Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Olympic National Park- Day 1

We took leave of Mark and family at the boat dock of Lake Cushman and headed toward Olympic National Park to spend two days exploring.  We settled in at The Olympic Lodge in Port Angeles for two nights and it was great.  I was hoping to stay in one of the National Park Lodges but we decided too late and none were available!

Of course, two days weren't nearly enough time to really, truly explore the Park, but we chose to spend our time in the Hoh Rain Forest, tide-pooling and hiking Hurricane Ridge.  What impressed me the most our whole time in Washington was how gigantic the trees are.  They reach up high into the sky and are beyond stunning!  Soon after we entered the Rain Forest we came upon this Sitka Spruce which is said to be one of the largest Sitka Spruce in the US.  It's giant.  And beautiful.  And ancient.

We went on a Ranger led hike on the Hall of  Mosses trail, which we did to help the children get their Jr. Ranger badges, but it turned out to be fascinating and very informative.  The Hoh Rain Forest is a temperate rainforest that gets an average of 140 to 170 inches of rain a year.  The day we visited the sun was shining and temperatures were perfect.

We learned about nurse logs that are trees that have fallen but on which new trees grow.

A cathedral of trees that was spectacular.

 After our hike/ranger program, we continued on the Hoh River Trail for a bit of a longer hike.  We stopped by the river to rest and skip stones.  The river was glacier fed and the water was a beautiful gray color.

Even an old phone booth wasn't immune from the moss!

So...on the way back to our hotel Kathleen and I made the guys stop for this picture.  We couldn't help ourselves even though our driver (Bryce I'm looking at you) made fun of us a fair amount.  Twilight fans will understand.

(there was a lot of laughing)

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