Please note the stark differences between Sarah's hiking gear and mine. Obviously, Sarah has been a more serious hiker than I am, but that is going to change. :-)
My hiking gear:
Here are our boots:
Sarah's goal was to help me get my hiking shoes sufficiently dirty to garner more respect on the trail, since they are so new!
Sarah and I woke up and had a nice breakfast at Macrina's, one of Sarah's favorite bakeries on Queen Anne. We got ready and were on our way to the ferry to ride across the Sound and then we made our way to Port Angeles.
Here I am on the ferry:
Port Angeles is where the Olympic National Forest begins, but I had heard about this town for years from my good friend, and old roommate, Jamie. I was excited to see where Jamie came from. It's a bigger town than I had imagined.
The drive there was very scenic and after a quick stop at the Wal-mart for a few supplies, we headed to Olympic National Forest. We drove and stopped at a viewpoint where you could see Mt. Baker in the distance. Amazing to see snow-capped mountains in September!
We drove the rest of the way to the Hurricane Ridge lodge/gift shop. Sarah asked a ranger for his suggestions on the hikes and he suggested the Hurricane Ridge hike, which was a little more advanced than the 1 hour walking tour the rangers were giving every hour. I was disappointed to hear this hike was paved most of the way, but it sounded like our best option.
Beautiful wildflowers along the trail:
In an effort to help muddy-up my new hiking shoes, Sarah allowed me to walk on the dirt to the right of the paved area. She proclaimed that I was on a hike, but since she was on cement, she was merely on a walk. The hike/walk was a steep one, so we definitely got our cardio workout in. There were a ton of people on the trail.
Sarah did venture off the trail at the very end and I followed her. That 5 minute excursion seemed more like the hikes that I've been wanting to take. Unfortunately, it was only 5 minutes! Despite the hike, the views were spectacular--and completely 360 degrees. We had a view of everything!
When we got back to the lodge we were amazed to see several deer grazing on the grass right in front of our parked car. They were so used to people, they weren't skiddish at all--not even at car noises!