August 16-Sept 1
We tried to get out camping on our next few days off.
The Olympic Peninsula is a wild place. Remote, rugged, and wild. With rocky shores, mountains and glaciers, and a temperate rainforest, it checks all the boxes. On this trip, we’d stick to the national forest land, as again we had Charley and she isn’t allowed at the National Park.
We went on a tough but short hike to the top of Mt. Ellinore, after finding a campsite across the road from the trailhead. It was a perfect setup.
The hike climbed 3500ft or so in a bit under 2 miles, and at some points could make out Archie way down below as we ascended. The trail started steep through the forest along switchbacks, popped out into a boulder field, and continue up across the dramatic inclines with distant mountains cutting through the low clouds.
We continued to the top, rewarded with exceptional panoramas of the basin holding Lake Ellinore and neighboring Mt Washington, as well as more of the Olympic mountains to the northwest of us.
We ditched the plan to camp on the OP, as a heavy fog permiated all of our camp set up. We could’ve toughed it out, but home was only 2.5 hours away, and I think we all appreciated a dry bed with dry clothes when we got home later that night.
On another afternoon we made our way over to West Seattle, a beachy vibe with sandy shores and a nice beachfront strip of eateries and shops. Before stopping down at Alki Beach for lunch, a stop at the West Seattle farmers market was a must. We grabbed some produce, cider, and peoplewatched for a bit.
We had 8 days off after a handful of shifts at work. We’d set that time aside for a trip back to New York. Our friends Rob and Lesen were getting married after postponing their wedding last year. It was so so good to see old friends and celebrate together. The weather was perfect (albeit a bit warm- see the glean on my forehead).
The videographer from our wedding (and the Ouimets), Mike, was also doing the Gleason’s. It was good to see him too. I think he’s also doing Jack and Jocelyn’s.
Our last few days in New York were spent in Binghamton with Mom and Dad. Every time we go back I am so fascinated with the beautiful blankets of forest covering the rolling hills. I think that I’m far more appreciative of its beauty having been away in different types of areas. It didn’t hurt that late August is typically a great time to visit, instead of the tail end of a long winter or post-foliage autumn.
Catching the sunset off the back deck reminded us of our time last summer, living with my parents. What a lovely spot.
We took a day trip on Tuesday to Watkins Glen, on the southern point of Seneca Lake, with Uncle Mark and Rita. The gorge was cool and wet as the falls ripped through the narrow slot that makes up the glen. We stopped afterward for lunch at Seneca Harbor Station and a wine flight at Chateau LaFayette Reneau Vineyard on the southeast of Lake Seneca.
We had one last dinner that night with Mom and Dad, and caught a flight out of Ithaca the following morning back to Seattle (thanks for the lift to the airport, Ma!)
It was a fantastic couple weeks spent hiking , traveling and spending time with friends and family. Essentially our formula for happiness. Minus the fact Charley was left enjoying a staycation back in Seattle and not with us in NY. But she forgives easily, as evidenced by the video at the end of this post.