A short drive brought us to the northern end of Olympic National Park and Port Angeles where we will board the ferry for a long awaited tour of Vancouver Island. Here the mountains that cause all the rain on the western coast can be visited via the road into the national park up to Hurricane Ridge. Life there is shaped by wind and snow. Over 75mph winds buffet the summit, giving the site its name. Over 35 feet of snow fall there annually and at the end of the drive the snow that still remains kept us from hiking any distance. At lower altitudes patches of snow punctuated the ridges and valleys, but gave no indication of how fierce last winter had been. The spring wildflowers won't start blooming here until late June. At the summit we saw a small herd of deer looking for fresh grass, but the snow melted so recently there that the blades were barely an inch tall. A herd of Japanese tourists were thrilled to see them and kept trying to hand them big snowballs to eat.
We drove to the ferry terminal to see where to check in on Sunday and tried to get more information about the island. Of course, the tourist bureau was far better equipped to give us information about this area. We are still feeling uncertain about how to spend our time there and the best places to stay.