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The two RV Gypsies (plus one) went to
Olympic National Park
June 23, 2015

Olympic National Forest (ONF) covers 633,000 acres, nearly encircling the entire Olympic National Park, and offers a wide range of recreation with more than 200 miles of trails, 17 campgrounds, and five designated Wilderness areas.

Karen and Ilse at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center sign

Karen and Lee at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center sign

clipart history bookOlympic National Park is a United States National Park located in the state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side.

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt originally created Mount Olympus National Monument on 2 March 1909. It was designated a national park by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

a tunnel within Olympic National Park

sign: Water's Journey

Although bigger photos of signs like the one below may take a bit of extra time to load onto your monitor screen, Karen feels that it is important to be able to read the signs and appreciate the beautiful scenery and its formation.

sign: Water's Journey

beautiful, peaceful scenery at Olympic National Park

beautiful, peaceful scenery at Olympic National Park

sign about Ancient Lake Morse

sign about Ancient Lake Morse

present view where Lake Morse used to be

sign about Ancient Lake Morse

sign about Ancient Lake Morse

Hurricane Ridge was the area where most of the visitors were located, and the scenery in this area was amazing. Plus there were lots of deer. Trails offer spectacular views of the high country and the Olympic Mountains.

Hurricane Ridge sign

Karen and Ilse at the Hurricane Ridge sign
panorama behind the Visitor center

Deer were everywhere.

deer

deer

deer

deer

clipart history bookA world of landscapes unfold here; U-shaped valleys and brilliantly colored wildflowers blanket subalpine meadows. Geologists still debate the origins of the Olympics. Some 50 million years ago, lava gushed from underwater tips in the edge of the continent, hardening into miles thick layers of basalt. Later an immerse submerged delta of sandstone and shale formed farther out in the ocean. These layered rocks slowly rode back to the continent and jammed beneath the basalt, forcing the Olympics to rise from the sea 10 to 20 million years ago. Ice-age glaciers helped carve the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Pugent Sound, separating the Olympics from nearby lands. Hence the rugged Olympic Mountains - a gift from the sea.

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

laughting clipart dudeAfter reading the sign shown below, Lee just had to smell the flower. A male passerby said to him, "If you want to smell dirty socks, you can smell mine."

sign: American Bisort - a flower

American Bisort - a flower

Lee smelling the "dirty sock" flower.

Lee Duquette smelling the "dirty sock" flower.

educational sign: Fire and Rain

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

sign naming the mountains nearby

the rugged Olympic Mountains

the rugged Olympic Mountains

Below: Karen always likes it when flowers have signs near them and not too many of the flowers here had signs, but here are a few of them.

sign: Wandering Fleabane flower

Wandering Fleabane flower

sign: Broadleaf Arnica flower

Broadleaf Arnica flower

sign: Red Mountain-Heather flowe Red Mountain-Heather flower

Walking the trails, the two RV Gypsies saw a deer and they just stood still and took a few photos. They never walk closer to them. Karen told some children to stop running towards the deer. Their parents said nothing. Soon the deer went on about its business.

deer

deer

deer

deer

Below: More beautiful unspoiled scenery plus the Olympic Ski Patrol building.

the Olympic Ski Patrol building

scenery

beautiful scenery

snow-capped mountain

snow-capped mountain

scenery at Olympic National Park

Below: one of several deer resting in the meadow

one of several deer resting  in the meadow

deer in the street

deer in the street

Lee was just walking along the sidewalk and suddenly stopped when he realized a deer was eating something in a hole. Within seconds, another deer came down the hillside and the first deer lunged at the second deer. The second deer quickly scattered. Lee backed up a bit, and the deer continued to feast at whatever it was that he liked in that hole.

deer

deer leaping at another deer

deer

The two RV Gypsies walked across the street to where Karen's sister Ilse was standing, and Ilse noticed another deer approach. This time all it took was for the original deer to look at the other deer and it scampered away, as Ilse took a few photos.

deer deer

Big zoom lenses come in handy.

deer

A bit down the road, the two RV Gypsies stop to take more scenery pictures, then Karen looks down the cliff side because she heard movement.

scenery

Looking down the cliff side, a marmot was scampering about.

marmot

marmot

Marmots are large squirrels in the genus Marmota, of which there are 15 species. The similarly sized, but more social, prairie dog is not classified in the genus Marmota but in the related genus Cynomys.

Marmots typically live in burrows (often within rock piles, particularly in the case of the yellow-bellied marmot), and hibernate there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social and use loud whistles to communicate with one another, especially when alarmed.

Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots, and flowers.

marmot

marmot

go back to the Washington menu Please return to the main menu for the state of Washington to view other areas the two RV Gypsies visited in Washington in 2015, plus a link to their adventures in Canada.