I've spent much of my life looking out at the distant Olympic Mountains and have even hiked the beaches section of the park several times, but yesterday was the first day I've ever actually visited the main part of the park.
I was a little surprised, though perhaps I shouldn't have been, to be greeted at the park entrance by members of the National Parks Conservation Association encouraging park visitors to urge the Bush Administration to provide better support to our National Parks.
Considering the beauty that greets the visitor to Hurricane Ridge in the heart of this 922,651 acre park, it's surprising that even more visitors weren't willing to sign the petitions.
Although it's primarily the magnificent views of mountain ridges that attracts visitors, those willing to spend some time actually walking the ridgers were rewarded with a very different kind of beauty:
Whole fields of this delicate white avalanche lily competed with a smaller number of yellow avalanche lilies:
For me, though, the most remarkable aspect of the park was looking out from rugged peaks at the ocean in the distance.
The day brought together two of my favorite places in the world, the beaches and the mountains, not to mention a vigorous walk, followed by a visit to nearby art galleries, all capped by a delicious meal of Halibut poached in a delicate mushroom sauce:
On days like this, it's hard to forget that Life is Good and you have to live it to the fullest while you're still here.