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08/01/21 - Second Beach at Extreme Low Tide

There have been some extremely low tides out at Second Beach this summer. The beach only recently reopened to the public, so we took advantage of the reopening and a recent low tide to see the beach at its widest and head out to the sea stack that is usually an unreachable island.

We expected big crowds, but the trail and beach were relatively quiet. The Third Beach trailhead parking lot, in contrast, was overflowing. We hiked through the forest and descended to the beach. There is usually a driftwood barrier to clamber over, but the beach was clear this time. The driftwood had drifted elsewhere.

We made our way to the sea stack dry shod. It was great to see so many starfish. With the plague wiping out so many of them some years back and recent stories of sea creatures being cooked in their shells we expected the worst. There were starfish and a good many of them. It was far from the years before the plague, but they were not hard to find.

We explored the sea stack, its caves and its seaward side. Then we headed down the beach into the light mist. With an extreme negative tide like this, there was lots of beach and it was easy going. There were more starfish down near the cave at the end of the beach and anemones galore. We spent some time exploring here and then made our way back to the return forest trail.


The trail to Second Beach

No driftwood blocking the way

The hole in the wall towards La Push

The sea stack off shore

A welcome sight

More starfish

Even more starfish

Anemones

A starfish pool

Faint mist

More sea stacks

Pelicans or pterodactyls?

More pelicans

The beach

More starfish and friends

Tide pools

Even more starfish

Saying good bye to the sea stack

The trail back

Keywords: second beach, summer, third beach, tides


06/17/21 - Dungeness Spit

It is hard to walk the Dungeness Spit in the winter. The mid-day low tide is usually almost as high as its surrounding high tides, and the what there is of the beach lacks sand so progress is hard going. We're in the season of good tides now. Check the left hand side of this web page or our tide tables to find a good tide. Note that the lighthouse is closed for the duration, so no bathroom or running water. Still, this is the best time of year for the ten mile round trip hike.

The forest walk to the spit

The sea and clouds

Take off!

More sea and clouds

An eagle on the driftwood - Check inland now and then.

The view back to land, again mainly sea, sand and sky

A view from the climb out

The forest trail again

and again

Keywords: dungeness spit, tides, summer


06/16/21 - Summer Along the Elwha

It's summer along the Elwha River. The river is milky with snow melt and the water is running high. The foliage just about everywhere is green and thick, and we even saw a young fawn. We took our usual walk starting at Madison Falls and heading along the closed portion of Olympic Hot Springs Road. We took the detour around the old campground through the high ground and forest and emerged again on the road to the Altair bridge.

As usual, we went a bit beyond the road gate and looked for the waterfall across the river. We saw it, but, as usual this time of year, this meant a glimpse now and then revealed through the foliage. Eventually, we'll head on and check out the old dam overlook, but it's a two hour hike for us just to cross the bridge. Next time maybe.


The Elwha now running through the old campground

The Elwha as seen from the Altair bridge

Roses in bloom near the bridge

A doe and fawn, still speckled

The green wall

Elderberry buds

Milky blue water

Another look at the Elwha

And another

Green trail on the detour

A turk's cap lily

Keywords: elwha, summer, waterfall


08/23/19 - Marymere Falls

We haven't been getting out to Marymere Falls lately. The construction on route 101 along Lake Crescent with its 45 minute delays has discourage us. We took advantage of a pause in the work to take the 50 minute falls loop. It was a bright sunny day, and the forest was beautiful with the bright illumination. There were a good number of others out visiting the falls which were relatively quiet as one might expect in the late summer.

The wide walk to the falls

Another view en route, dark trees, bright sun

The bridge

Water in the canyon

The falls

A view of the falls from the upper overview

Pyramid Peak visible through the trees

Keywords: lake crescent, marymere falls, summer


08/22/19 - Klahane Ridge - High Summer

Once again we put on our hiking boots, grabbed our hiking sticks and hauled ourselves up to Klahane Ridge by way of the Switchback Trail. We didn't set any speed records, but we made it. The climb was sunny with a blue sky, but by the time we made it to the ridge, clouds were rising from the sea and shrouding peaks and valleys. We rested a bit and watched the clouds rise with the warmth of the day. By the time we made it back to the parking lot, the sky was mostly blue again.

It was a late summer hike. The lupines and larkspur were long gone. Vegetation was thick, but only a handful of flowers remained, mainly in microclimates. Many plants had gone to seed, but the yarrow was near its peak.


Clouds and Mount Olympus

Brilliant sun

Another bright scene

Two butterflies

Those two again

A last bit of phlox

More clouds at the ridge

Clouds seeping in from the north

A view of the Olympic Mountains

Asters

Another spectacular view

Larkspur and paintbrush

Late summer blooms

A view from on the way down

A bit of the trail now that the sun had returned

Paintbrush

A hawk we had seen soaring earlier

A last few lupines

More paintbrush

Keywords: flowers, klahane ridge, summer


08/15/19 - Late Summer Little River Trail

We were back on the Little River Trail, and it was obvious that summer is passing. There were fewer flowers and a lot more berries. The mushrooms were up and about. It's a nice easy trail and a good way to track the seasons.

