Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hurricane Ridge Trip

Standing on the porch at the lodge at Hurricane Ridge in the
Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA.
I think I smell snow in that leaden sky.
   The last trip to Hurricane Ridge was on Beloved's Harley under sunny skies and of course the road up there was dry and clear.

Mt.Olympus is off to the right, past the snow-made polar bear.
   Today it was snow-covered and, in at least two places, had tree debris from trees dislodged with by snow or wind.
   And this time it required chains on tires, so I wasn't about to put myself through that experience again. (I think the last time was from my house in East Fork heading toward Ketchum in Idaho.)
Looking eastward, sort of toward Seattle, WA.
   So I rode up with a shuttle service and a trip that should have taken about an hour was almost twice that with a faulty chain install on a rear tire that went "whap-whap-whap" for 18 miles up and 18 miles back.

    It was impressive at the top, though.
   Over a week of steady snow and wind with periodic mild warmings had created some very long icicles and snow statues from trees that were totally covered.

   I stepped off a path for cross-country skiers and sunk down to my waist... and the snow was really blue even a short distance down.
I love this color blue under these circumstances. I think it
might be less appealing if it was much deeper and I was in it.
   The most fun was enjoying the smell of snow, the crunch under my feet, and my body was remembering the guarded expectation of putting on skis, heading off for a powdery run, the wonderful exhilaration of feeling the weight shift back and forth while whooshing downhill.

The lodge to the left has an overlook spot below,
but it is covered in snow up to about six feet.
   When my kids try to encourage me to take up skiing again I explain that it's not a sport for seniors who have stopped it for a decade, and besides, it's significantly more expensive to rent all that gear now that it was 10 years ago... and just for a one-weekend experience?

   I have skied in N.H., Vermont (Suicide Six, especially), Massachusetts, Idaho, Calif., Canada and Austria. I have skied with some of the most interesting folks when I worked at Sun Valley and that includes volunteering with the Ski Patrol.

   Getting older should mean getting wiser, too.

   And so when I had my last downhill ski trip with the Scottsdale Sail and Ski Club, I decided it was time to enjoy it to the fullest and then sell my equipment.

   The two close calls I had with other skiers who were skiing out of control only confirmed it was time I did just that.

"Sandy Banks" in a snow bank...
Halfway down the ridge, after the tunnels, looking down on
Sequim, WA and Puget Sound.
   I can still cross-country ski or snowshoe, and perhaps I will do more of that this winter.

Unknown couple heading off on the Cross Country trail.

There is still a lot I can do to enjoy the times I go out into wintry weather, and I hope, dear readers, you have enjoyed this trip into a wintry wonder just a short distance from Sequim.

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