I don’t want to question the artistic license used for the classic film the Sound of Music, but I do start to wonder what on this earth they feed the Nuns at that monastery if they think they can climb ‘Ev’ry Mountain’
Today, I climbed a mountain. *insert nun jokes about not making it a habit etc. here*..
Let me tell you, I’m not ready to climb another any time soon.
Whilst talking to some folk in the rain forest yesterday, I got the suggestion to do the Storm King Trail. Turns out “Storm King” is actually a mountain… and it’s Far-King Steep!
The day started with a leisurely drive down to lake crescent where I spritely hopped out the car, kitted out with the layers and rain protection and headed off down the paved track, under highway 101 toward Storm King.
About half a mile down the track, there is a sign for Storm King. At first, I thought it was a mistake. It pointed to some stumps and a muddy “path” that ran up the side of the hill.
It was no mistake.
The path was narrow, and steeeeep and relentless… but I appear to like a challenge so off I trolled up the mountain.
The path wound round the edge of the foot of the forest. You could see the trees that had fallen and become nursery logs, giving life to other trees…
The path continued to be steep and was filled with switchback on switchback on switchback. Sometimes it was actually hard to tell where the path was going as it was so steep and unpredictable.
Eventually you noticed you were starting to reach the top of some of the trees…. some.
The sense of excitement was soon gone, when you realised you were simply at the foot of the next trees just further up the mountain!
More trees meant more switchbacks and more steep climbing.
During one of the many breaks I took, I had the time to reflect on the happy, spunky liveliness my deer American counterparts. I’m stood there standing sweating like I was shaking hands with the sun, a hot mess barely able to breathe… while someone passes, uphill and manages to barely get out a wheeze but a happy wheeze of “Hey, How you doing?!!”. Same as you pal… same as you.
Eventually the ascent paid off, and we were given the most amazing view of Lake Crescent.
From the viewpoint, there is the option to go further. On the Non-Maintained trail… because I’d suffered so far, I decided I had to summit this damn thing.
I was in two minds, but looked at the folk up ahead and the folk coming down and decided if they could do it (pretty sure they were bus pass eligible) then so could I.
The path turned into rocks…
And sometimes the rocks came with ropes…
And other times there were no ropes and no paths.. and it was a bit of a scramble.
And then eventually I reached the peak… Worried how the view was going to be after all that work because we were in the clouds by now…
At first, it was hazy…
So we focussed on some wildlife shots:
Eventually, having stood round for a little while, eaten some lunch, and patiently waited, watching the clouds ascend from the lake to the sky. (Literally I watched clouds grow…)…
The view cleared!
Grand as the views were, we all know the old saying… what goes up… must come down… and as I started to descend, the clouds did too… gentle rain to cool you down.
Let me tell you, the burn going downhill is just as bad as the burn going uphill!
Eventually, I made it back to the trailhead path, and decided… I’d walked so far, I’d take the short stroll to the Marymere Falls… I’m glad I did!
From Storm King, I decided to race on down to Rialto Beach (about an hour’s drive) to try and see the stacks and, to take the stroll along the beach up to the Hole in the Wall.
Sadly, on arrival, not only was it high tide… but the heavens decided to drop a storm.
The huge waves, flat stones and and uprooted trees were super cool, but I was soaked through from about 15 mins of being outside!
From Rialto, I headed back to Port Angeles, where I had the most delicious pizza!
Tomorrow is the last day before a week of work in Seattle.. I’m not quite sure yet where I’m going stop on the way back to the city, but I do know the first stop for me right now, before bed is the whirlpool to undo some of the aches of the day!