Sunday, April 17, 2016

Too pretty to stay inside

IT was just too nice a day to waste inside.

I know... I have a book to finish.  And finish it I will, after the sun goes down.  Today was just perfect.

Luckily, we were able to take advantage of it.  We went to Staircase in the Olympic National Park and walked the rapids loop trail. 

We forgot that it was the first day of free admission into the national parks, so it was a little busier than we would like, but still. 

The river empties out into beautiful Cushman Lake

The parking lot was full.  No surprise for a beautiful day with free admission.

Probably worth it.

Oh yeah, long exposure.  Stand by guys, it could be a long season.

We hiked the trail. Or, three of us hiked the trail while Max scampered around the place like a spider monkey.  If he could climb to the top of it, he did.  I don't know where he gets it.

Max monkey

Brothers and big trees.

Of course there were mushrooms.

And trillium.
And camouflaged wild critters
I love the forests.  I am an unabashed, enthusiastic, tree hugger.  Every once in a while I manage, by effort or accident, to catch a photograph that captures the essence of the forest for me.  I think I got one today.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Of climbing things

Both boys got in on the action

Meanwhile, down at the river...
At roughly the halfway point of the hike, there is a bridge.  With plenty of rocks to climb and stuff to explore, it is a good place to goof off for a while and just enjoy the moments.

Hot Mama on the bridge!

with kids.

Max looking down on everybody.
Michael got in on the climbing action too.

The trail is a loop.  We continued past some large trees down across the trail; it was a stormy season.

Then, we ran across these two strange bedfellows.

They apparently grew well together.

We called him Douglas Red Cedar.

I hope they are hugging and not fighting. :-)

I stuck my face into the moss on this tree to look in the viewfinder.  What a wonderful smell.
Perfect place for a short rest stop

A precipitous drop? Let's go take a look.

No closer than this though, you can see what happened to the last guy who got too close.
And then we were back at the parking lot headed for burgers. 

Not bad for a quick trip about an hour from home. 

Time to get out the big backpacks and start planning some really epic trips.