Wednesday, July 5, 2017

An Awesome Climb for the Pacific Northwest Trekkers

Our goal today was Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park: 3500 feet, 12 miles.
Mike: "The views were absolutely breathtaking; we frequently stopped at beautiful scenic lookouts. The view of the snowcapped mountains at the top, however, put all others to shame."
Jonah: "There was a family of deer on the way and I watched them try to find each other for half an hour. There were also feral mountain goats grazing beside us as we hiked. Despite their razor-sharp horns we came out alive."
Cole: "The way back down the mountain was an incredible experience. Maxing out at speeds of 32 mph and averaging 22, we flew down our 3 hour climb in 45 minutes. All the while we could ogle at the amazing views and at how we ever got up in the first place."
Nadia: "The views made the hill worth it. Getting to the top was another great elation. Flying down the mountain was scary, but fun. The pain was worth it in the end."
Harlan: "This hurts so much, it's never gonna be worth it!
...It was worth it."
Aaron: "Obligation, accompanied by the physical assistance of impatient group members, can drag you out of bed, force dry mini wheats down your throat, and push you up a 12 mile long mountain trail. It's a beautiful thing, too. Obligation can make you glance up from the asphalt crawling under the front wheel of your mildly functional road bike, meant to be some shade of Elmer's glue—white, now a warm hue of dusty bookshelf, to the glorious ice-capped jagged mountain ranges, as seen on the front of your Arrowhead plastic water bottle. Obligation can make you do what you're certain you can't."
Koby: "Sore muscles, hard work, distant glaciers, mountain goats, harsh wind, long distance, camp food, laughter. Doesn't get better than this."
Aimee: "Some hazy idea of a picturesque mountain scene was floating around in my head this morning. I was not prepared for the greatest bike battle of my lifetime. The first few miles felt good, and we enjoyed the sites together at each viewpoint. Eventually, though, our beautiful ride turned to single-minded determination to reach the peak. Comradeship vanished as we grinded  our gears and spread miles apart. Each biker focused on the road under their tires, stopping only to drink and enjoy the scenery. The mountain taunted us, continuing upward around every hidden bend. Around the 11th mile, I gritted my teeth and swore not to walk my bike, no matter how liquefied my muscles were. Suddenly, I turned a corner  and saw dozens of cars, the visitor center, and the best mountains I've ever seen. Victory!"