Hurricane Ridge in the Rain

When we couldn’t figure out another Mt. Rainier hike to take that wouldn’t be overflowing with visitors trying to visit before the end of the season, we decided to explore Olympic National Park, instead.  I pushed hard to hike Hurricane Ridge since it had been over five years since our last visit. I’m glad we chose that hike, though things have changed considerably since the last time I was there.  It is such a popular trail that they paved it, which makes sense since trails quickly become stream beds up there.  We were reminded that The Olympics are a Rainforest as we spent the day walking in the clouds. The rain was heavy enough that I put my camera in my bag and relied on my iPhone to take shots.

Washington is the Evergreen State, but Fall’s colors were still on display

and I often think that Falls bright hues stand out more when framed with green.

On sunny days visitors are treated to awesome views of the coastal mountain range, but there is a subtle beauty In fog-shrouded forests. 

The signs along the trail pointed out that Hurricane Ridge is aptly named and that trees growing here are shaped by high winds, heavy rain, and heavy snowfall.  These forces combine to produce many beautiful, bonsai-like trees that cling to the barren rock.

I’m not sure if  the heavy clouds allowed us to get closer to the wildlife than usual, but this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a Spruce Grouse, 

and we got close to two different flocks of them.

We also saw several deer, but none quite as handsome as this buck that joined us while we sat and enjoyed lunch.

Rain or no rain, it was a beautiful day.

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