Hurricane Ridge 2011
Martin Luther King weekend turned out to be a little wetter than some people prefer for outdoor activities, but hey… this is Washington. Put on your rain gear and get out there and enjoy what the NW has to offer.
Saturday Jeff King and Roy arrived at the Heart of the Hills campground off the road that leads to Hurricane Ridge and found it to be practically full. We did manage to get a couple sites that were across the road from each other. Just after our arrival a new member Matt showed up to join us. We positioned Jeff’s Lil Loafer trailer and set to work on the canopy above the picnic table hoping to get it done before the pitter patter of raindrops began. We were almost successful. Matt began setting up his tent and Kerry arrived. Once they were situated Kerry, Matt, and Roy hiked through the old growth of the Heart of the Forest and Jeff continued to work around camp. Upon their return Jeff had the propane fire going and hot water for warm drinks. We spent a pleasant evening around the fire enjoying dinner and sharing stories. In the middle of the night a sudden wind gust woke us all. It picked up the canopy, took the tarp off a neighbor’s tent, and knocked Roy’s skis off the trailer.
Sunday was the big snowshoe day. 16 people donned their rain gear and came to Hurricane Ridge to tromp through the snow. Members of Ski Buddies and OutVentures met at the visitor’s center, the “lodge” and were joined by some friends of Roy’s from Sequim. The next task was gearing up and putting on the snowshoes. Once everyone managed to get their boots strapped into the snowshoes, not always the easiest feat if you haven’t done it before, we set out.
We made our way through the trees, along the road, and back through the trees. We took a more scenic route and got off the beaten path. This was not without incident. One person in the group suddenly sunk knee deep into a tree well and his snowshoe lodged under a tree branch. With help from others who dug out the surrounding snow, his foot was free and we were on our way. The chosen path was at times strenuous and we lost the main trail. Knowing the lay of the land, we headed up hill to find the road. The rain came and went. At times the sun peeked out and quickly went back into hiding. We came out exactly where we wanted to be then proceeded to the end of the road at the Hurricane Hill trailhead where we stopped for lunch. While enjoying some social time and food the gray jays (camp robbers) began to gather hoping that we would share our lunch. You could tell this was a gay event. Matt worked his way around serving each of us shrimp cocktail. We then followed the road for 1 1/2 miles as we returned to the “lodge.” In the “lodge” we enjoyed hot coffee and tea. Jeff and Roy invited everyone to stop by the campsite for hot chocolate on the way down. Then we said our good-byes.
Five of us gathered in camp for hot chocolate. Then just Jeff and Roy were left. After a hearty dinner and blueberry cobbler cooked over the campfire, we settled in for the night.
Monday morning we went back to Hurricane Ridge to take in the views on a sunny day. Clouds drifted through the valleys and over peaks giving ever changing views of the Olympics and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.