“My Best Moment on #PublicLands in 2018”
SEASON 2, WEEK 14
December 13, 2018
Join us on Twitter with the hashtag #NatureWritingChallenge to discuss and share the topic Thursday at 8:30 CST. This post was created in one hour specifically for this challenge.
The second I saw this topic, I knew instantly I wanted to talk about my trip in the spring to the Olympic Peninsula. I know, I’ve talked at great length about the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Rainier, but I can’t get them out of my head and I could go on and on about them forever. I feel the same way about the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Redwood Forests, and Death Valley. But, in 2018, I visited the Olympic Peninsula twice and the first time was truly breathtaking and memorable in such a positive way.
I started 2018 with hiking and adventure goals. Though I’ve fallen short of what I was hoping for, the few trips I did take were more memorable than I could have imagined. I planned a spring solo trip to the northwest because I had been all over in 2017 and felt I needed to live up to those memories. I’m glad I planned the trip and tried to live up to the trips of 2017, because the trip to the Olympic Peninsula out shined the majority of them all.
I got a cheap flight for Easter weekend and had the Friday off from work, so what better weekend to head to the Northwest? I flew in on a Thursday night, around midnight, and drove to the Mt. Storm King Ranger Station. I had originally planned to park at the gate to Staircase and walk in, since the road was still closed, but As I had a last minute suggestion to hike Mt. Storm King and wanted to take it. I did a quick change at the restroom, and hiked to Marymere Falls. I was determined to enjoy some spring waterfalls, and this beauty did not disappoint. From there I hiked back to the giant rock at the base of the Mt. Storm King trail and headed up. I’m so glad I followed the advice and got to see Lake Crescent from above. What a treat. Being from Texas, the trail was a bit steep, but worth every ounce of sweat.
From Mt. Storm King, I headed west to Sol Duc Falls. It wasn’t too busy and there was still snow in the woods, so that was magical. From there I went to my little cabin I had reserved up near the the Ozette Ranger Station. The Lost Resort was home for a night and the cabin was more than adequate and very quiet. I had a good sleep and woke up to hike the Ozette Loop or Ozette Triangle. This loop trail was one of the highlights of my year, let alone this long weekend. I went from wet forests to open coastal prairie to the beach and back. Everything was so green and lively and muddy, the fresh smells of the ocean and the musty forest were everything I could have wanted during a weekend on the Olympic Peninsula. I made a quick stop at the Hoh Rain Forest area and did a few laps through the mossy trees. After my hike, I made my way down to Forks to eat and get a motel room. I settled in and then took a little drive to Rialto Beach to watch the sun sink into the Pacific. What. A. Day.
I woke up, rested and ready for the rainy day ahead. I had plans to maybe hike to Second Beach, but I didn’t want to get too muddy before heading to the airport so I settled on just visited Ruby Beach as planned. Settled, as if it was “less than” is not what I meant at all because Ruby Beach is beyond beautiful. The rain and fog made the beach beyond memorable. I left there and had a nice breakfast at the Kalaloch Lodge before heading back to the city. From there, I made the trek back to Seattle to visit the flagship REI before catching a movie and heading to the airport.
This long weekend was quick, packed full of green scenery, and a period of time I’ll cherish forever. This trip left me wanting more, and so I made the trek back in October to experience the fall and see even more. I’ve been obsessed with the Pacific Northwest since I visited in 2008 and the second an opportunity arises to move up there, I’m gone.