Tag Archives: hiking

Soaring with the eagles….

With tactical planning and no time to be naughty, Jordan Romero reached the zenith of his life on Christmas Eve.  At 15 years of age he scaled Mt. Vinson  Massif, making him the youngest to climb the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents.  He already knows how to soar with the eagles.  Where will he  soar next?

 

Three word Wednesday–tactic, naughty, zenith

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Goods Things in 2012….

Port Angeles–Victoria Ferry

A New Year’s Walk–

Several years ago my husband and I discovered that the typical New Year’s Eve celebrations no longer excited us.   So we replaced that tradition with a New Year’s Day walk.  Normally we walk out on Ediz Hook.  The weather is always unpredictable this time of year so we have walked in wind, rain and even snow.

This year we changed our route.  We started at the City Pier and walked East along the waterfront trail.  Cloudy skies greeted us as we left the car, but there was no wind.  It remained calm.  The sun came out and warmed us, both physically and emotionally.  It seemed like a good omen.  Sunny skies on the first day of the New Year certainly must mean good things will happen in 2012. 

I plan to take that thought and run with it this year. Let’s all change our route and believe that things can get better….

City Pier

 

Ducks at play

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Ruby Beach

 It is that time of year when the weather can’t make up its mind.  We drove to Ruby Beach earlier this week. It was cloudy and the marine air made it look deceptively cool, however my sweatshirt was much to warm.

Ruby Beach

  My husband remembers it as it was in the 1930’s.  It was  the Ruby Beach Resort.  There were cabins, a gas station and a store, as well as camping for those that wanted to wade out into the water for smelt.  I think he found it a little frustrating because you can no longer tell where the road used to go down to the beach.   The only access now is via a walking trail.  He also couldn’t tell where his family used to camp or where the cabins were.

Trail to the beach.

The beach is now part of the Olympic National Park and all remnants of the Resort are gone.

Natures artwork in the sand.

 

Natures artwork in the water

 

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Inspiration

I walked over six miles today.   For some that would be insignificant, but for me that is a monumental achievement.  Just three weeks ago, I wasn’t sure that I could make it around the park, the fairgrounds and back to my house, and that is less than two miles.

Every morning I watch, my neighbor, Shirley walk her dogs.  I have been told that she walks around the block.  It really doesn’t matter how far she walks.   The important thing is that I know she does it consistently.  And since I retired, I have sat in my chair most mornings and watched her walk.  Of course I have thought, I should be out there doing that.  But for a long time I just stayed put and read my paper.

I also have a friend named Barbara.  I know that she walks nearly everyday.  And every time I listened as she mentioned something, or some one from one of her walks, I have thought,   I really should do that.  But, for a long time, I failed to follow through.

Then there is my daughter, now over 40, she doesn’t just walk, she runs, she rides bikes, she teaches yoga and spinning and Tao Kwon Do and every time I see her, I think, I really need to be more active.   But for years I have ignored her gentle prodding and continued to be my lethargic self.

In July, I stumbled across a website called Gullible’s Travels.  Now Gully, as she is known by the followers of her blog, is a widow, over sixty and lives in Muskeg Manor, Alaska.  In July, I started reading her blog about a back packing trip she took, alone, across Resurrection Pass.   She hiked 26 miles in four days.

Something clicked. All of these women except for my daughter are over sixty.  All of these women are what I consider classy, sassy, woman.  Suddenly I wanted to be more like them.  I decided my first step would be to take a step and then another and then another and see what happened. So I started out just putting one foot in front of the other.

The first day I walked around the park and fairgrounds and made it home again.   Well, I thought, that wasn’t so bad.   So the next day I did it again.  This time I was delighted by a little girl wearing a dress so long that I expected it to get tangled in her bicycle wheels.  She was excited and called out, “I used to fall off, but now I can go really fast.”  And I thought, gee, we are both gaining confidence, I used to sit in a chair and watch other people walk.   Now I can walk almost two miles.

From there my world has expanded exponentially.

On the Olympic Peninsula we have a wonderful trail system, designed for walkers, bicyclers, and some places it is even appropriate for horses.  I have come to love these trails.  Over the years I have often walked the section in downtown Port Angeles. But lately I have expanded my horizons and I have been walking different sections.

Recently my husband and I walked the trail from Elwha River Road to the Elwha River Bridge.  Round trip this is about four miles, nearly all paved and a great place to walk when it is warm because it is shaded by the trees.  The bridge used to be a one-way bridge across the Elwha River, now it is two-lane road with a suspended walking/hiking/biking deck below. From the deck the views up and down the river are fantastic.

Today I started the trail at Ennis Creek in Port Angeles and walked east.  This section of the trail meanders along the water for quite a distance in shade created by trees along the bank. When I started the fog was off shore and the sun was warm.  I love the sound of the tide in this area.  If you are quiet you can hear the water suck through the rocks as the tide recedes and then watch it pull itself up and over as it tumbles back onto the rocks.  As I walked I lost all sense of time and did not realize how far I had walked.  I was one with nature.

Almost every day now I am finding there is wonder in a walk.   I walk with my camera, my dorky hat upon my head and a refillable water bottle slinging from my fanny pack.   Did I tell you, today I made it over six miles?

