Monday, June 7, 2021

Deer Ridge

When I was deciding where to hike on one of our recent lovely June days, I calculated that the mileage to hikes to the rain shadow area of the Olympic Peninsula were less than going to, say, the Teanaway area near Cle Elum on the east side of the Cascades. I left the house super early, caught the ferry with minutes to spare and was on my way. 

I knew I was at the correct turnoff from Hwy 101 when I saw two Subarus ahead of me and I ended up following those two all the way to the trailhead. I greeted the ladies at the trailhead, thanking them for guiding me through the potholes safely. 

The trail was the steepest that I've hiked so far this season and it prompted me to compose a letter of sorts:

Deer Ridge,

Why are you so steep, what's the hurry? You make my heart beat faster and my breath uneven. I'm even starting to perspire. Is it just to prepare me for the heart-stopping views of mountains and flowers. You're making my knees weak... or at least hurt while descending the steep bits, even with poles. Yes, thank you, the sight of blooming Rhodies help to relieve the pain.

A tunnel appeared before me on the trail

It was pretty steep in places but once I was out on the ridge, I was rewarded with views up the Dungeness River. Valley. I ate lunch as I watched the fog roll over the ridge from the west, first hanging in the valleys, then accumulating and eventually obstructing the views.

It may have taken more time to get to this hike than one on the east side of the Cascades, but my timing for this hike was perfect.

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