Thursday, August 16, 2007

Olympic National Park - Pacific

After just barely making the ferry to Port Townsend, we drove across the Olympic Peninsula to Olympic National Park. We drove up to Hurricane Ridge which is a really cool overlook at alpine level above the tree line. You can see several glaciers and Mt. Olympus, the tallest mountain in the Olympic Range (western range in Washington). Olympic NP gets a lot of rain and snow so above the tree line therefore they can get between 450 – 760 inches of snow a year (on the decline of course because of global warming). After the ridge, we drove around the coast to the Western ocean shore of Washington, found a great campground near the beach and headed over to cook dinner. We made a great meal, had a really nice bottle of wine from Yakima and enjoyed our first Pacific sunset of the trip; it was a fantastic evening. The following morning we drove over to Hoh rain forest which is also in Olypmic NP. Since most of the Pacific storm moisture gets trapped there, it dumps a lot of rain (12 feet annually) on the Hoh Rain forest. Because of the high amount of rain and other perfect growing conditions, certain types of trees grow to record widths and heights here, sitka spruce is one type (see the pic of me with largest know sitka in the world). After Hoh, we drove down toward Ruby Beach along the Washington coast and then continued on to Hood River in Oregon.

This weekend we are spending time seeing Oregon and will be mountain biking with Sara’s relative (cousin several times removed?) in the Bend area of the Cascade Range.

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