Next morning we had breakfast, packed up our stuff and went off to do a hike
. Following the rangers instructions we went off on a 2.5hr hike to the waterfall at Tom Creek along the Hoh River. It was like walking in to Fern Gully. It was soo green. The first rainforest we had been to that wasn't tropical. Everything was covered in moss...the trees were either mossy or had hair growing off them. We were hoping to see more fauna but as it is only the beginning of the spring season not too much was out and about. What was so fascinating was that so many of the trees were intertwined or growing on top of one another. This is because there is so much rainfall that the trees don't need much root base...they eventually fall over because of this and then the seedlings end up hatching out of the trunks. Crazy!! We made it to the falls and enjoyed a morning tea muesli bar before heading back. The trail also ran along the Hoh river which gave us spectacular views of the snow capped mountains in the distance.
Finally we were on the road to Portland. We went via two towns...Astoria and Cannon Beach. We entered Astoria on the worlds longest truss bridge and headed up hill for panoramic views over the town and out to the pacific ocean. We raced to Cannon Beach which was further down the coast to catch the sunset. It was pretty spectacular!!! As the sun set in a combination of blues, pinks and yellows, we clambered over the rocks to look at the biggest in size and quantity of starfish we had ever seen. There were up to 10 per rock and they were vibrant orange and purple. Also very cool green sea anemone and thousands of mussels lined the rocks.
As night fell we drove to Portland...and after contemplating a nights sleep in a motel we settled for the walmart carpark! Much cheaper...instead we bought a polar fleece blanket..and we were still $30 better off than if we had stayed in a motel!!
We drove along Hoh river toward the campsite and were surrounded by moss covered ground and hairy mossy trees..the scenery change was quite sudden and very magic. We had our first encounter with a group of Elk and then rolled in to the campground. It was like a scene out of an American movie. A grassy patch with table and fire..a river running by with leafless trees and pebbles lining the waters edge. Then further in the distance was the dense greenery of the forest covering the rolling mountains! Magic! After the freezing night previously we decided that we would sleep in the car! We enjoyed the sunset as we had our dinner and a little vodka to keep us warm! We had bought fire starters and wood so Phin could make us a fire! Much better!! After a cup of tea, we retired to E.E. (the name of our jeep - I will explain that later) and slept much better!!!