Tag Archives: Port Angeles

Avoiding Black Friday

Early Friday morning the sun was so bright that it nearly hid the Olympic Mountains as they stood majestically above town.    As I walked along Ediz Hook ducks paddled along the shallow water and seagulls circled overhead.  A heron settled on a log floating in the harbor. The tide crawled in quietly and caressed the sand, and then it retreated, only to crawl back in again.

  I watched a pilot-boat heading out and I watched  a ferry enter the harbor.  As I continued to walk the clouds grew darker.  A slight breeze rippled the water and the tall grasses swayed gracefully.  As I embraced the solitude, I was grateful that there are no major malls nearby. 



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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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Hurricane Ridge–the rewards of patience

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.


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Limitations —

I’ve discovered I have limitations.  Today I have figured out how to set up multiple pages on this blog.  Check out my Random Writings — good for a laugh, and my Places tabs.  That is my limit for today.

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