The clouds hung heavy over the hills as we started up the road to Hurricane Ridge. A small fawn wandered back and forth across street just beyond the entrance station. About eight miles up the road the sun started to slide in and out from behind the clouds and blue sky spread out. One of the mysteries of Hurricane Ridge is waiting to see what the weather will be like when you reach the top. On days like today, the waiting is worth it. When we reached the top the clouds were beneath us and clear skies above us.
We slowed to a crawl as we reached the lodge. On this stretch of the road people forget that cars pass through the road and pedestrians walk about with total disregard for passing vehicles. We continued on up the road, driving slowly past the first and second picnic areas until we reached the parking area for the Hurricane Hill Trail.
Slowly we circled the lot. It was full.
We drove back down to the second picnic area and parked. Finding a table, nestled in the trees but partially warmed by the sun, we ate our sandwiches while listening to a raven call out above. Then we saw it as it sailed over the trees. Someone in the parking lot was able to capture a picture as it flew away, but alas, we weren’t prepared.
Once again we headed up to the Hurricane Trail Parking lot, still no empty spaces, but we circled the lot. And then as we started to circle it a third time a couple came up and indicated that they would be pulling out.
As we started out the trail, we were rewarded for our patience. Brilliant blues of lupine grow close to the trail. Looking closely, we discovered tiger lilies amidst beds of Indian paintbrush and all along the trail wildflowers of whites and pinks and yellows greeted us as we walked along.
The wildflowers are late this year. Winter stayed beyond its welcome up on the ridge. But since this was my first trip up there this year, I’ll forgive the winter for its persistence. Perhaps we’ll get out the trail again before the winds and rain come and remind us why it is called Hurricane Ridge.