Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27 – Deer Park and Dungeness Spit

Lots of pictures today. A sunny but slightly cool day at the campground.

We gave the CRV another workout. We went to the Deer Park section of the the National Park to drive to the top of 6000 foot Blue Mountain.

We also gave Jennie’s vertigo a workout. It was 18 miles in from the highway, climbing 5000 feet in the last 8 miles on a VERY narrow, twisty dirt road with the added bonus of huge sheer drop offs on the side. I loved the views but it was no fun for Jennie. At one point we stopped the car for a picture but it was so steep, to get started again I had to spin the wheels.



For the last 500 feet we broke out of the tree line into a beautiful mountain meadow to a parking lot about 200 feet below the summit.



There was still some snow on the trail to the top. (The nerve of other people using OUR parking lot!)


This is the view above the clouds back towards the Juan de Fuca Strait.


The 360 degree view at the top would have been amazing on a clear day but that was not to to be. There were lots of sunny holes so I spent the time watching the patterns of the clouds on the valley below. 


It was very weird to be in bright sunlight, be able to see the top and bottom of a cloud come directly at you, watch it sweep over you and  the mountain top and then be back in the sunlight again.

The meadow just covered in all kinds of tiny flowers. You can just barely see Jennie in the picture below, just a little below left of center, working her way up the trail examining the plant life.


There were literally dozens of different kinds of small flowers to take pictures of.




Occasionally the snowy mountain tops to the south would peek through.



The eastern side was always in the clouds.


We stayed staring as long as we could but we had planned to go out to lunch and had nothing with us but water.

The trail back to the car was on the foggy side, narrow, snowy in spots and steep drop offs. Fun for me, not so much for Jennie. She doesn’t like these spots it but she wants to do it because these places are worth seeing.



A little bit back down the road was a small primitive campground.


This was the view from one of the sites.


Back down at sea level we went to town of Dungeness to have lunch at the famous 3 Crabs restaurant. We were not that impressed. By the time we got there it was the middle of the afternoon so they may have been a little off.


The restaurant has a view of the Dungeness Spit, which is a 5 mile long very narrow sand bar that arches out into the Strait. This is view through my telephoto lens of the lighthouse at the end of the spit with what I think is a car carrier ship passing behind it.


Near the restaurant must be a good place to watch for eagles because there were a group of birders.


We got to watch one catch and eat a seagull (after our lunch).


We headed off to hike the spit. A Google Earth view.

Google Maps


This is a view of the spit from its start at the shore. In the picture below, the little white dot on the horizon on the right is the lighthouse, 5 miles away. The spit itself is only about 150 feet wide. They give tours of the lighthouse. I wonder how many people make it out there.


Looking back along the shore.


It was especially narrow since we got there near high tide. We walked about 1/2 mile out looking at the colourful stones and seaweed.





It didn’t look much closer.


There are flat stones everywhere so we also built some pyramids, as seems to be the custom. There were lots of them.




Heading back.


On the way home, Jennie went to Wal-Mart for supplies, while I rewarded the CRV with an oil change.

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