Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Rainforest and a Beach–Olympic National Park


On August 25, Mark, Kim and I decided to do some more exploring of Olympic National Park. We got a late start, which is normal for us. We headed to the Hoh Rain Forest.


Like most of the west, they have had a very dry year and even the rain forest was much dryer than normal. We drove about 80 miles to the visitor center. It is a very small visitor center. This is another example of an old growth forest. The huge trees are very impressive. They have Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedar and Big Leaf Maple.















Mark enjoyed the large trees. We have seen them a number of times, but this was a first for him.


There are a number of hiking trails that lead out of the visitor center. We decided to combine two of them to make a 3 mile hike. It was a really nice walk. This area gets some very strong winds and can knock down these awesome trees. I would hate to be here when that happened. We heard that one broke and fell just a few days after we were there during a major storm, but I will tell that story in a later post.

There was some cool looking moss covering some of the lower branches of the Large Leaf Maples.


Many of the trees we were looking at are over 1000 years old. I have a hard time getting my head around that length of time for something to be living. Kim and Mark next to the roots of a large tree. They are lifted up off of the ground due to the presence of a “nurse” log. It long ago decomposed and left the base of the tree off the ground. You could look right through this one.


We enjoyed the rainforest, but we really wanted to go to the Pacific Ocean. Mark had not been to the Pacific Ocean in his life, so this was important to all of us. We stopped in the town of Forks for dinner and then headed to Rialto Beach.

When we arrived we were blown away by the largest driftwood I have ever seen.



We played around on the wood for a while and took some pictures. Then we saw the beautiful rocks in the distance. We HAD to walk to them.


Kim has to get her feet in the ocean.



I love this shot of Mark:


It was setting up for a beautiful sunset, so we walk down the beach about 2 miles to get the rocks in the sunset shots.






Maybe too many pictures, but I loved how they came out. Here is Mark looking to the future. 




OK, OK, enough already.

Mark told us later that this was his favorite part of his trip. I think it was our favorite part of our time together also. It was just beautiful. I will not soon forget this incredible evening at Rialto Beach on the Washington Coast.

On August 26, Mark wanted to take it easy and we certainly did not mind. We just hung around the Dungeness Campground and then Mark decided to take a walk by himself out to the lighthouse. When he got back I looked at the mileage and saw he walked almost 11 miles. So much for taking it easy.

The next day we needed to move back closer to Seattle to get Mark over to see a friend. They had plans to visit the PAX convention. Mark is a huge personal technology enthusiast and this convention is what he likes to do. We will cover the next few days in my next entry including the crazy storm.

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