May 2013June 2013 July 2013

06/24 - Hurricane Hill - Part 2 - Summit and Flowers

The summit of Hurricane Hill was surrounded by clouds. Our view degraded as we made our final ascent, scaring one poor marmot from his or her perch. Port Angeles and points north were invisible, hidden beneath the clouds. The entire north slope before us, sheltered from the sun, was covered in a thick layer of snow. It was quite dramatic.

The marmots were still out as we descended and the fields were starting to blossom with glacier lilies, phlox, paintbrush, lupines and even some dirty sock plant. We didn't see any avalanche lilies, and the phlox didn't have its usual sweet scent. Still, it was a spectacular hike through the high country.

Another view north

The mountains shrouded by clouds

Fields of flowers

Yet another marmot

A snowshoe hare

The clouds would come and go.

A marmot with glacier lilies

Lupines and paintbrush




Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, marmots

06/22 - Hurricane Hill - Part 1 - Clouds and Marmots

Hurricane Hill Road is open all the way to the trailhead, so we readied our Yaktracks and made our way up the mountain. It was a cloudy day. We couldn't even see the mountains from Port Angeles, just a wall of fog. There was some fog on the drive, but at some point after the tunnels we realized that the fog had cleared and what we were seeing was just gray clouds above.

There was a band of clouds obscuring the tops of the mountains, but otherwise the view was fine. We walked the relatively flat first part of the trail enjoying the views and flowers, but dreading the ascent ahead. We were out of shape for high country hiking and the air felt thin. Despite this we pushed our way up past the Wind - The Sculptor Sign and past the little bench. Here was the first real snow, but it was melting quickly. With our trusty hiking sticks in hand we lumbered forth - excelsior.

The sky stayed gray, and now and then a cloud would block our view of one part of the Olympic range or another, but we were getting higher and into marmot country. We turned a the hamper and started on the switchbacks. There were marmots everywhere. They were in the fields, perched atop mounds, racing across patches of snow and a good number of them were eating. We counted at least nine of them which might be a record.


The snows are still melting.

Clouds and snow

The mountains

Distant clouds

A marmot, one of many

Another marmot

Two marmots, at home

Yet another marmot with a good view of his or her golden tail

The view north

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill

06/16 - Klahane Ridge

The Switchback Trail to Klahane Ridge is a demanding trail, but one of the prettiest in the park. It is a 1500' climb, so the trailhead is usually free of snow well before the ridge itself. This time was no exception. We climbed the first 1000' before running into our first real wall of snow, which means we didn't make it to the top. Still, it was a wonderful climb, and this was probably the earliest in the season we had ever climbed this far.

Usually, by the time we can climb the first 1000' it is late June or early July, and the phlox is in bloom, scenting the air. The lupines will be coming out along with so many other flowers. This time, there was a lot of green, and there were lots of little yellow glacier lilies. We did spot some phlox, some paintbrush and a few other flower, but the hanging gardens are just starting to come into bloom.

The view from about 1000'

Our wall of snow - It extends for some way.

A snowy view from 1000'

Mount Angeles is still snow covered.

Some phlox

Some glacier lilies

The trail

A fritillary

Some paintbrush, just coming out

We aren't sure what this is, but it was pretty.

More flowers

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge

06/11 - Lake Angeles

We recently made it up the trail to Lake Angeles. That's a 2400' climb, and this may be our earliest ascent. A few weeks ago, there were still reports of snow and ice on the trail and around the lake. One hiker, who had turned around a bit shy of the lake, explained his decision saying that it was too early in the season for an injury. But, more recently, hikers we have spoken with were reporting a clear trail.

We started our climb with no particular hope of making it to the lake. In fact, we didn't even bother taking a water bottle, but at some point, we started to feel the pull of the lake. This often happens to us. Sometimes it will be a beam of sunlight cutting through to the forest floor. One time it was the start of a light snow. This time it was just the raw pull of the lake.

