Olympic National Park - day trip from Seattle
The last day of 2008 was spent in Olympic National Park.
Knowing that there was 5 inches of snow expected that day at the park and that there was already 51 inches of snow piled up in most places, it was a risky decision to go. We have made five to six trips to Seattle since 2001 (started way before the BIL became a Softee) and we have driven around this park only once from Port Angeles to Seattle.
This time we wanted to see Rialto beach and Crescent lake. So we started off with hopes that the main road through the park would be ploughed and it was!
Considering it is a day trip, we used the Edmunds to Kingston ferry to cross over and then drove through cute places like Port Gamble, Discovery bay, Sequim and Port Angeles into the park and past an incredibly beautiful place called Piedmont.
We drove through rapidly changing weather, snow, then slush, rain, followed by clear sun, then fog to end up in Rialto beach. The temperature was a warm 33 F (but with wind chill it was 27 F) and the kids and some adults could not handle the winds at the beach.
The group spent 20 minutes there for a quick photo shoot and turned back just in time to beat a sudden spurt of rain. On our way back we did stop at Crescent lake to play in the snow at the edge of the "moment of time" trail. There was this beautiful house in the background and lots of fresh snow.
This is the first place where you see a mountain with snow and five minutes later you are on the other side at a beach!
Little one playing in snow for the first time at an age where she can understand what is going on. At first she was puzzled by the strange white stuff falling from the sky which instantly disappeared when she touched it.. after a few minutes she was thrilled with the possibilities of this new material..
There were snowfights, pictures, smiling faces and all round happiness! That made the trip worth the trouble.
Here are the stitch shots...
Had to wade through 3 1/2 feet of snow across a small bridge to get this shot.
A slice of heaven!
The next two shots were taken with 16 to 21 pictures. Fast moving waves and a fine mist in the air were challenges. (a tip for other stitch enthusiasts : get a flower hood and shoot with ISO1600. I did not have a hood on because it was low light conditions. there are pros and cons of not having a hood. you get more light in but the boundaries of the adjacent shots are visible. Maybe there is software that can correct for that?!)
The ones at Rialto beach were the most difficult because my fingers were numb from the cold and wasn't even sure if I hit the button or not! My appreciation for nature photographers went up several notches after this trip..
All the roads from the highway into various view points and attractions like Hurricane ridge, the Ho rain forest , Sol Duc, hot springs etc. were closed for snow or fallen trees.
That means, another trip to this place is due, preferably sometime when it has just started snowing and the roads are still navigable! Sunset at Rialto beach should be amazing, and we hope to see that on our next trip.
The cottages at the lake front looked very inviting. Someday, someday assuming the Venn diagram for "this body still has some strength left to press on a gas pedal" and "there is no obligation to be in this rat race" has an intersection, Sundar and Sangeetha will be at that cottage and spend a long time there watching the snow fall while sipping tea on the lakefront!
Until then, it is back to school time!