Monday, July 22, 2013

Hoh Rain Forest with Amanda and Kaia

Roger here...  The day after the hike to Hurricane Ridge, we continued in the tourist mode for an all-day excursion to Forks and the Hoh Rain Forest.  This time all four of us went.  We assured Kaia that any hiking we might do would be on flat surfaces, and we bribed her with a promise to check out Forks --- Forks, Washington --- a small lumber town.  What would be so special about that for a 14-year-old?

Well.....  It was the setting for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels.  The books are about vampires, werewolves and teen angst.  The picture above was taken at the Forks, Washington Visitor Center, where we promised to take Kaia to see the Twilight sites.  Kaia is the healthy-looking one without the sinister look.

The drive to Forks was 70 miles or so.  We were hungry, of course, by the time we arrived.  So we ate a hearty breakfast at a local restaurant where we learned that the Forks Visitor Center was indeed the place to get a map showing the location of all the Twilight sites.  Bella's (the main human character, at least for a while) truck was parked outside the visitor center.  

 We were greeted by an enthusiastic lady who gave us our map.  She lamented that the movie version of the Twilight Series was filmed in Portland and the Oregon coast rather than in Forks.  (It's just not right!)  However, she proudly explained that the sites we were about to see were the basis of the novels.  So off we went on a meandering drive around town.  We stopped by Forks High School where Bella met Edward.

We visited the police station which had a display case full of Twilight memorabilia.

We parked at the Cullen house where Dr.  Cullen, Edward and the other vampires resided.   The Cullen house is currently an operational bed and breakfast; however, we were encouraged to climb the steps to the front porch to find a message from Esme, one of the friendly vampires.

Well, if the vampires are not home, we might as well move on.

The Olympic Peninsula is an amazing place.  It has spectacular mountains, abundant wildlife, tall pine forests, crystal clear lakes, driftwood covered beaches, a Native-American culture, Sasquatch, werewolves, vampires, and a rain forest.  Yes, a rain forest.

The Hoh (temperate) Rain Forest in Olympic National Park is the wettest place in the continental United States.  Rainfall there averages 240 inches per year.  

By comparison, Seattle and Chicago each only get 34 inches of precipitation per year.  And, I am pretty sure that Seattle is considered to be a rainy place.  It was sunny and dry the day of our visit.  Go figure.

We strolled through the most monochromatic place I have ever experienced on two miles of flat trails.

I was surprised to find maple trees here.  Look at the picture below to see one covered with moss.

Lush plants grow on plants that are growing on plants.  

Check out the moss and ferns that are growing on this maple tree.

Small trees are growing out of this rotting tree trunk.  This is a common occurrence here.  The rotting tree trunks are called "nurse" trees.

 As the roots of  those saplings reach the ground, the mature trees form a straight line where the original rotting log once existed.

Speaking of roots,  look at this intertwined and Tolkienesque tree.  I kept looking for hobbits, faeries, wizards and trolls.  Is that Gollum hiding in there?

Check out these ferns.  Back home in Indiana, we used to baby the ferns in our gardens, making sure they had enough water and the right amount of sunlight.  No problem here.

The flowing water in the small streams was crystal clear.  The pebbles in the photo below were at least a foot under water.

The Hoh River flows through the 
rain forest.

The turquoise blue river provided a little bit of contrast to the perpetual greeness.

We had intended to go to one of the Pacific beaches after the rain forest, but we needed to eat and get back to the dogs.  So, we started the trip back to our motor home.  (Dianne here:  We knew the day would be a long one, so we hired a dog walker at the RV park, but we still needed to get home to our buddies).

We drove many miles along the Crescent Lake area of the national park.  Pretty blue, huh?

Dianne took a nice picture of flowers in front of the lake.

We stopped in Port Angeles for dinner at an Italian Restaurant, Bella Italia.  It just so happens that this was the same restaurant where  Bella and Edward had their first date in the Twilight saga.  Kaia approved of the choice.  

After dinner, Dianne snapped a picture of the garden across from our parked car

and the house that went with it.  

On the next day, we made the long drive back to the Seattle airport so Amanda could fly back to her home in Fort Myers.  Time to go back to work.  

Just a few more pictures of the joy she and Kaia brought us while we were all together.  We miss our three girls and look forward to our next time together.  I wonder where it will be?

The pet photo of the day shows Tequila pestering Kaia.  She wants to play!


heyduke50 said...

loved hiking in the Hoh many years ago and even saw my first banana slug there...

Bill and Nancy said...

What a wonderful hike!! Great times with family:o))

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