Here is the second installment of our Olympic Peninsula adventure! The first one is over here.
An early morning start got us onto the ferry at sunrise and headed towards the mountains.
Our first stop was Hurricane Ridge where crystal blue skies and sharp sunshine accompanied us all the way to the top. The clarity was amazing and we could see for miles on miles all the way around us, including the billowing white and pink smoke from the paradise fire.
With our legs loose and our shoulders starting to burn (thank goodness Abby remembered to bring a tiny tube of sunscreen), we returned to the car.
As you drive deeper into the woods, even at the height of this hot, dry summer, the trees grow thicker and the moss trails longer.
It felt like mere moments later that we arrived at Lake Crescent. What a joy it was to seek out our own little nest in the campground and settle into it.
Also, can we talk about this water for a second? Because I have never seen such beauty anywhere else but here. Even after years of returning to this place the colors and shapes and textures in the water alone still delights me.
Once we felt grounded and ready to head out again, we made our way to Marymere Falls.
This simple loop trail is yet another place that I have come to over and over again in the past and now, as I walk through it as a twenty four year old, I feel as though I'm following behind crowds of memory ghosts. Each tree has an old friend in front of it as I take another picture, each bend reveals yet another former close friend dashing ahead as we did when we were ten and bored of the adult's pace.
They are memories that I treasure, all wrapped up as they are in knowledge of the area's flowers, creatures, and contours, each fact linked with a face, a smell, a set of hopes and dreams that never came to be.
And yet, even as I mourn all of those possibilities that have faded as I've grown older, I remind myself of all of the wonderful realities that now fill those years. Those friends may no longer be in my life, but their memories still bring me joy. Those plans and schemes may no longer be possible, but new projects and prospects that I had barely even known to hope for have become real.
Even while the memories feel heavy, there is so much to be joyful about and that is a great mercy that I do not take for granted.
Back in the campsite, we slipped into the water, washing the dust and soreness off of our bodies and marveling at the deeply saturated colors surrounding us.
Then, as on so many camping trips, the greatly anticipated ritual of dinner came. We went old-school with apple sausages and stir-fried veggies, adding our own flair with salt, pepper, a little bit of smoked paprika, and a light coating of olive oil.
Hours of talking followed after we spooned out our chocolate mousse dessert as Hilary poked at the fire.
How I loved sitting, warm and fed, in this ring of glowing tents.
In the next installment we say goodbye to Crescent Lake, head to Shi Shi Beach, and then make our way back to our home city of Seattle. It'll post here tomorrow at 2pm. To get an automatic update just like seekthewelfare on Facebook.