I owe it all to Shirley, Barbara, Judy and Gully.   Way to go gals.  You inspire me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harbor’s Edge

The fog crowded the shoreline as I walked along the harbor edge of the Port Angeles Trail today.  It has been a year since I walked this section.  It starts downtown at the Port Angeles waterfront.  I had planned to climb the tower at City Pier when I first arrived, but the fog was so dense that it hid the view. So I didn’t bother.

The first person I passed on the trail was an older man who was busy cleaning up what someone’s dog had left behind..  I am certain he was wondering why people don’t use the doggie bags that are posted at each end of the trail.  I guess I was wondering the same thing. 

Large rose bushes grow along one section of the trail providing a pleasant distraction.  The plant blooms are receding but the rose hips provide their own display this time of year.   I watched as several people stopped to get a close-up view, as did I.

 As I continued to walk, the fog moved farther out exposing the shoreline.  Past Ennis Creek a couple of older men were slowly walking along, one with a cane and the other man carefully gauging his speed to stay beside his friend.    We chatted a few minutes about the weather and one of them told me we could bottle this perfect weather.   We just needed some quart jars and then we should boil it for 30 minutes.  If only it was that easy to preserve a day like this.  I really would love to have a jar to open on a gray winter day. 

I continued on until I was a bit beyond the temporary detour that takes us around an environmental clean-up site.  Then I knew that if I didn’t head back, I might be beyond the parking limit, and a parking ticket would destroy the joy of my walk. 

As I neared Francis Street Park, I noted a work of art in the park.  I decided to walk the stairs to street level and check it out.  It wasn’t visible when I walked east, but from the west it is hard to miss.

 The sun was out when I returned to the City Pier and I was grateful that I had decided to walk this morning.

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Up the Hill Again

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 Amazingly, we had another beautiful day.  We started our drive up the hill with the sun already warming the air.  It was early enough that the parking lot at the lodge was only partially filled. We drove past and found several parking spots at the trail head today.

We checked the sign at the trail head to see how far the trail goes and what the elevation change is.  We discovered that it is 1.6 miles to the Hurricane Hill Trail Look Out.  The distance didn’t bother us but the idea of a 650 foot elevation change sounded like more of a challenge for a couple of old geezers, like us.

 

We decided we didn’t care how long it took.  Our goal was just to make it to the top.  So we started out putting one foot in front of the other.  The wild flowers were probably prettier today than they were last week.   I took pictures of the lupine, some tiger lilies and whatever else was growing along the road.

 

About two-thirds of the way up we moved out-of-the-way to let a man and his nine-year-old daughter pass.  We had a really pleasant little chat before they headed on up the hill. They were from Wisconsin.  He had grown up in the area and decided that he would bring each of his children to the park (Olympic National Park) and hike the trail the year that they were nine.  He had been here three years ago when his son turned nine and plans to come back in two years when the next child turns nine.  This was a trip just for Dad and daughter.  They had left the rest of the family at home.  How special was that? 

We also chatted with a couple from New York. He was 74-years-old and quite a character.  I have no idea her age, but probably a senior citizen also.  They were on their way down.

We continued putting one foot in front of the other until we made it to the lookout.  It was worth the effort.   Sites of Port Angeles and the water greeted us.  The temperature was in the low 70’s and except for a few bugs, there was little to complain about.   The meadow was a sea of blue lupine and best of all; the route back to the car was nearly all downhill.

My 87-year-old walking partner at the lookout.

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Still Walking —

It was mild but cloudy when I left the house for my daily walk.  I guess mild is relative.   In the Pacific Northwest, 63 degrees is mild.  I consider it perfect walking weather, no coat required, no sun glasses required, just get out there and put one foot in front of the other. 

As I headed in the direction of town, I walked through several residential alleys.  Alley walking is an interesting adventure.  I have walked by these same houses on the street side.   From the front several of them are lovely well maintained homes, but the alley sides, my oh my, what a difference.  Behind some of those lovely homes the grass is so tall that it would hide a small deer.  Others have so much junk scattered around that you couldn’t find your way to their back door, heaven forbid if they ever had an emergency.  I have to admit my yard isn’t perfect.  This year my front yard looks pretty good.  I have made it my priority.  My back yard isn’t quite as neat and tidy, but I do keep my grass cut and I don’t pile debris all over the yard.  To each his own I guess.

I discovered that the neighborhood dogs don’t like it when you walk through the alley.   They run back and forth along the fence barking menacingly.  I always check to see how big they are and how well they are restrained as I go past them.  The big dogs can be scary and some of the little ones can be even scarier.  Most of them probably just want someone to play with them, but I usually talk to them from a distance and hurry past.

My favorite site today was the little purple backhoe sitting in the front yard of one of the homes I passed.  I could just picture a petite little gal, hair tied in a pony tail, confidently pulling the levers, lifting the bucket and digging a trench.  Someday, I hope I can figure out how to get that purple backhoe into one of my stories.  Doesn’t it just make your mind go wild with ideas?

Tomorrow we hope to make our walk out Hurricane Hill Trail again.  If we make it I will let you know what is happening with the wildflowers.

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