Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Space Between the Storms, II

Yesterday morning the Hurricane Ridge web cam showed cloudy but scenery-visible weather, the forecast said the next storm wasn't arriving until after noon, and the road recording for the Park said a crew was out working the road to Hurricane Ridge so please call back at 8:45. But at 8:45 and 9:15 the recording hadn't changed. So we rounded up a sack of miscellaneous food—bread, bananas, raisins—and hustled around to the entrance gate just in case. We were the seventh vehicle in line when they started letting cars through.
Hurricane Ridge view (detail); click for full image

(pines by the patio) Just splendid up there. All in black-and-white, greyish-bluish-black and white. The blown snow plasters everything, including icicles. I've never seen flocked icicles before...

A's Hurricane Ridge view; click for another image

A. turns out to be a postcard hound, so we shopped and had hot chocolate in the lodge (where there are no lodgings, just park rangers, a snack shop, and lots of windows). We hung around a long time, pointing and waving, taking pictures, sheltering from the wind on the leeward veranda of the lodge building, and being astonished by the number of local people whose impulse on a weekend morning is to head UP if the road is open, even with winter storm warnings out. Scads of people came up after us, strapping on their snowshoes and skis, dragging their sleds and saucers, snowboards under their arms, little kids bundled up until they are shaped like stubby sausages. They scattered all over the ridgetop.

The ceiling lowered, snowshowers drifted towards us across the upper Elwha canyon, so we headed down. Got a nice sight of Dungeness Spit on the way down, which pleased me in my capacity as hostess/tourguide, showing A. from above where she had been on the ground the day before.

Stopped for more postcard shopping at the Visitor Center at the bottom, and I bought a finger puppet of an Olympic chipmunk, to use when I finally can't avoid being expected to read stories to the little children of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe... While we were in the visitor center they announced that Hurricane Ridge Road was closing to uphill traffic, because conditions were worsening on top, but mainly because the parking lot up there was completely full :-)

Home for late lunch and out again, as the storm persisted in not really arriving. We went to Freshwater Bay, and then to Crescent Bay (just to see it), and then back to Salt Creek County Park. Just poking along the shore, you know, and hoping for ducks. Saw buffleheads and scoters, but not really a lot. When it got to be dusk we went back to town to Port Book and News, for one last postcard forage. Hot drink and a treat in the coffee shop down the street.

Salt Creek view at dusk. Click for larger image.

Altogether a lovely day.

It's going to end up that I didn't get her out to the ocean, but that's ok. She lives in Berkeley and works in the City, she can get as much ocean as her psyche requires... She feels that she is in another country here, mainly because it is not urban, people like the checkers in the supermarket and the ranger at the entrance gate are really and discernably NICE, and there's no graffiti.

1 comment:

Sam said...

These are amazing photos. I've never seen flocked icicles, either. Speaking of colorless, take a gander over at Doc Omed's,
the photos of the aftermath of mid-December's ice storm. They are so silver and eerie, so that even brown pops like red.