On the final day of my visit we left the house with Steve after he got off work at 10am and drove north along the Hood Canal on Highway 101. We turned left into the Olympic National Park following the Hama Hama River until we came to the Lena Lake trailhead that Steve wanted to hike.
Steph didn't feel much like hiking but led us nonetheless and she sure had a quick pace. It was all uphill for three miles and we were sweating in no time.
Everyone on Facebook thought this was dog poop but it's not! It's a large banana slug. I had wanted to see one and unfortunately the only one I saw was dead.
There trees there get massive and can fall over in big storms. Steph said they're called widow makers and therefore you shouldn't hike in the wind.
Another enormous tree.
Steph and Steve posing on a bridge under which was a stream buried under a rock slide.
A second bridge almost at the top.
Lovely blue and mountain reflection.
Steph took this picture of me. I was wishing I hadn't worn those jeans but when I wasn't active I was cold. I was cold the whole trip. I'm not used to humidity or rain.
I set my camera up on a stump to get a shot of all three of us.
It started sprinkling not long after we got there but we stayed dry under the trees.
Selfie attempt and a Stephanie smile.
I can't remember the name of these birds but Steph and Steve had heard of them eating right out of people's hands. Steve tried it with some craisins I had in my trail mix snack.
He was unsuccessful so I tried and again, they wouldn't come. But when I put the fruit on the rock they came right down. Steph nibbled some almonds into small pieces to try to get them to come to her.
They didn't want to.
They liked the snacks on the rock though!
Thick forest with lots of moss and ferns.
After we hiked the three miles all downhill we went to one more place just down the road - this little waterfall with an amazing blue color. Steph took a picture of me from the top of the waterfall.
And I took a selfie with her in the background.
I asked Steph to come down to take one last sister selfie with me and though she obliged, she slipped on the moss on the side of a rock and half fell in the river! She saved herself from sliding all the way in by grabbing some ferns and then I pulled her out. We laughed and took a picture :)
An iphone panoramic shot of the waterfall and pool...and Steph making her way towards me.
Me at the top of the waterfall.
Steve looked for about three minutes and then hiked back to the Forerunner where he took a nap.
Looking down on the pool.
Such a pretty blue...
...and even better! Steph called it Powerade blue. She said when the river is lower and calmer you can see to the bottom more clearly. It was at least 15 feet deep if not 20.
Steph's shot of me on her way over to my mossy rock.
Steph sat down to take a couple of her own selfies and I, not knowing if I was even in her shot or not, took the chance of photobombing her with a silly face. Ha!
He he he. She still looks good even if I don't.
Steve slept for ten minutes and then wondered why the heck we hadn't come back. He hiked down a bit and yelled for us to come back because he was worried about the dogs at home alone. I hiked back up and informed him of Steph's fall into the water. She had to wear Steve's second pair of shorts home.
I love Stephanie's "white cat" Kato, but spunky Squirt also consented to let me hold him.
We left their house the following morning around 930am and drove north to the Seattle area. They're buying a house (they had rented this one) so I'm glad I got to see where they lived.
Steph wanted to eat out for breakfast so we landed out this place in Tacoma called Original Pancake House. I loved the wood the table was made out of.
I've developed this dumb egg allergy so breakfast is not as enjoyable as it used to be. I was quite jealous of Steph's eggs benedict but my biscuits and gravy and FIVE pieces of bacon was good too. I saved half the bacon and ate it for dinner, along with a chocolate shake, in the Denver airport :D It was delicious.
Next we went to IKEA to burn some time. We were getting bored and tired when I received a text from United informing me that my flight was delayed two hours! That would make me miss my connecting flight in Denver. Steve immediately started trying to figure out what we were going to do but I just kind of went with the flow because there was really nothing I could do. My lack of anxiety was actually out of character for me. Strange. Just a couple minutes later I received a call from Delta informing me that they had a seat on a flight two hours earlier if I could be there in time. Good thing we were already practically right next door to the airport!
We booked it out of there, said a hasty goodbye, and I nervously figured out where to get my tickets and how to get through security and find my gate in a strange new airport. It all worked out, even though they changed the gate and confused us, but we boarded and flew to Denver with no problems.
After our first two days in the Olympic Peninsula, it had been cloudy and sprinkly or rainy. Finally when we flew out of Seattle and above the clouds I was able to see Mount Rainier for the first time. We would have liked to visit that but alas, the weather did not cooperate. The week before and after my visit were sunny and beautiful though. Figures.
After a couple hour layer in the more familiar Denver airport and a long chat with my dad on the phone since it was his birthday, I made it home to Rapid City. I wish I could always fly to Denver. 45 minutes sure beats seven hours of driving. Terry met me outside of security, took my picture, and took me home. It was good to be away but it was also good to be home.