On a side trip from our main hiking destination we headed to Allamuchy State Park for a quick day hike around a lake. The landscape changed quite frequently on the overly flat trail through the woods. The changes in landscape were a nice surprise that kept the otherwise normal trail interesting. I especially enjoyed the fern-filled section near the end of our trail. It feels like you are totally engulfed in the plants while standing off the side of the trail and the green overwhelms your vision.
Austin, Texas has been a mixture of busy and lazy. We have seen a lot, done a little, and eaten way too much. On a lazy day, we strolled through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, where Charles Umlauf’s many sculptures adorn a gorgeous open space of green. The little ponds and bridges made the shaded walk feel like a real day off as we learned about his incredible work ethic and attention to detail and meaning in his pieces. The Diver is a rendering of Umlauf’s son, and across the pond is “The Kiss” in a very intimate and romantic location. A lot of thought was put into the placement and spacing of the work, and the garden was a great place I would love to visit again.
The multitude of ecosystems in Olympic National Park allows you to be in a tidal pool of marine life followed by a high mountain peak covered in snow and then in a temperate rainforest all within a few hours. The saturation of color and beauty in this little stretch of northwest Washington makes me imagine what this part of the country was like before the highways and Wal-Marts. We can be grateful for Parks preserving this amazing place along with so many others for us and future generations to enjoy and remember how precious and fragile the world really is. This beautiful scene is along the trail to Marymere Falls and I had to do some rock hopping to get here. It’s really a privilege to be able to immerse myself in something so beautiful and really feel a part of it.