What an amazing weekend! Olympic National Park is gorgeous! We arrived in the late afternoon and checked into our cabin, which was right on Lake Crescent. The lake is crystal clear and a beautiful turquoise color. We didn't swim in it, as it wasn't really warm enough, but I certainly admired it from our back patio. Once we had settled into our cabin, we drove to the hot springs, which we discovered were actually chlorinated pools fed by the springs - not nearly as exciting as natural ones. So we hiked to a waterfall instead before heading back to our resort for dinner.
Saturday began with coffee and breakfast by the lake. I honestly could have sat there all day, but we had more to see. So we made the two hour drive to the rainforest. Temperate rain forests at quite different from topical ones, but no less beautiful. Evergreen trees tower overhead and mosses hang from the branches. We hiked four miles into the forest, along the Hoh River. Afterward, we drove a bit more to the coast and enjoyed the rocky beach as the tide rolled in before making the long drive back to the cabin.
Today we tried two trails. The first was short, but led to a 90 foot waterfall. We then drove up to Hurricane Ridge, at an elevation of about 5,200 feet. The views were spectacular, but we wanted more, so we hiked along the ridge to the summit. Words can't even describe the hike; it's as if we were in a painting. Wildflowers lined the trail and green mountains surrounded us. The sky was deep blue and cloudless. At the top, we could see Port Angeles and Victoria, BC. It was definitely one of the most scenic hikes I've ever done.
This post is definitely not food centered. While I ate plenty, the food in th park is nothing to write home about. However, we ate at two really good restaurants in Port Angeles. On Friday, we had lunch at the Next Door Gastropub, where I had a delicious handmade black bean burger. For lunch today, we tried Cafe New Day in Port Angeles, where I had a barley and mushroom burger with caramelized onions and spicy mustard. It came with homemade sweet potato chips - yum! For dinner tonight, we went to Revel by my request so that I could sample whatever vegan goodness was on the menu for the evening. We ended the night at Molly Moon's Ice Cream, where I was happy to find coconut milk ice cream on the menu.
Off to bed so I can get up early to run by the sound one last time before another day of eating in Portland!