|The Olympic Peninsula & National Park - August 2009|
Our lodgings on the Peninsula were first rate, Quinault Lodge, Quinault Wa. deep in an old growth forest, Kalaloch Lodge, Forks, Wa., on the Pacific coast, and Lake Crescent Lodge Port Angeles, Wa., in the Sol Duc Valley.
Kalaloch - Close By the Sea
In the photo above upper left: My life's just a walk on the beach! Red rain jackets looked so good in photos from our previous trips I had to get one of my own. Upper right: Forests populated the larger rock formations off the coast of Second Beach. The sea's always fascinated me. These sights only strengthen the connection. Lower right: We hiked to the end of the Hoh River where it empties into the Pacific. Bottom center: East Coast driftwood is so much kindling compared to that along these beaches. Years of logging and storms created this heap of giants' pick-up-sticks. At high tide these logs can crush the careless beachcomber. Bottom left: Jonathan Livingston Seagull perhaps? This one shunned his fellows company becoming lord of all he surveyed.
Into The Woods (With Apologies to Stephen Sondheim)
In the photo upper left: Mountains seen from the Sol Duc Trail in the Sol Duc Olympic Park. Upper right: These forests are dense. I've seen The Wilderness forest in Virginia that swallowed two Civil War armies but it doesn't come close. The first expedition by non-native peoples hacked its' way through these old growth forests. Today a hiker can cover a route in a few days that took a month to cut. The Western Hemlock in picture center started life on a nurse log getting a leg up on trees starting on the forest floor. Look for trees along a straight line and your likely seeing the legacy of a nurse log. Lower right: A colorful Bracket Fungus. Bottom center: A massive Douglas Fir in the Quinault Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula. Bottom left: Deer Lake, the terminus of the Deer Lake trail. We picked up the trail at Sol Duc Falls. The trail's rocky and steep with an elevation gain of approximately 1800 feet and a 7.6 mile round trip, the toughest hike of the week for moi.
Water, Water Everywhere ...
and more than enough to drink. Warm Aleutian and North Pacific currents flow along the Washington coast. Westerly winds over the warmer waters drive moisture heavy clouds off ocean. As the clouds rise up the western slopes of the Olympic Mountain range they dump their cargo. These conditions support one of the worlds temperate rain forests.
In the photo above, upper left: A view of Sol Duc Falls. Upper right: Water seeps out of every nook and cranny … moss heaven!. Lower right: It seemed that a new waterfall appeared around every corner. Lower center: We followed the Hoh River's course through the valley, stopping here for lunch. Bottom left: As we turned another corner ….
Seen in the Woods
In the photo upper left: Devils Urn fungus's found a home on a rotted log. center top: Don't touch the Devil's Club! right: Bracket fungus can be found on most of the older trees. right center: It's hard to beat a Olympic Chipmunk for "cute" lower right: Moss is a happy camper in the humid air of the forest. Lower left: We saw this Black Tailed deer as we ascended the Hurricane Ridge trail …, and on the way back down. He'd found a comfortable spot and had no intention of moving.
The Bobbsey Twins
In the photo above, upper left: we're perched on a highway bridge over the Hoh River. Upper right: Atop Hurricane Ridge. Lower right: Stopping along an Olympic Peninsula trail. Lower left: Deep inside an ancient Kalaloch Red Cedar.
Rock Goddess - Pacific NW Series
What can I say, Joyce Rocks!