20110801 A gold medal for the Olympic Peninsula
A few weeks ago some of the girls suggested a weekend on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, hiking, biking and generally having a good time. We thought this a great idea and signed up. After much prompting the Irish faffing champions couldn’t get it together so Angie and I headed down on our own.
With the dollar over par avoiding border line-ups has become a tactical game. This time we were up and 5am on Saturday and on the road by 6. It was worth it though with only a 25min wait to get through. Down at the Coupeville ferry very low tides had caused chaos though, so rather than waiting hours we got a reservation and headed off to explore nearby Coupeville, which turned out to be lovely and had a great farmers’ market.
After an early afternoon ferry across we spent the afternoon lazing in picturesque Port Townsend :
At the nearby beach there was a wooden kayak meet with some beautiful hand-made boats:
In uptown Port Townsend we came across their equivalent of OCB in a garden.
The had the biggest road bike I’ve seen in a long time for sale, a vintage 67cm Cannondale. It would have been perfect for Conor or Kev!
Sunday morning was grey, wet and cloudy. Not at all promising for our planned alpine hike. Driving up Hurricane Ridge in the fog and mist we were expecting to turn around and the top and come back down again, when just a couple of km from the top we burst out into sunshine and a spectacular inversion!
Lots of deer along the way, including this family:
Further along we took an interesting looking left fork, which took us up towards Mt.Angeles:
As we were so close, we thought we may as well climb it. Now we just had to figure a way up through the scree:
A couple of wrong turns and retreats later we found the right way and scrambled onto the summit:
Spectacular views all around:
Obligatory summit shot:
Coming back the mist was still clinging to the ridgeline, giving some spectacular “God rays”:
Why didn’t we bring bikes?
Angie on the ridge, heading home:
Looking down at the Hurricane Ridge road, where tomorrow we would ride:
Washington State or the French Alps? Hard to tell:
Back down at sea level the sun came out so we headed out to nearby Dungeness Spit:
It may be almost August, but Angie still had her down jacket on on the beach:
Next day was what we had really come for, riding up Hurricane Ridge, one of the biggest road climbs in the PNW.
If you are going to ride up, you may as well start at the bottom, the very bottom:
It’s a looooong way up
That’s it. 1572m and 32km of climbing
What goes up must come down:
All that remained was to enjoy the trip back. Mt. Rainier was clear in the evening light from the ferry:
We stopped off at Deception Pass to look at the beaches::
The only spoiler was an hour and half wait to get back into Canada, but well worth it for such a spectacular weekend!