Nestled along the tree-rimmed road of Hwy 101, Hurricane Ridge is an easy stop on the way to the Washington Peninsula. Although we visited on a misty, cloud covered day, the scope and magnitude of the Olympic Range was in no way lost on us. Having such a wide view of such an amazing place is not only a reminder of how small humans are, but also how incredible Nature is, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
Hurricane Ridge was our first major stop on the way to the Washington Coast and the Hoh Rainforest, and it was a flawless preview to what lay before us: luscious green trees, majestic landscapes, and peaceful silence.
From the parking lot, we hiked slightly North across one of the hilly backbones of a neighboring peak. The elevation gain granted us an even higher vantage point and wider perspective of the Olympics.
My parents claim to have taken my brother and me here decades ago after one of our many family camping trips outside of Montesano, but I have no recollection. The camping over the next few days, however, would grant me small, momentary flashbacks into a childhood I thought I’d forgotten. The smell of tent material; the pop and crackle of burning firewood; the muffled and hushed morning sounds of waking and breakfast making; and the many slow, creeping, 5 mile-an-hour drives along gravel covered roads all shot a swift and precise arrow through my nostalgic heart and lodged a bittersweet lump in my throat. It was as if the heavy black curtain was being slowly pulled back on a chapter of my childhood that I had thought had been lost forever. And as I stood at the crest of one of the many hills overlooking the mountainous wilderness, I snapped the photo of a winding road which, to me, looked like a perfect horseshoe. I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I was to be here and couldn’t wait for the next leg of our Olympics Adventure.