The trail

Another bit of trail

Thimbleberries

Spooky pipes

More spooky pipes - Halloween must be nigh.

Devil's claw berries

Possibly a chanterelle

Last bit of Pacific dogwood

False solomon's seal berries

The Little River

More of the forest trail

Another bit of magic forest

Old wood

More pipes

Onward

Ghost mushrooms

More devil's claw - Maybe Halloween really is nigh.

A rock face

Little mushrooms

Keywords: little river, summer


08/06/19 - Obstruction Point - The Hike

We went out to Obstruction Point again and took our usual walk along the ridge. Most of the snow had melted, and there was just a touch of late summer color - a bit of red and a bit of gold - creeping in.

There are more pictures of flowers and marmots in another post.


This is actually a view from the start of Obstruction Point Road at Hurricane Ridge.

The trail

The little lake one sees descending the staircase

The stone staircase

Distant mountains with melting snow

Another bit of trail

Yet another bit under a big gray sky

The Olympic Mountains

Three recently melted lakes below a cirque

More of the trail - Can you guess which side is the north face?

Another view with a bit of autumn color

Distant mountains in the cloud

A peek at the big mountains

Still another bit of trail

Another spectacular view - The whole trail is like this.

Keywords: obstruction point, summer


06/28/19 - To the Altair Bridge Again

We took another walk along the Elwha from Madison Falls south to the Altair Bridge. We actually went a bit past the bridge to take a look at the waterfall across the river. The roses are all gone, but the summer flowers have been coming in.

If you make it past the Altair bridge, watch for this little waterfall across the river. It is visible just a bit past the gate.

A waterfall closeup

Another closeup

Olympic Hot Springs Road where we turned around

Olympic Hot Springs Road towards the new branch of the Elwha

The Elwha below

Another Elwha view

Elderberries

Elderberry closeup

Fern forest

More fern forest

One of the summer flowers

Ocean spray

The detour

Tiger lilies

A butterfly

That butterfly again

That persistent butterfly

A bellflower

Keywords: elwha, flowers, summer, waterfall


06/26/19 - Hurricane Hill - Last Visit for a While

With the construction, Hurricane Hill is only open a few days this summer, but we managed to get up there one more time. We were pleased to see the lupines in bloom but a bit worried by the advanced state of the snow melt. Still, the flowers were beautiful. We are going to miss the corn lilies, but we could see them coming up. We are also going to miss the marmots, but they seem to be do fine without us. If we manage to synchronize our schedule and the construction schedule, we'll try for a visit later this summer, but it doesn't look promising.

An amazing sky

Two marmots

The same two marmots sparring

The Olympic Mountains

Another view of the mountains

Alpine flowers

That's the little seasonal lake in the background.

Field of corn lilies

One of the corn lilies

Another view, so very green

A view north and west

Soft skies

Blue and green

Another marmot amidst the dirty sock plant

A view through the trees

Avalanche lilies

We are sure we looked these up once.

A floral arrangement

Larkspur and wallflower - if your browser supports the SCENT tag you should smell the wallflowers.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, marmots, summer


06/22/19 - Little River Trail

We've been regulars on the Little River Trail. We've following spring into summer. The trail is more hidden as the deciduous trees have leafed out and the trilliums have vanished, replaced by Pacific dogwood.

The trail

Plant life

More plant life

The river

Another view of the river, hidden by green

A trillium gone to seed

A salmonberry

Pacific dogwood

Even more plant life

Another bit of trail

And yet another

Keywords: little river, spring, summer, trillium


08/19/18 - Obstruction Point - Lupines and Grice

Hiking the trail out of Obstruction Point is a lot like walking through Venice. It is hard not to take a picture postcard perfect shot by just raising one's camera and pressing a button. This time, we captured the brilliant sun, the late summer scene, some grice or grouses, or perhaps both.

Instant picture postcard - It's instagrammable up there.

Lupines

Mountains

Little lakes below

More mountains

Flowers

More lupines - This wasn't a great season for them, so we really appreciated these.

Green

Another picture postcard

One grouse

Another grouse - To paraphrase Walt Kelley, The grouse is a singular animal; no one can say two of them.

The trail

Even more flowers

Keywords: grouse, obstruction point, summer


07/22/18 - Farmer's Market Crespiou

We haven't been covering the Port Angeles Farmers' Market lately, but we have been shopping there just about every Saturday morning. Summer is here, and the produce has been coming in. That includes Johnston Farm hothouse tomatoes, potatoes from The Family Farm, turnips from River Run and other good things from Nash Huber's. There are also a few other farm stands open, including Wild Edge which has the most amazing scallions. We love them grilled.

