Monday, August 24, 2009

Klahhane Ridge Hike

Let the birthdays begin.  Today was Tony’s birthday.  We had a great hike today for his special occasion.  Tomorrow is Gene’s birthday.   We have chores planned for his special day.
Tony got a bandage for his nose for his birthday.
Our trailhead was at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center.  Before we got on the trail, we chatted with the ranger on duty at the desk.  She pointed out Mt Olympus for us.  This was the first time to see the mountain.  On our previous visits to Hurricane Ridge, the peak was hidden from view by cloud cover.  Today, she was basking in the sun.  It was beautiful.
Mount Olympus and Blue Glacier in the center
To begin our hike, we took the High Ridge Trail until it intersected with the Sunrise Trail.  This is the same hike Gene and I did last week.  The trail was as good today as it was then, but with the splendid mountain views which had been lacking on our first trip.  We went out along the Sunrise Trail for about 3 miles to a grassy knoll which proved to be a perfect place for our lunch break.  Continuing on, we quickly came to the junction with the Switchback Trail.  From this point on we had a hard climb to gain the ridge.  Huffing and puffing for another hour rewarded us with fantastic views off the ridge to Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan de Fuca far below.  Behind us we could still see the glaciers on Mt Olympus.  By the way, Klahhana is a Chinook word which means “outdoors”.  Then it was back down the switchbacks to the trail junction.
View from the top of Klahhane Ridge

Diana and I opted to take the lower portion of the Switchback Trail to a small parking lot on Hurricane Ridge Road.  This was the fast trip down.  In just about a half mile, we dropped 700 feet.  The birthday boys returned to the Visitor Center along Sunrise Trail. Us girls had a couple hours to wait, but were eventually picked up by our guys.

Our original plan was to go out to dinner at one of the recommended local restaurants for fresh crab, but our hike took longer than expected.  We have postponed our birthday dinner until tomorrow at which time it will be Gene’s birthday instead of Tony’s.

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