The Hills are Alive with Chi

Posted by on May 25, 2015

I’m an acupuncturist, but I hardly ever write about acupuncture any more.  I’ve written about it quite a bit already in my blog. It benefits most health conditions, including wellness. My clinic is dedicated to making acupuncture affordable for everyone. Welcome!

It’s late spring in the Northwest and we are blessed with some of the most beautiful hiking in the world. Olympic National Park is, in the opinion of many world traveler friends I know, unequaled in terms of pristine wilderness on this planet.

As a practitioner of the healing arts – for those of you who are able, I prescribe walks in the woods, walks on the seashore, walks in the mountains, on a regular basis. There is so much fresh, primeval, original Chi (energy) available in the wild. When you travel down a path, untouched by man’s civilization, the energy rises up from the ground, through the soles of your hiking boots, down from the trees through the top of your crown chakra and into your heart and lungs. We are renewed, restored, regenerated, made whole again. Go, leave nothing but footprints, support your local trail organizations, and keep returning.

Whatever your contribution to the world you make, it will be better and more powerful in the days following a visit to wild nature.

Hurricane Hill to Elwha. May 25, 2015

It is possible to do this trip in a long day, but since my friend and I were bringing two children with us, we decided to take it easy. We met in our separate vehicles at the trailhead near the Elwha Ranger station at 8:00 a.m. piled into one car, and drove to the trailhead for Hurricane Hill on Hurricane Ridge, stopping in Port Angeles to pick up a couple of sandwiches for the trail.

9:30 a.m. After adjusting our boots and packs, we started  hiking up the Hurricane Hill trail which rises about 800 feet in a mile and a half, before meeting with the trail to the Elwha which heads out at a 90 degree left angle, clearly visible on Google Maps – satellite view. Stunning panoramic views on a clear day. My friend had his GPS gizmo, and I had also downloaded the USGS maps to my cell phone, as well as having a hard copy of the paper map. The trail was easy to follow, except in the upper meadow at one point where we consulted our references to make sure we stayed on route.

The trail starts out across a broad meadow and then gently descending a steep ridgeline, before traversing high meadows and then switchbacking down into 1000 year old trees in the forest. The kids left the two dads in the dust and skipped on ahead while we paused to rest our knees, and listen to the wind blow through the tree tops.

We arrived at the car at 3:30 p.m., in a state of bliss which continues to vibrate at the cellular level, even now, back at my computer in the city while writing this. We drove back up to Hurricane Ridge, completing the shuttle (4:30 p.m.) and then headed for home. Notes: Entry into Olympic National Park requires a fee for each car. A separate back country permit is required if you are staying overnight. Visit the ONP website for full details.   Also, if you are the parent of a child in 4th grade (2015-16 school year), your entire family gets a free pass to all national parks in the U.S. (coming soon).

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Lots of marmots out for their morning strolls on the way up to Hurricane Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mt. Carrie, and the Bailey Range across the Elwha drainage to the west. (Olympus hiding in the clouds).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The magical Elwha River drainage, now open for salmon from the ocean all the way to the headwaters.

The magical Elwha River drainage, now open for salmon from the ocean all the way to the headwaters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beginning of the Elwha trail at the junction with the Hurricane Hill trail.

The beginning of the Elwha trail at the junction with the Hurricane Hill trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The deer in Olympic National Park seem relatively fearless around humans.

The deer in Olympic National Park seem relatively fearless around humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking out the ridgeline of the Elwha trail.

Looking out the ridgeline of the Elwha trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I kept feeling like we were on the set of "The Sound of Music" and Julie Andrews was about to break out singing. Two children in paradise.

I kept feeling like we were on the set of “The Sound of Music” and Julie Andrews was about to break out singing. Two children in paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upper meadows were simply spectacular. In the far distance below, a living river returns!

The upper meadows were simply spectacular. In the far distance below, a living river returns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glade of huge old growth just as we left the open meadows near the top of the ridge.

A glade of huge old growth just as we left the open meadows near the top of the ridge.

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