The Kaleberg Journal - June 2024

06/11 - Hurricane Hill - To The Summit

We really enjoyed our return to the high country last week. We had to head back up to Hurricane Ridge again. This time, the road to the Hurricane Hill trailhead was open. Even the bathrooms at the picnic areas were open. The closest parking lot was full, so we parked at the next closest, so we had a ten minute walk to the actual trailhead.

The views were as spectacular as ever. Even more flowers were in bloom with a lot more phlox, glacier and avalanche lilies, some lupines and many others. We were horribly out of shape, so we made numerous stops once we got past the saddle and started the steeper part of the climb. It was exhausting, but we were rewarded with incredible views, even more flowers and a number of marmots.

A typical view

More view with wildflowers and mountains

More mountains

And even more

A marmot

Phlox in the right foreground

Only a few patches of snow left

The cirque as seen from the summit, already showing some blue

That's blue snow melt

Pask flowers

More flowers

Another marmot

A publicity shy marmot

Another, or possibly the same, publicity shy marmot

A more cooperative marmot - The presss thanks you.

A marmot in context

Glacier lilies

Avalanche lilies

More avalanche lilies


The green glow on the old stump

A rock garden

Paintbrush and friends

Keywords: flowers, high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge, marmots

06/09 - From Hurricane Ridge to Hurricane Hill - First Look

The road to Hurricane Ridge has been open for a while. We've been watching the webcams, and most of the snow has melted, so we decided to drive up and see what has been blooming. Hurricane Hill Road was closed, so we parked in the ridge parking lot. We were pleased to see that the park service has set up some pretty nice bathrooms, the kind used for location shooting with running water and other amenities. There was a sad fence around the ruins of the old lodge, so we didn't linger.

Instead, we headed down the road to Hurricane Hill. There were avalanche lilies and glacier lilies already blooming. Almost all of the snow was gone, and the closed road was full of hikers. We stopped to admire the view at the hairpin turn lookout. It's really the same view as from up at the ridge, but here it feels like one has earned it.

We continued past the Wolf Creek Trail junction and up to the picnic areas. The bathrooms there were closed. Then, up the hill we went to the Hurricane Hill Trailhead parking lot. There were lots of spots. There was also a spectacular view, and, even better, the phlox was starting to bloom. There wasn't a lot of it, but we could pick up the scent. It's a sweet scent and one of the great scents of the high country.

We made it to the saddle point where the Little RIver Trail emerges from the forest and joins the ridge. We were in no shape to continue. The trail gets a lot steeper shortly after. Also, there were clouds coming in. This let us invoke the sour grapes rule and start heading back.

We saw this owl on the road up to the ridge.

The view

An avalanche lily

A better view of the Olympic Mountains

Clouds coming in from the north

Phlox blooming early among the war rocks

More phlox and rocks

Phlox close up

Paintbrush and freiends

Another view

Lupines - no flowers yet

We're not sure of this one, but it's pretty.

Glacier lilies

Mist and gray sky

The view as the clouds rolled in

Keywords: high country, hurricane hill, hurricane ridge

06/07 - Railroad Bridge in Sequim

We had errands to run in Sequim (pronounced skwim), so we headed west of town on Hendrickson Road to the Railroad Bridge. It was nice to see the new visitor center and museum, but our real goal was the bridge. It's part of the Olympic Discovery Trail, but, for a short visit, we just walked across the Dungeness River and back.

Keywords: dungeness, sequim

06/04 - Marymere Falls

We weren't up to a long hike, and it had been raining, so we took the hike up to Marymere Falls. The whole loop up to the falls and back to the Barnes Creek parking lot takes less than an hour, and with the rain there would be plenty of water. We were not disappointed.

Marymere Falls

From the higher vantage

A late trillium

The forest

Barnes Creek

More of Barnes Creek

Mock Solomon's seal

Keywords: barnes creek, marymere falls

The Kaleberg Journal - May 2024

05/18 - Lake Angeles With Frogs

We've been trying to get back into climbing shape in hopes of being able to climb in the high country. We made it a little past the log bridge on the Lake Angeles Trail that starts near Lake Dawn. The spring flowers are about, but the special treat was, once again, frogs. There were the usual trilliums and violets and orchids, but also tiny little frogs perhaps the size of a fifty cent piece and large frogs over an inch log. They are very well camouflaged, but once you've spotted the first it is easier spotting the second, third and so on.

The log bridge

Water streaming

Water from the far side of the bridge

A trillium

A tiny little frog

Another tiny little frog

A blurry little frog - Autofocus can't do everything.

Yet another frog - the fourth plague

There may be a frog in there.

Or perhaps one here.

Aha! one of the more cooperative larger frogs


Another mushroom

The forest

A cooperative squirrel

A fawn lily

A violet

More flowers

More Trilliums

Another trillium

Another violet

Keywords: flowers, high country, lake angeles, spring, trilliums

05/15 - Second Beach at Low Tide - Part 2

We made our way south along the broad beach to the sea stacks and sea caves at the base of the coastal bluffs. Again, starfish were plentiful. We explored for a bit. The tide was so low, we could have headed farther, but we know our limits. We had a peaceful walk back.

As a bonus for visiting Second Beach at low tide, our GPS track was underwater. The edge of land ever changes with the tides, so the cartographers tend to mark the high tide line. That means a low tide walk takes one past the land's end.

At the base of the bluffs

A driftwood inspiration

Misty bluffs

Even more starfish and anemones

Variation on a theme

Anemones and more

Another starfish

Starfish in contrast

More starfish at our feet

Looking back

Yet another starfish

Sea stacks in the background

Yet another you know what

The sea cave

At the base of the bluffs

Keywords: second beach, tides

05/14 - Second Beach at Low Tide - Part 1

We like to get out to Second Beach when the tide is low, ideally very low, e.g. a negative tide. A low tide means more beach, but, more importantly, it means one can just walk out to one of the sea stacks that is usually inaccessible. On our recent hike, it was accessible. Interestingly the pattern of the sands has shifted, so instead of having to follow the sand from the left, we could head straight out and cross a narrow tidal stream to get there.

The beach is always changing. One nice change, at least for us, was that there was no maze of driftwood between the base of the trail and beach proper. Many years, there's an entire jungle gym of great fallen logs and ocean washed branches to clamber over. We're not very good at clambering, but there are probably people for whom this is the best part.

The other great change is that the starfish are back. There was a period not all that many years ago where they had vanished. Some starfish disease had wiped out most of them. Now they were everywhere, clinging to rocks in stark contrast.

Trilliums in the forest

The slightly misty forest

This was a bumper year for skunk cabbage.

The staircase down to the beach

A view from the trailhead

The sea stack in question

A wader

Starfish and barnicles

A view from the sea stack

A starfish in contrast

An anemone pool

Looking out to sea

A starfish huddle

The base of the sea stack

A big rock on the beach with starfish

Some of those starfish

Starfish and anemones

A look back at the sea stack

More rocks on the beach

Keywords: second beach

05/10 - Elwha to Altair

We made our way from Madison Falls to the Altair Bridge. The river had been active this winter, so a great log had blocked part of the detour. We had to scramble a bit on our previous hike, but this time it seems the park service had done an admirable job dealing with an immense log.

Still trilliums

The park service cut through this immense log.

The hike was much easier this time.

Along the Elwha


The Elwha from the Altair Bridge

A snake on the trail

Mountains and greenery

More green by the trail

The forest

A toad lily

More forest

The Elwha from the parking lot

Some ground


Keywords: elwha, trilliums

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