Have you ever had a family vacation that just clicked? You had adventures, you laughed, and new family stories were created. Fun stuff. Last week we had one of those family vacations, to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. This amazing place is just 5 or 6 hours drive from our house in Oregon, so we thought we would go explore. Wow! We stayed near Port Angeles and had a great week of hiking, biking, and family adventures, barely scratching the surface of what there is to do in the area. I’ll share images of our adventures over the next few blog posts, starting with Hurricane and Klahhane Ridge in Olympic National Park.
The classic drive in the park is Hurricane Ridge, up to the visitor’s center at 5242 feet. That does not seem high to my Colorado-upbringing standards, but when you consider that they rise from sea level just a few miles away, you start to get an idea of how steep and rugged these mountains are. Mt. Olympus, the highest peak, is 7965 ft above sea level. The 3D map at the visitor’s center gives a great overview of the range.
See that ridge heading off to the bottom left corner from the “You Are Here” sign? That’s Klahhane Ridge, and we hiked that. The trail snaked along the ridge, with some amazing views in all directions.
As we got out on the ridge, we were very quickly reminded that my son is afraid of heights. There were a couple of times where he just did not want to go on. We talked him through, helping him move through his fear and complete the hike. It’s always a dilemma with your kids… Do you listen to them and let them choose whether or not to try something, or do you push them through their fears so they can see what they can do? I guess with every child it is different. I’m glad we helped him through on this hike, and he was too. It was an opportunity for a life lesson, at any rate. I’ve spent so much of my adult life learning to proceed even when I feel fear, I want him to learn how to work through the fear too. Maybe developing the skill starts with something as simple as completing a hike on a ridge.
After all of the stress of the steep trails, we did get some comic relief. Brandon was hiking in front of me, and as he came around the corner to this dense patch of white flowers on the side of the hill, he startled a bunch of butterflies into the air. The sudden movement of the butterflies startled him in return, and I’ve never seen him move so fast! He turned and ran right back to me. It took several moments for him to realize that the threat had been nothing more than a few butterflies. He had heard the buzzing of bees and when he saw movement, he just ran.
We all had a good laugh! This story is one for the family story book, to be trotted out and enjoyed periodically. I will never forget the visual image of my son, running from butterflies.
It was a tough but beautiful hike! Well worth the time and effort to see these views. The trail information said there was an elevation gain of 250ft, but with all of the up and down it was much more. My Fitbit told me I had gone up 131 stories, or 1310ft overall.
Great weather, beautiful views, and some family stories added to the archives. Does it get any better than this?
A bonus for you! You can download the Stackables formula I used for most of these photos, called “Klahhane Ridge”. It’s loosely based, but simplified, from the “Bald Hill” formula I shared last week.
Follow these instructions:
1. Make sure the Stackables app is installed on your iOS device.
2. On your iOS device, download the formula file from this link. (This is a Dropbox link, and you may be prompted to save the file to your Dropbox account, if you have one. Go ahead and save it to your Dropbox and then download from there.)
3. When you go to download or open the file, use “Open in…” and choose the “Open in Stackables” option.
4. Stackables will open and ask if you want to import the formula, click “Import.”
5. To use the formula, load a photo and then go to Favorite Formulas (the ones with a heart!). You will see the imported formula there.
Leave a comment and let me know if download it! I would love to hear from you.