Today Sam and I headed out of Seattle towards Olympic National Park. Olympic National Park is one of the few remaining Old Growth Forest left in Northwest.
The drive took us about two hours and it rained most of the way, not a promising start to spending a day at a national park. Sam's travel companion "Bobert" even woke up and watched it rain while we were driving.
Anyhow, we were here so we couldn’t worry about the weather. We started our tour at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, Washington. We watched the movie about the park and then we headed up to Hurricane Ridge. It was cloudy, foggy, and raining so we didn’t
expect to see much but what the heck we took a chance and the chance paid off. The higher up we went the less fog and rain there was it was cool to see the mountain tops peaking out above the clouds. Right before we reached the Hurricane Ridge parking lot a black tailed deer greeted us alongside the road and posed for a picture.
Even with the clouds and overcast skies the views up at Hurricane Ridge were awesome we were really glad we made the trip up.
After Hurricane Ridge our next stop was to be Hoh Rainforest, however it is kind of hard to get excited about seeing a rainforest when you’re driving in rain. Anyhow, just to give you a picture of Olympic National Park
imagine a wagon wheel with the outside rim being highway 101 and the spokes of the wheel are roads into the park to see various sites or to camp, hike, or fish. There is no road through the park so the only way to get from Hurricane Ridge on the northeastern side of the park is to take highway 101 around the park to Hoh Rainforest which is in the southwestern corner.
We shaved off a few miles by taking a “short cut” and of course those of you who know me know we were never lost during the short cut because we knew at some point we would run into the Pacific Ocean and if that happened we would then know to head south. Anyhow, our “short cut” really was a short cut and we avoided a lot of the traffic around Port Angeles.
The two and a half hour drive around the park was similar to driving in northern Michigan lots of trees however Michigan doesn’t have “hills” and really nasty curves. When the sign says take the curve at 25mph please listen to this advice and take the curve at 25 mph!
Hoh Rainforest was amazing! It gets around 180 inches of rain each year and yes we had a few sprinkles while we were there. We hiked the Hall of Mosses trail and learned how every part of the forest is important.
The ground is lush with all sorts of plant life, a certain kind of moss grows on the tree limbs which was creepy and cool all at the same time, and the trees themselves are huge. Our walk/hike was wonderful, while we
were walking the clouds broke up and we saw sunshine for the first time all day. The sunshine filtering down through the trees gave the forest a magical look.
From Hoh Rainforest we had a three and a half hour drive to Long Beach, Washington (almost to the border with Oregon) where we were spending the night.
Olympic National Park also encompasses the coast line and we made a stop at “Baby Beach” not knowing what we were going to see but wanting to get our first view of the Pacific Ocean and boy did we pick a good place to stop.
Baby Beach was beautiful, no sand to speak of but the sea stacks, the driftwood, and the flat rocks on the “beach” gave it a unique beauty neither Sam or I had seen before.
I hope the pictures are better than I can say it with words. Baby Beach is now on my “best beaches” top ten.
We finally arrived in Long Beach,
Washington tired but happy with our day at Olympic. It was nine o’clock by the time we got to our room so there wasn’t much talking just some eating and getting ready for bed.
The hotel, Adrift, is a funky minimal “green” hotel. It recycles everything and has crates for storage.
Sam is in love with the minimalistic look, me I’m just happy the bed is good because tomorrow night we’re spending it at Bullard’s Beach State Park along the Oregon coast!
Yes I will be camping, so with that being said there will be no blog tomorrow but maybe I’ll have time (in the hotel room) on Sunday evening to update everyone on our drive down the Oregon coast on Saturday and on our visit
visit actually) to Crater Lake National Park on Sunday.
So until then we are fine and hope everyone at home is too!
Ann and Sam
PS the temp today is supposed to be in the high 60’s so we’ll be thinking of all of you!