July 24, 2021
I left home with my latte at 5am and arrived at Heart o’ the Hills campground—on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula—shortly after 8. Turns out I didn’t need to arrive quite that early, as there were many Monday night vacancies to choose from Tuesday morning. (Thursday night, all the sites were taken.) All the sites at this Olympic National Park campground are first come/first served. Also none of the sites are very good, small and too close to the road. And there is no water feature. But my choice to come to this upper left corner of the country was not for the camping part this time, but to continue up the road to Hurricane Ridge.
My last camping experience featured temperatures of 106 degrees and relentless sun. (Read about it here.) This week, I’m freezing and it’s cloudy! I didn’t take firewood because I thought there was a total burn ban, except for propane. Apparently it didn’t include in a fire ring, even in the middle of a forest. I gathered enough dry and rotted blowdown for a fire late afternoon, after putting up my tent (in under nine minutes, proud) and hunkering in it most of the day with my book and a writing project.
Wednesday was still overcast and cold. Thursday’s forecast looked much better, so I decided to go to Dungeness Spit—where it didn’t matter if it was cloudy—and save the mountain edge for Thursday. (Also to buy firewood.)
Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the United States, extending five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There’s a lighthouse out there. I did not walk the ten miles RT, plus the distance from the parking lot, but far enough to pick up pretty rocks! I tried to limit myself to what my pockets would hold.
As predicted, Thursday was glorious, and still cold when I left my campsite—just minutes too late to catch the sunrise, waiting for coffee water to heat up and then drip through my coffee system. I was plenty disgusted with myself, and tried it again on Friday before I packed up. The top of the drive is in the wrong direction to see the color, and I didn’t get up early enough to make the twelve curvy miles drive and then hike to the view point, so I stopped at an overlook and waited for it to rise over the Strait, over Bellingham and Mt. Baker (Koma Kulshan), and point its finger toward Victoria, Canada.
Back at my campsite, I built a fire with the rest of my wood, made coffee and cooked pancakes, bacon, and eggs, packed up and was gone by 9am. Tomorrow I head to Seattle for a few hours with the Littles, then early Monday I’m off to North Carolina to SEE THE BIGS! for the first time in almost two years, and I get celebrate the eldest Big’s fifteenth birthday with him. How that even happened (and his six feet height), I have no clue.
Anyway, so much to do today my head is spinning and I didn’t sleep, so not much time spent on this page. Enjoy Hurricane Ridge, where you can stand on a mountain and see ocean-going ships!
Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer.
Big and small.
Everlasting . . .
. . . and temporary
Feathered and furry.
Natural and human made art.
Green and blackened.
And just speechlessly grand.