Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Hoh Rainforest

August 4- 7, 2014:

Another early start, out of the campsite at 8:15 AM, just as quiet time has ended.  Along the way on route 101 we passed along the shores of Cresent Lake which was spectacular, I wanted to stop at several vistas, but had to keep the stops short.

View of Cresent Lake from route 101
We are heading to another popular camping spot, the Hoh Rainforest campground of Olympic National Park where it is all first come, first served and no reservations. Also, on the website it says they don't recommend RV's over 21 feet, but we see a web review that claims there are many sites that can accommodate larger RV's.  We also called ahead and were told the 21 foot recommendation is mainly due to the access road.  The access road was that bad, plenty curvy, no shoulder, but not a problem at all, have been on worse.  We arrived around 10:30 to find many open sites that we could fit into with ease in Loop A.  This is a beautiful scenic campground, heavily forested adjacent to the crystal clear Hoh River.  There are no hookups, but there is a dump station, potable water, toilets, but no showers. 

Wildflowers at the campground

Alder trees at the campground

View of the Hoh River at dusk

These types of campgrounds are better suited to the tent crowd, I actually feel like an outcast of sorts here. I really don't understand the planning, or lack thereof, of these campgrounds.  The tent people and the RV people are not exactly compatible, but they mix us all together.  The tent people don't want to be next door to big RV's with their generator roaring, the awnings out with the RV'ers sitting in their gravity chairs watching their satellite TV.  The flip side is when you go into a campground and there is a large pull through RV campsite taken up by someone with a small car and a tent set up in the rear corner.  If I were king, I would have a rustic tent only section with sites sized accordingly and a separate RV section with a buffer zone in between.  Just a thought ?

After setting up, we took two short hikes near the visitors center on the Hall of Moss trail and the Spruce Nature Trail trail.  The trails were crowded with people, many french speaking tourists.

Moss is hanging heavy in the trees

Ferns are everywhere

There were signs of Elk, but we didn't run into them

View of a more open forest area

Trees are super tall and straight

The Hoh Rainforest is one of the rainiest places in the country with an average annual rainfall of 140 inches.  This particular time of the year is one of the few dry periods.  On Tuesday, we took a longer 7 mile RT hike on the Hoh River Trail.  It is the premier trail here that goes 17.5 miles into the wilderness.  It's a backpacking trip to go the whole distance and we saw many on the trail doing it.  We went  3.5 miles for a 7 mile total hike, would rate it as an easy hike in that section, but it gets much harder as you get in deeper.  It is a beautiful trail with river views, a waterfall and lots of huge trees covered with moss and lichens.

Twinkles in front of a healthy fern

An old log covered with moss

Carpeted in green

An old hollowed out stump

Lots of mushrooms too

This shows how big the trees are

Lichens on a log

The Hoh River

Next was a visit to the town of Forks, Washington which proclaims to be the Lumber Capital of the country and is also famous as the setting for the the wildly popular (I'm told) "Twilight" book sees by Stephenie Meyer.  They play that up quite big and it actually draws many tourists and Vampire fanatic's. Otherwise, the town is pretty dull, but the Timber Museum (across from the airport/dragstrip) was very good. There isn't much to do here except cut down trees and firewood is for sale everywhere.  

Forks Timber Museum

A model 1916 Case Tractor

An old Indian dugout Canoe found in the forest

The Loggers memorial

An old pickup that has gained fame in the Twilight series

We then drove west to Rialto Beach on the the Pacific coast.  Rialto beach is a beautiful spot, the classic coastal scene with a rock strewn beach, piles of driftlogs lining the shore, pounding surf and sea stack rock formations in the ocean.

A beach view next to a huge old tree

I'm not sure what they are, but were lots of them on the
beach and they were interesting

A fisherman on Rialto beach

I'm not sure what this guy was doing, was interesting too !

Next stop is a short hop south to another beach area on the Washington coast, no reservations, hope we can get in ?

Twinkles and Slick 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures, especially of Twinkles! Lookin' good girl!