Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Olympic National Park - Hoh Rainforest

Feeling like an interplanetary traveler, I go from beach




To rainforest in the space of an hour.



Well, that’s the Olympic Peninsula for you!



Who wouldn’t want to hike these two trails?  The Spruce Nature Trail and the Hall of Mosses. Both are easy footpaths with trailheads at the Visitors' Center.  Low-hanging fruit, but rewarding nonetheless.  




It’s a lucky sunny summer day in the forest, considering that this area gets about 12 feet of rain annually.  If you want to understand why this is so, here's a rather unromantic analogy: the Olympic Mountains to the east act as a giant shower curtain to the prodigious moisture from the Pacific.  The wet stays here and the results are freakish and enchanting. 







Giant Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Western Hemlock - all dressed in moss - tower over the soft forest floor.



This Red Alder trunk on the left displays evidence of an Elk with the munchies. 



Unlike other conifers, the needles of the Western Hemlock have a feathery texture. 



What a thrill!  We all have our favorite hobbies but, for me, there is nothing like lacing up my hiking boots and setting out to experience a magical part of the earth.



Speaking of worthwhile hobbies (and by that I mean food), I confessed to Debbie yesterday about my intrusive and persistent thoughts of cheeseburgers.  After my hike, I can fight it no more. My enabling GPS finds this drive-in located in Forks, WA.



While it’s not the best road burger I’ve ever had, it hits the spot. 




Forks is my home for the night.  Tomorrow morning I'll re-provision and head to Mora Campground and reunite with the caravan.  

9 comments:

  1. Sometimes there is nothing like a big sloppy burger after a nice day of hiking! I'm with ya there!

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      That's when you know it's been a good hike - when you start thinking about burgers and fries.

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  2. OMG, I am laughing out loud. When I passed that hamburger stand about an hour ago, I thought to myself, "Just wait until Kim sees THAT!" Knowing you were exploring on foot, I didn't think you would have made it down that far. It seems I grossly underestimated the "Wimpy" in you. LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Well, that's a little embarrassing ;-) So true though. Sully's was my first stop!

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  3. What a beautiful area! Your coverage of all the neat things to see up there are definitely getting me in a mind to make the Pacific Northwest my destination next summer.

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  4. Sometimes you need to give in to a craving--whether it's for a hike or a burger. Good for you for treating yourself to both.

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  5. Yes Magical as you said. would love to hike through there myself.

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  6. I bet the Hoh Rainforest is a mushroomer's paradise. :D

    It is so otherworldly looking! I think I'd probably prefer to hike those trails with a partner to keep it from feeling too eerie!

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  7. Can you make cheeseburgers in your li'l grill-y thing that goes in the microwave?

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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