Driving up the mountain in my little rental car, I could barely see anything through the clouds. The clouds would eventually clear to reveal some of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen.
There was this amazing moment when I was driving up to the peak where I was able to see a newborn fawn with it’s mother. The fawn could barely walk on it’s own and I was able to get less than 20 feet away from it! Stopping to watch them for a while was difficult because there was no shoulder on the road to pull over. I parked in the middle of the road until more people started arriving, then I had to continue my ascent.
Olympic National Park had a Chalet on top of the mountain for this particular trail. It was nice to use actual washrooms, and they had some cool stuff inside to check out as well. I headed outside to the balcony where there was an amazing view, and the mountain peaks could be seen from miles away. To think, I was only going to climb a couple of these beauties. It really was breathtaking, and not just because I was hiking up a mountain (although I did have to stop now and then to literally catch my breath).
Speaking of breath, the mountain I climbed was at an impressive 5,200 foot elevation! Compare that to a more well known mountain, like Everest at 8,800 feet, and you get an idea of how high that really is. Then compare that again to Toronto at about 80 feet, which is what I was accustomed to at the time. My backpack wasn’t particularly heavy, but it really felt like someone kept putting bricks in it the more I ascended.
The farther you climb, the harder you have to push yourself. At higher altitudes, the low air pressure makes it much harder for oxygen to enter our systems. Oxygen deprivation soon follows, which isn’t very fun. Thankfully, nothing like that happened on my trip.
The area was completely covered in wildlife. Everything was so fearless! You could literally walk within a few feet of the deer and they’d just slowly walk away from you if you got too close. Growing up in a northern Ontario community, wildlife is definitely not a new sight but you’d never be able to get anywhere close to any of the animals.
Finally, I was at the top of the trail. It was like being on top of the world. I was literally walking above the clouds, and it was so humbling and beautiful.
What I regret about the trip: underestimating the amount of water I would drink. Before even teaching the top I had already gone through the bottles of water I had with me. On my more recent hikes I’ve been using an amazing backpack with a water pouch built in. Which is great for if you just need water and snacks for the day. If I could go back and do it again, I’d definitely be better equipped.
I’m definitely looking forward to returning to Olympic National Park in the future to take on the biggest mountains there. Let me know what you thought, and let me know the biggest mountains you’ve climbed. Until next time, let’s blast off on another adventure together!