Dungeness Spit and Hurricane Ridge

Dungeness Spit and Hurricane Ridge

I was surprised to learn I was the last one up this morning when I got up at 7:30am. Though it had rained a little during the night, everyone had been comfortable and nobody had gotten cold.

After a quick trip to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I cooked a breakfast of bacon, hash browns and eggs. I suggested that we hold off on going to Hurricane Ridge until later in the day, hoping the weather would be more agreeable. It’s not that it was raining, but there were dark clouds over the mountain. So, we headed off to the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge on Dungeness Spit. I had never been there, so it was an adventure for me as well as everyone else.

About a half mile from our camp was a newly killed deer in the middle of the road. Poor thing.

We just missed the low tide at Dungeness Spit, we were told as we headed down the trail in old growth forest before descending down a hill to the beach. The lighthouse was an 11 mile round trip, so we opted to just walk a bit and enjoy the scenery. It was very peaceful. Climbing back to the top of the hill, I took a breather and used the mounted lense to look out to the end of the spit and see the lighthouse. Too bad it was so far off to walk with my bad knees because it was beautiful.

We loaded back into the car and headed to Port Angeles. Hurricane Ridge is about an 18 mile drive (up) from Port Angeles. Half way up, we encountered rain, but that’s pretty typical. I had been to the top many times before and knew you couldn’t predict the weather up there by what was down below. I was quite surprised we didn’t run into any fog on the way up. There are usually really bad patches that make it hard to see the road…very scarey considering the drop and lack of guard rails (not to mention deer or bike riders in the road).

Compared to a previous June, it was very cold at the top…only 41 degrees. My hands were frozen by the time we had our picnic lunch. I was also disappointed to not have seen any deer on the way up or in the meadow. Wanda and I sat inside the visitor center while David and Jared did their own thing. After awhile, I told Wanda I would take the picnic backpack back to the car while she browsed the gift shop. On my way to the car, I noticed that a herd of deer were now in the meadow. I grabbed my camera and started taking photos, completely forgetting about the cold.

On our way back down the mountain, we had already left the park when Jared said he wished he had seen a bear. About two minutes later, about four feet in front of the car, a black bear ran across the road (boy, was he ever fast) and stopped on the bank on the other side. He was mostly hidden by a tree, so there was no way to get a good picture, but it sure was a treat to see a wild bear so close.

We had had a great day and didn’t really have more planned, so instead of spending another night in a tent, we opted to pack up and head home. We must have been meant to do that, too, because we got right on the ferry without having to wait.

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