Some 4,500 to 5,000 feet of vertical gain in an 18-mile continuous climb — and then a thrilling swoop back down again. Surrounded every foot of the way by stunning scenery — and on this day, no cars for most of the journey. Such is the glory of the official Ride the Hurricane up Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Plus, they served chocolate milk at the top!
This was a great follow to the Tour de Lavender the day before. A fantastic cycling weekend in yet another stunning area of Washington.
Needless to say, the two of us did not climb this little hill together — Timothy being a strong climber who had fun reeling people in, and Paula being more than a bit climbing-challenged. Still, it was a fantastic trek for both of us.
Sun rises over Port Angeles before the start
Timothy starts up the ridge
Here begins the challenge: How many ways to say “stunning” ?
At the second rest stop
Running out of words already
So the pictures will do the talking
Guy with a Hampsten. Soon Paula’s will be ready!
Cowbell welcomes at the third rest stop
Cannondale poses for portrait
This drummer crew, a half-mile from the top, was a real highlight. Fabulous!!
Paula went into it more than a bit intimidated. But it actually wasn’t all that hard. Just long. There were no pitches above 9 percent and even those were few. So it was just a matter of grinding it out. And grinding it out some more. And more. For 18 miles. While taking pictures.
Timothy employed his usual methodical approach, being careful not to blow up early on, then breezing past those who pushed too much too soon.
And then, the descent! With no cars! (Just for this ride; usually there’s car traffic, but not all that much). Being able to blast down amid all that beauty with no worries of cars was simply unforgettable. As one rider said at the gathering afterward: “That descent was the best thing EVER.”
After the Tour de Lavender, we stayed overnight near the Dungeness Bay in Sequim and took a little stroll by the water that night. Here we discovered that the old adage about “the best camera is the one you have with you” doesn’t really apply when you have a DSLR and good lens back in the room, and just a smartphone and a point-and-shoot with you.
We just hadn’t expected to see eagles when we set out that night. But there they were, our official Sequim Welcoming Committee. Fortunately the Lumix DMC-TS5 has a little zoom lens, which was better than nothing. But oh for that longer lens!
Our VRBO host later told us the neighborhood hosts two pair — the East Eagles and the West Eagles. These are the West Eagles. They don’t have any kids this year, but some years they do.
Last weekend took us for the first time to the Olympic Peninsula for a two-day ridefest: The inaugural Tour de Lavender on Saturday, and the Ride the Hurricane up Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park on Sunday.
We’d initially planned to do the longer version of the Lavender ride, starting in Kingston after taking the ferry over from Edmonds (leaving the car in Edmonds), then riding the bikes to Sequim and then to the lavender farms in the area. But since we were staying over for two nights and wanted to explore a wide swath of the area, the logistical challenges of going car-free or even renting a car were massive. So, we chose to drive to Sequim, then do a 40-mile lavender ride. Short, sweet, scenic — and very nicely scented!
We saw a lot of animals admiring us along the roads, and of course had to take their pictures. They included four kittens at some old traincars that a guy was converting into a restaurant; he’d acquired and hired them to be mousers. Very friendly. Very cute. And we very nearly took them home with us …
On the road from Kingston to Sequim
Here we found four kitties. This is either William or Wallace
Wallace or William in action
William (or Wallace) and one of his unnamed sisters
Wallace or William on alert
Kitty training to be mouser at railcars training to be a restaurant
A man and a crab
Llama wanting to join the ride
Nice man riding with two bikes while girlfriend shoots llama
Getting honey treats at a lavender farm
A good way to celebrate a birthday
Riders nicely accessorized for the Tour de Lavender
A couple of suburban deer.
Lunchtime in the front yard
Cow wanting to join the ride
A one-cow garage
Showing no respect for the dead
Cruising the graves, lookin’ for some greens
More random riders
More lovely scenery
Lavender water, a treat from one of the lavender farms
Drying in the drying barn
A man, lavender, and lines
Lavender and lines
A portrait in lavender
Liked this scene a lot, obviously
King of the …
Probably the only time an NYCC jersey has been ridden with lavender in the back pocket
Enjoying the view
Old railroad bridge
Salmon as seen from the bridge
A whole lotta lavender