Olympic National Park, North Side
In July, 2017, we took a trip to Washington's Olympic National Park and surrounding lands. We first spent a few days visiting some of our many relatives and friends who live in the Seattle area. How did so many end up there?
Then we spent time touring Olympic National Park. We last were there about a decade ago, and not a lot has changed but our visit was great. We started by visiting the sites of the two dams that were recently removed on the Elwha River. The dams were supposed to be built with a way for fish to get around the dams but they weren't so after almost a century, they were removed to restore the river's natural flow. Their original purpose was to provide hydroelectric power to Port Angeles but with our current electric grid, that is no longer essential, so they were removed. And the fish are starting to return.
We went up the park road to Hurricane Ridge, always a great scenic place to visit. We walked the trail to Hurricane Hill where we could see both the Olympic mountains to the south and the sound and Canada to the north. We chose to visit in July to hopefully see some good wild flowers and we were not disappointed. We also hiked along the shore of Crescent Lake, always a great place to visit.
We drove out the highway along the Strait of Juan de Fuca which separates Washington from Canada. It was a nice drive along the north coast. We aimed for the end of the highway, the Makah Indian Reservation and Cape Flattery. At the Makah Indian Reservation, we visited the Nakah Cultural & Research Center which has an excellent display of artifacts from a village from 500 years ago that was buried under a mudslide and recently discovered. We highly recommend it. Then we went to walk out to Cape Flattery which is the farthest northwest corner of the continental US. It is a fairly level hike but there are lots of tree roots and other ground obstacles that made it a little challenging.
We hiked out the Sol Duc trail to the Sol Duc Falls, a very nice short hike, which seems to suit us well these days. Then we had lunch with relatives at the Lake Crescent Lodge which we recommend.
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Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.