It was cloudy, so we couldn't see the walls of mountain surrounding the lake, but that made it all the more mysterious. We could see the little island and maybe some distant snow through the mist. It was a spectacular feeling, and all the trilliums in bloom only added to it. We may not make it back up to Lake Angeles for a while, but this climb made a great start to the season.

The island


You might be seeing a bit of distant snow.


Did we mention Pacific dogwood?

Keywords: lake angeles, trillium

06/09 - Pork Belly and Melon Salad

We don't have any pictures for this entry. As so often happens with Kaleberg food postings, getting a picture is a matter of photographic speed, that is, photographing the food before we eat it. In this case, the dish was long gone, but we promised Mrs. Clark that we'd post the recipe, so here goes:


  • 3-4 lbs of pork belly (obviously, this can vary)
  • 4-6 whole star anise stars
  • lots of coriander seeds - 1/4 cup maybe
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-4 tbsp sherry
  • 6-8 whole allspice
  • 1-3 cups of fresh cilantro, mint, basil or some combination
  • 2-3 shallots (or, in a pinch, 6 scallions)
  • 1/2 cantelope, honeydew melon or even (less than 1/2) watermelon
  • 1 -3 thai bird chilis or fresh jalapeno, to taste
  • optionally 1/4 cup peanuts, 0-3 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp nam pla
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh lime juice (at least one lime's worth)
We're a bit vague on the quantities here. This dish has a lot of flexibility.
  1. Put the pork belly in a pot and add water to cover it. Add 2 star anise stars and 2-3 tbsp coriander seeds. Cover and bring it to a boil and let cook gently on the stove top or in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes. Let it cool in the liquid and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, remove the pork belly from the cooking liquid and put it in a braising pan (e.g. a dutch oven) with a lid. Make a bath for it with sherry, 2 tbsp soy sauce, crushed allspice (not ground), 2 star anise stars and 2-3 tbsp coriander seeds. Bring to a boil on the stove top and put it in a 350F oven with the lid partially open for 3-6 hours. Cook until the liquid is cooked to a syrup and the fat has browned.
  3. Cut up the pork belly into crispy chunks and put it in a big salad bowl.
  4. Add the pork belly to the cilantro, mint, and/or basil.
  5. Clean and slice 1-2 shallots and add to the pork belly.
  6. Cut the melon into chunks and add to the pork belly.
  7. Clean and slice (finely) a jalapeno or a few Thai bird chiles and add them.
  8. If you wish add some peanuts, scallions, or sriracha sauce.
  9. Dress the salad with 2-3 tbsp nam pla, 2-3 tbsp sesame oil, and at least one lime worth of lime juice.

Keywords: recipe, kale

06/07 - Hurricane Ridge

We've been getting up to Hurricane Ridge now and then to see how the snow is melting and whether the alpine flowers have come into bloom. Our report: the snow is melting, and the flowers have yet to bloom. There's also the spectacular scenery, the Olympic Mountains and the dramatic sky. The road to Hurricane Hill is still not open to traffic, so we walked and made our way to the trailhead. There was some pretty impressive scenery en route.

Dramatic clouds

More drama in the sky

Hurricane Hill itself is still covered with snow

The parking lot, however, is clearing

More dramatic views

Blue sky below

Big mountains, big sky

Dark clouds

A different sky, and all at the same time

A mixed sky

Sunrise Peak is still covered with snow.

Keywords: hurricane hill, hurricane ridge

06/05 - China Beach on Vancouver Island

We made a brief trip across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and wound up exploring China Beach. It's the first access point for the coastal trail, but we didn't have time to explore far. Still, we did get down to the beach and wandered a bit. It's pretty country, so we're hoping to get back and explore more.

The forest

The trail down to the beach

A glimpse through the woods

The beach, looking one way

The beach, looking the other way

A stream heading down to the beach

View of the headlands

Local wild life

More wild life

A sea star

Leaving the beach

Keywords: victoria, beaches

May 2013June 2013 July 2013