Last Saturday, we hit the road for real. From the Olympic National Park, to Whistler, through Yellowstone and the Badlands, hitting farms in the midwest, and wineries in Pennsylvania, we are making our way east to spend some time in New England before we make our way south for the winter.
Along the way, we are travelling through as many National Parks as possible and staying at multiple Harvest Host sites to keep our costs down. I may have mentioned this in a past post, but the Harvest Host program is fantastic. We get to stay on a beautiful farm, winery, brewery, or museum for free, except for a courtesy purchase of items from the host.
So far we've stopped in the Olympic National Park, where we hiked the Hurricane Ridge Hill Trail and were treated with sweeping panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and even so far as the Pacific Ocean. The windswept trail was short but tough, especially for the last half mile or so, and is easily accessible from multiple parking areas and picnic sites. There are rumored mountain goats that live in the area and as much as I was willing the universe to show us a herd, we only saw fresh tracks near the summit. Our campground was set on the picturesque Lake Crescent, where the base of mountains seem to fall off in the crystal clear water of the lake. While the setting was perfect, our campsite was invaded by a pack of Seahawk super fans who partied into the early hours, so perhaps not the most peaceful and left us adamant about avoiding rv parks during holiday weekends. In the evening of our last night, we spent the hours before dusk fishing in the lake, playing guitar, and joyfully calling to memory the music of our youth. Jewel, Blues Traveler, The Cranberries, and many other 90's hits made for a night of nostalgia as we watched the sun set on the mountains.
The next morning we packed up and made our way north to stay near one of my oldest and dearest friends. Our campsite was the polar opposite of our one the night before. Instead of sweeping views, we were offered close comfort of cedar and pines, and instead of a raucous frat party, we were completely secluded in the wilderness of the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest. In this reclusive spot, we quickly prepared dinner for our soon-to-be dinner guests. Our friends brought their 2 year old and a lot of wine. They excitedly toured Ally and then, over dinner we spent our conversation attempting to convince them to get on this full time road travel thing immediately.
Before we knew it, we were on the road again and driving the 4+ hours to Whistler. The promise of full hook-ups and some well done website images, had me very excited about our next campsite. And boy did it live up to expectations! The view was even better than what I could deduce from the website and while the sites are side-by-side, the angles give the feeling of privacy.
Now, I just have to wrap my head around the fact that we are here because I agreed to ride in a cycling race. Note: I am a runner, not a cyclist. This should be interesting!
More to come on our week of Whistler.