angeles.

This post is part of Pam Penick's bloggers' meme Celebrating National Parks. Like many other memes that I've been participating in lately, I'm again late to the party. It just seems to take me forever to get my act together.

I hope you enjoyed coming along with us. Washington state has some breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Maybe once the government gets its act together, you'll consider coming to Washington for a visit to the Olympic Peninsula.