Mountain Heights – July 25, 2018

After our full day yesterday we began this morning slowly and took ourselves out to breakfast at the Oak Table Cafe in Sequim. It was exceptional and we enjoyed it immensely. A short walk through town after breakfast preceded our drive up to Hurricane Ridge. Once again, the day was bright and beautiful and this time we escaped to the mountain heights above Sequim and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Our destination was only one hour away, but it seemed longer because of road work and delays along the route to the Ridge Visitor Center.

As we advanced in elevation we began to see mountain flowers among the green brilliance of the trees as thick as grass. At the top (5,242 feet!) we visited the Visitor Center, watched the informative movie about features in the park and made our decision as to where we would like to hike. I wanted to see the meadow and the wild flowers, but it seems we were too late. Since the last two weeks have been both sunny and hot, without a hint of moisture, only remnants of wild flowers remained. That fact, however, did little to mar the beauty of the spot.

We hiked the Big Meadow trail; the Cirque Rim trail; and the High Ridge Loop.┬áThe last trail was a bit of a challenge for these visitors who both are a bit adverse to heights. Once again, our trusty Makah walking sticks were welcome companions and may have actually saved our lives. I had to curtail my photo pursuits because if I didn’t I’d still be up on one of the trails. It was more than beautiful – vistas where we could see in every direction – majestic peaks; snow and glaciers; trees and valleys, as well as butterflies, bees and many deer. At one point we could see Victoria B.C. across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, as well as some of the San Juan Islands. To the South we could see the snow capped line of peaks that make up the Olympic Mountain Range with all their corresponding valleys and ridges. We were breathless – not only from the demanding inclines of our hikes, but from the spectacular views.┬áThe air was clear; skies blue; snow white; trees emerald green; and fellow hikers friendly and companionable. We felt we were at the top of the world.

To send us on our way, a local deer, who had been in the meadow, walked into the parking lot to wish us well. We were so grateful he was willing to share his beautiful home with us for the day.

We came down the mountain and found ourselves famished. Well, it was 5:00. We pulled off the road to select a dinner destination only to realize we were parked right outside one of the areas “Best Restaurants.” So, we went into Tendy’s Garden Chinese Restaurant and were not disappointed. Chicken chow mein and Mu Shu Pork filled us with fresh and tasty flavors as it nourished and delighted us. What a happy occurrence. Grace had guided us to this spot after treating us to the wonders of nature on the mountains.

An after dinner walk through Sequim’s brand new air conditioned Michael’s store completed the day. What a happy, restful, renewing, spontaneous getaway this has been and all of it only 40 miles from home.

Why don’t we do this more often?