With all this wonderful produce coming in, we had to make a crespiou, a French stacked omelet where each layer features a few ingredients. We only made four layers; the details are with the photos. We also got some zucchini blossoms and fried them in searing hot olive oil. All told, it was a real farmers' market treat.


Duck and chicken eggs and lots of berries, but we don't remember the name of the farm

Wild Edge

Zucchini and summer squash

Layer 1 - potatoes and onions

Layer 2 - zucchini and fresh marjoram

Layer 3 - string beans with garlic and pine nuts

Layer 4 - parsley and basil

Zucchini blossoms in olive oil

Light and crisp

The finished crespiou, garnished with tomato

A single slice

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, port angeles, shopping, summer


07/16/18 - Obstruction Point Road - Early Light

We've been getting up early to avoid the summer traffic to Hurricane Ridge. We drove out to Obstruction Point, and the early morning light gave everything an amazing glow with the bright colors set off by deep shadows. These pictures barely capture it.

Morning light

A hare

A butterfly

The trail

Distant mountains

Less distant mountains

A lake below

More mountains

More morning light and melting snow

The trail

Flowers

Keywords: obstruction point, summer


08/20/17 - Hurricane Hill as Summer Passes

The summer is passing. More gold and brown are creeping into the colors of the high country. We hiked the Hurricane Hill Trail again and saw a bit of drama, two young marmots were attacked by a hawk. They were unharmed, but one tends to thing that these things are just staged for nature documentaries. Not true.

We also ran into the team planning to rebuild the trail. The Hurricane Hill Trail is heavily used in season, and it has been showing signs of wear. We're hoping they don't have to close the trail for too long. We've been having a lot of trail and road closures lately.


Summer colors

Still plenty of green

Mountains in late summer

Another view

The view to the north

Clouds add drama.

A silky sky

Late summer flowers

The season

Yet another view

The trail planning team at work

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


07/09/17 - Port Angeles Farmers Market - July Report

Maybe it's just us, but it seems like summer has sneaked up on us. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the Port Angeles Farmers' Market. Somehow or another, we've leaped from spring to summer, and already the tomatoes are coming in. If you're remembering the hardy, but limited, market from back in February, it's time to drop by again and see what's at the market.

Johnston Farm - English peas and lavender

Johnston Farm - summer squash, and Are those tomatoes?

Family Farm - our favorite turnips, among other things

Nash's - spinach, and Are those tomatoes?

Nash's - carrots are back, and more

River Run Farm - fennel and radishes et al

Keywords: farmers' market, port angeles, summer


08/16/15 - In Search of Water

This has been a dry summer, and it shows. Rivers just aren't flowing the way they usually do at this time of year. They're about a month or so off, with the current August flow more like the usual flow in late September. The trails are dry, too, with crumbly dirt and lots of loose pebbles.

In search of water we went to Barnes Creek and were pleased to see that Lake Crescent still has a fair bit of water. We started climbing the Mount Storm King trail to get a better view of the lake, but we didn't get far. The trail was crumbling, and it is a steep trail. If we were slipping on the way up, coming down would be treacherous. We turned around and took a look at Marymere Falls. It was nice to see some flowing water.

At the pebble beach we could see just how low the flow was in Barnes Creek. The river was much narrower and the beach much larger than usual. Then we walked a bit up the Barnes Creek trail and got a few glimpses of the river. We got our water fix, at least for now, but we're hoping for some real rain.


Water in the waterfall

A bright sunny day

Looking up Barnes Creek from the bridge

The forest and bright sunlight

More forest trail

Keywords: barnes creek, lake crescent, marymere falls, storm king, summer, trails


07/10/15 - Hurricane Hill in the Haze

We ran into some foggy spots on the road to Hurricane Hill, more or less centered around the tunnel, but by the time we made it to the Switchback trailhead, the sky was softly milky, but blue. It was dry on the trail to Hurricane Hill. It is only July, but we were seeing late summer flowers, the harebells and yarrow. There were butterflies everywhere.

The clouds below filled the valleys and the haze softened the mountains. This wasn't the usual crystalline mountain air. Mount Olympus, in the distance, was softened, almost part of the cloudscape.

There was a mountain goat grazing not far from the summit and a real marmot keeping his or her distance on the field containing a deceptive stone we call Marmot Rock. The corn lilies were doing surprisingly well. There was a full crop of them, a good number of them already in bloom.

On the way down we passed a young girl heading upwards. She wore a tee shirt exhorting us to "Stop, Smell Roses", so we did. There were a few wild roses still in bloom. Few tee shirts offer such excellent advice.


Soft clouds, soft mountains

Awash with clouds

Harebells and yarrow

More soft mountains

A mountain goat

More soft shapes

A plover

Corn lilies

More mountains awash with clouds

A golden marmot in retreat

We stopped to smell the roses.

Keywords: flowers, hurricane hill, summer


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