Monday, April 26, 2010

Hoh Rainforest

Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest was our major goal while touring the Olympic National Park. We shot the first day of our trip at the Cape and visiting Neha Bay. That evening we checked into a motel at Forks. Maybe you are familiar with the science fiction Twilight book and movie series?  I got through the Harry Potter books and did not pursue that next popular series. Anyway, the setting for Twilight is Forks. We were told at the motel that Twilight  has helped the economy of this town. The picture below, taken at the local burger joint, tells it all. There are many stores in Forks selling Twilight souvenirs and offering trips to the sites.
Our first thrill on that second day was the sight of two elk who stepped onto the road as we entered the rain forest. Unfortunately as fast as they appeared they also disappeared! The rain came off and on while we were in Hoh Rainforest. It seemed like the full ten feet of rain that falls on this forest in a year fell on the one day we were there!  My brother Wayne and John had full rain gear, tops and bottoms, while I just had a rain coat. I quit hiking after two short trails and then sat in the car while Wayne and John did part of a third trail.
 The paths through the forest were a challenge to navigate as quite a few were either totally under water or, at best, quite soggy. Notice the trail in the picture below. I did not have on waterproof hiking boots so I climbed up a log on the right side in order to by-pass the puddle. Also notice the length of those logs. It may give you an idea  of the full height of the trees in the forest.
I really can't complain too much about the wet weather,however (after all we are talking rain forest). The beauty of the lush vegetation was awesome. The presence of many ferns and towering mossy old growth woods of spruce,firs and hemlocks made up for any wet discomfort we felt! And I could not get over the many clear mountain streams of water we saw. I think any pictures which I took in the forest really can't capture its full beauty.

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