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Memorial Day “dawned” gray and rainy (like most of the last six months). I enticed my bride into taking a drive to Sequim, WA, which resides in the sun shadow of the Olympic Mountains in hopes of getting a little sunshine on this dreary day.
We decided to go to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. As we left the parking lot, we both realized that we had never taken this particular trail. We were in for a treat of discovery.
As we arrived on the beach, the views were expansive in every direction. There is something so delightful about walking through a Pacific Northwest moss covered forest and then stepping out into the open spaces of a beach.
It is a five mile hike to the Lighthouse and we were ill prepared for a long hike on the sand. We just stopped and listened to the soothing sounds from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Salish Sea. It is also weird looking at our cellphone and seeing the coverage now coming from Canada.
As we looked in each direction, a strange sound emerged from the gentle waves.
If you listen as the waves recede, you can hear the small pebbles clinking off other pebbles as they move down the incline. The “rock chimes” are mesmerizing.
We then went in search of a road that would take us to the mouth of the Elwha River. I’ve read so much about how quickly the Elwha River basin has recovered after the removal of the two dams.
We looked on our map and drove through several backroads, but we couldn’t find a drivable path to the river mouth. We’ll save this for a hiking trip later this summer.
My second choice was to drive up to the ranger cabin where many moons ago I hiked up the back side of Hurricane Ridge. Clearly, I had not been reading the newspaper since the dams had been removed. Every couple of years the river washes the road out to you have to stop a mile before the washed out bridge and walk. The photo at the start of this blog is where the bridge used to be.
On the walk up the road we came to a horse and mule corral.
These animals can be found during the summer as part of working parties to repair the many miles of trails in the park.
My favorite sound when hiking in the mountains comes from the rapidly moving water of a rocky river. We stopped and listened at each vista along the way to the washed out bridge.
Getting our 10,000 steps in during the two hikes worked up an appetite. We were both ready for some seafood. We stopped at the Hook & Line Pub where I just had to have some Dungeness Crabcakes.
Even though we only had a few sun breaks, we had a great time walking trails we had not been on before.
The walks were a great day to celebrate the sacrifices of the many so that we could be free to enjoy the beauty of our national parks. Very thankful for the many that serve and sacrifice for our country.