Saturday, July 5, 2014

Keeping them busy

So, we have visitors.  What better way to let them know they are welcome and show them you appreciate their presence than by exhausting them?  So, again, off to the wild blue wherever.

Today's journey saw a lot of driving.  Hours and hours of driving.  Michael read about a trail a while back and we decided to take a chance and check it out.  It wasn't a sunny day, it was cool and a little damp, but hey...

Sometimes cloudy is cool.
Way up north there is a place called Freshwater Bay.  It is supposed to be good wildlife watching. 

Of course, as soon as we arrived we were detoured by tons of ripe thimbleberries, but we did eventually get down and look at the place.

We didn't see any of these things.
There weren't a lot of people there and those who were seemed to be in boats.  Undeterred, we wandered along the beach for a bit.

Not particularly exciting

We did see one of these, though.  Whatever it was.

Michael in his native habitat.

Climbing Max.
We set the thing free we think.

Nicholas looking happy.

That's better.  It's all in the angle.
Oooohhhh, kayak.  I need one of those.

Enjoying a solitary moment.

Loves dead sea creatures only slightly less than live ones.

Max: "What the heck do you like about this stuff?"
Neat place, but not quite as exciting.
So, we had driven for around two hours in order to get out there and only wandered around for an hour or so.  Since we had come all this way, it seemed like we needed a little more bang for our buck.  Also, we knew we wanted to take Nana and Nicholas up to Hurricane Ridge.  It was kind of on the way back soooo....


And deer that just don't care.

It was a little colder up there.  No longer swimsuit weather.
It looked a bit different than last time we went.  The snow was gone, replaced by a startling number of wildflowers.  It was also cloudier than last time, but that was OK.

Oh yeah, and I have a zoom lens.  Tee Hee.

Good looking kid.
group photos are so tough.

Today's unidentified species.

They make it easy at the visitor's center.
Neat topo map of the Olympic peninsula.  You can see Bremerton on the bottom right.

For some reason, this place seems to keep coming up.
Mt. Olympus even came out for a moment.

Really pretty place.
Eventually we had to go.  There was one scenic stop on the way down the mountain though.

Nice overlook of Pt. Angeles

Again, group shots are hard

Even a mountain goat came out to say hi.

Aaaannnnd I think we're all done here.
Maybe tomorrow will be a rest day. 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Return to...

So, we had my mom and my nephew Nicholas with us.  We were looking for an easy hike to get them acclimated.  Good old Murhut Falls. It is only about a mile, not too steep and has a pretty nice payoff.  So we set out today for the 90 minute or so drive to the trailhead and then took off.

You can see Max's enthusiasm right off the bat.

One of the themes of the day became apparent early.

Yup, berries.  There were some salmonberries which were ripe, but mostly it was huckleberries.

Everything we saw was seen through the tart-sweet tint of the delicious and ripe huckleberry.  The kids partially filled a water bottle with the berries to be taken home and baked into whatever wonderful dish Sarah can manage.  

I don't know precisely why I take so much joy from my and my kids ability to walk through the forest and identify plants, but I do.  Anyway, back to the pictures.

It wasn't long before we reached the falls.  

Nana eager to get to the falls.

Finally arrived!

Didn't take Nicholas long to find the most treacherous spot. Hi Kerri!
 Of course Nana wanted to go traipsing around the falls, but this was the descent to the basin. 

Treacherous, right!  No way Nana goes down.

But, of course, I have Super Nana.  She was not to be deterred and headed down in her nearly smooth soled shoes.

In her happy place

"Who is going to clean up this mess?"

Nana does have her limits though.  When we decided to hike down river to a smaller falls later with a bit steeper descent, Nana decided to hang out in the peaceful relative silence of the lower falls area.

The kids, however.

A little steep for Nana. 

Welcome to my kingdom!

To cool

I asked him to wave hi to his Mom.
Add caption

On the way to the upper falls.

Of course the kids wanted to climb up to the highest point we could reach by the upper falls plunge pool. 

I had to try one, at least one.

Looking back across, you can see Nana with Satchel up top and Sarah making her way across the lower area.

Then, after a snack, it was time to hike back to the car. 

Michael found a little friend.

The huckleberry collection continues

Max may have eaten more than he collected.
And, in order to broaden my knowledge, I have made it a goal to identify at least one new species of plant on every hike.  This time I tried these two.

I'm going with Highbush Cranberry and..

Small flowered penstemon, (penstemon procerus)  Ruthie, Norm?  I'm gonna need a ruling on this.

Good day and nice hike with the family.