We got ready and headed to port angeles and then hurricane ridge. We found a nice walk of 1.6 miles which should bring us to a nice view point where we could see olympic on the south side and canada on the north side. After a quick snap at the amazing views already, we took off for our hike. Along the way we found a very cute and speedy chipmunk. It was really really fast. We kept walking hoping to see a marmot or a bald eagle. We got to the top and the view on the south was nice but not so much in the north...Canada was in the clouds! D spotted a marmot on a little rock quite far away but with we could see it quite nicely with the binos. We got closer and realize that there were actually 2 of them. They were quite big (at least bigger than i thought). We observed them for a while but the clouds were coming in so it was time to head back as we were getting quite cold. We had a close encounter with a deer along the way. But it was not too close and it looked nice. Back at the visitor center we had a nice cup of coffee to warm us us along with a nice cliff bar.
D spotted a secret back road across to the rafting place which was at the Elwha river. We headed back down the road and a little offpiste as the road turned into a dirt track. As we were a little early for the trip we took a side trip up a fabulous dense forest track where the light amongst the trees was just great.
Dave the kayak man gave us big yellow water proof trousers and wet suite boots to keep us dry and warm and we met Lorenzo the boat pilot for our trip, it was going to be a private trip just for us in a little blue inflatable. We headed about 6 miles up river back into the park before getting into the boat, it was a beautiful afternoon and we were quite excited all suited up ready to go! Lorenzo gave us a couple of tips and then it was "forward paddle 2 please", lovely. We cruised past some fisherman before hitting our first rapid, although the water was fairly low it was great fun as he led us through a bunch more rapids and told us about the mountains and trees. It was his last trip for the season. We saw lots of dippers dipping along the rocky shores and fishing along the banks, as well as a couple of kingfishers shooting away from us into the distance. "forward three please"! We managed to take a couple of pics as we cruised along a little flatter section before some more rapids, and then into the pools at the bottom infront of the dam. He showed us an enormous drowned cedar tree that still stood resolute since the construction of the dam in 1915! Then we were at the take out where the van was waiting for us and we headed back to take off out wet socks and trousers from all the splashes and excitement! Definitely a wet bum!
As dinner at lake crescent had only been nice enough we decided to make a trip up to the SolDuc hot springs for a bathe before trying their dinner. It was a lovely drive up through the forest as. The sunlight slowly slipped away, we paid our dews and hopped into the pools along with quite a few other folk, the birds were coming in to roost for the night overhead. It wasn't too sulphury and being a pleasant temperature we soaked for a while before showering and heading in for dins, lovely salmon followed by more salmon, but no space for pud unfortunately. A bit of a drive home, quick glance at the wonderful exhibition of stars overhead before packing all our stuff and crashing into bed. What a day!