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Raven pulling eagle's tail!

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“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
— John Muir

Looking out at the Olympic Mountains from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Looking out at the Olympic Mountains from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

My niece is visiting from Israel, and her top sightseeing priorities are some of the American national parks.  So we took a two-day, 500-mile road trip circumnavigating Olympic National Park in Washington State.  You can get to different parts of the park from inroads along Hwy 101, and our destinations offered extraordinary natural diversity, from mountains, to rain forests, to ocean beaches.

Our first stop was Hurricane Ridge high in the Olympic Mountains.  But first we crossed the Sound in a ferry, and then drove through some pretty amazing scenery just to get to the winding road that would take us from sea level to nearly a mile in elevation at Hurricane Ridge.

Field of daisies near Sequim, WA

Field of daisies near Sequim, WA

"I see the wild flowers, in their/summer morn/Of beauty, feeding on joy's/lucious hours."  -- John Clare, from "Summer Images"

“I see the wild flowers, in their/summer morn/Of beauty, feeding on joy’s/luscious hours.” — John Clare, from “Summer Images”

Old ruin along Hwy 101 near Sequim

Old ruin along Hwy 101 near Sequim

The winding road to Hurricane Ridge

The winding road to Hurricane Ridge

The view from Hurricane Ridge is awesome, with majestic, snow-capped peaks as far as the eye could see.  We ate a picnic breakfast amidst some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere, joined by a curious (and smart, crumb-seeking) bird.  The meadows at the top were beginning to emerge from snowfields, and they were covered with tiny yellow flowers.

Parking lot at Hurricane Ridge

Parking lot at Hurricane Ridge

Mountain view

Mountain view

Picnic breakfast

Picnic breakfast

Avian friend

Avian friend

Snow-capped peaks

Snow-capped peaks

Melting snow

Melting snow

Scavenging raven (lovely feathers)

Scavenging raven (lovely feathers)

Motorcycle riders (I rarely go to a national park without seeking motocyclists)

Motorcycle riders (I rarely go to a national park without seeing motorcyclists)

My next post will be a continuation of our road trip. . . stay tuned!

Reading Room at Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

This week is National Library Week, and I celebrated by visiting a few of the libraries on the University of Washington campus.  The UW Visitor’s Center has a map of the various libraries on campus, some of which are housed in their departments.  I didn’t have time to stop in at all of them.

Grand Staircase, Suzzallo Library

Hanging globe, Suzzallo Library Reading Room

Atrium, Allen Library, University of Washington

Hanging raven sculptures, Allen Library

Rack of foreign language newspapers, East Asia Library, Gowen Hall, UW

The Music Library has a magnificent view of the cherry trees on the quad, University of Washington

Cherry blossoms, UW

Cherry blossoms on the quad at the University of Washington

Cherry blossoms in the morning light, UW

Montana Wildlife

October 3, 2010

We saw very little wildlife in Glacier National Park.  If you want to see big animals in the wild, nothing beats an African safari.  In the United States, I believe you have to travel to Alaska have a guaranteed shot of seeing animals in their natural habitats. 

We were fortunate to have a few wild animal sightings on our trip to Glacier National Park.  We saw hundreds of deer at dusk in the Methow Valley, an unexpected treat.  And we saw a remarkable, huge raven near Lake Roosevelt in northeastern Washington.  We saw just one lone deer in Montana.

Glossy black raven near Lake Roosevelt

Raven in flight

On the way to St. Mary’s on Hwy 89 outside of Glacier Park, we happened upon a sole moose crossing the road! 

Moose along Hwy 89 on the way to St. Mary's

Moose heads up the bank

. . . and walks away out of sight

And on the drive back to East Glacier on Hwy 40, we saw one black bear at the side of the road.  We would have missed it completely but for the red Glacier Park tour bus, which was stopped in our lane on a curve in the road.  We assumed the driver had stopped because he/she had seen an animal, and we were right!  The black bear moved too quickly away from the road and into the bushes for me to get a photograph.  But it was very exciting to spot a bear!

We had already left the park and were driving on Hwy 135 into St. Regis when I spotted a herd of bighorn sheep grazing near the railroad tracks alongside the road.

Bighorn sheep on the road to St. Regis

So although we did not see a lot of wild animals, we count ourselves lucky to have chanced upon a few rare sightings of Montana wildlife.