Heart O’ the Hills. Hurricane Ridge. Hidden Bush. And no, that last one is not a natural landmark that you’ve just never heard of.
Longing for a quiet walk in the woods, we stop off to hike a bit of the North Fork trail in the Sol Duc Valley. A bear grunts to notify us of his presence. This place belongs to him.
“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refuges of a long war.” — Loren Eiseley
My “perfect day” begins in the mountains and ends on the coast, or vice versa. That dreamy combination awaits us on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. We’ve set aside a week to explore the area, although I imagine that even a lifetime of wandering this region would not allow for seeing all of the amazing natural wonders here.
We are floating, floating on windy roads, the thick forest obscured by a smoky fog. Trees grow taller and taller. It is morning, and darkly beautiful, in stark contrast to our morning stop in the sunny Yakima Valley for the best fruit we’ve ever had, purchased at a roadside stand fresh from the grower.
On a brief 24-hour visit in 2016, Capitol Reef National Park stole our hearts, and we are pumped to come back. This stay is an unexpected stop early in our trip and a re-route due to the wildfires, smoke, and haze in Colorado.
Soon after leaving the city limits of Durango, brown turns to green and the San Juan mountains stun us with their beauty. Our route to lesser-known-gem-of-a-park Grand Canyon of the Gunnison is a treat.
I’ll have bittersweet birthday in Durango. Perhaps a history hike can shake us out of our funk.