Sunday, July 20, 2014

USA 2014 - The Olympic Peninsula and Hurricane Ridge

Saturday morning started with a very early alarm, followed by collecting and dropping off family at Bellingham Airport, before then driving down to the State Ferry across to the Olympic Peninsula, via an IHOP for breakfast, which is one of my favourites.

From the ferry we watched Pigeon Guillemots, with their distinctive bright-orange feet, paddle around the boat:

As we crossed to the peninsula a Rhinoceros Auklet flew past:

The Olympic Peninsula approached, as did the paper mill on the shoreline:

We had an outline plan for the three days remaining of our holiday, as usual centered around pre-booked accommodation, and as usual we changed it there and then.  With the skies mostly clear it made sense to head straight for Hurricane Ridge, our first stop in the Olympic National Park, and with heart in mouth I drove us to the top:

Helen took these pictures, it was all I could do to stand-up by the time we reached the summit.

We bought some souvenir t-shirts, which we have subsequently both chucked, they have narrow necks and huge bodies, so both mine and hers proved ill-fitting and therefore wasted.  Note to self, avoid buying t-shirts and other clothes made to fit the average tourist in future!

The views on our descent (equally white-knuckled for me), were just as stunning:

We examined a few pull-outs for birds and were delighted to see another Gray Jay:

And this Golden-crowned Kinglet:

Just before the park entrance we pulled into an as-yet half open campground which was a delight:

We saw a number of birds in here, fleetingly but really enjoyed the calm and quiet of the place, if you like camping it would have to be a lovely place to stay.

From Hurricane Ridge we drove on to the shoreline, through the papermill grounds and along the harbour spit, however there was not much to see beyond Glaucous-winged Gulls that day:

We had an explore of Port Angeles, where we stayed and then enjoyed dinner, which surprisingly our hotel didn't offer, ahead of another early night.


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