Camping in the rain forest

Aug 10, 2012

Hwy 101 to Lake Quinault
The Olympic National Park is a magical place.  Our four day trip to the lush rain forest was the most anticipated trip of the summer.  We traveled the west side of the park, jumping from river valleys to the coastal strip.  Wherever we went, we were greeted by giant moss covered trees, teal-colored waters, and wild huckleberries.  I was honestly half expecting to spot an ewok or fairy in the woods.

Quinault Rain Forest
world's largest known western red cedar ///  19.5' in diameter
This 1926 lodge on Lake Quinault was completed in 53 days. 
The first two days were spent camping on Lake Quinault, not too far from the historic lodge.  My highlight of the trip was swimming in the glacier-fed lake on a sunny afternoon.  So refreshing and beautiful. 

Hoh River
Hoh Rain Forest
I can see why the famous Cullen family of Twilight would choose to live in this area.  The rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula receive 12 feet of rain a year.  So if you're trying to get away from sun, this is the place to be.  It rained every day of our trip, preventing wet clothes or towels from completely drying out.  Fortunately, modern outdoor gear, for the most part, protects us from the elements.  I can't imagine what it would've been like for native people and pioneers 150 years ago. 

Rialto Beach
Ruby Beach
The rocky beaches along Washington's coastline are a wondrous site indeed.  We camped one night at Rialto Beach, which is a 20 minute drive from Forks.  I found the band of skeletal trees to be a little eerie, but they do make for some great pictures.  We looked for some rocks to add to our collection, and we found a number of beauties.

We're still unpacking from our trip, but I can't wait to sit down at my art desk while the images are fresh in my mind.  And we're already mapping out a trip to the northern side of the park next summer.  Hurricane Ridge, here we come.     

8 comments:

Caitlin said...

This forest looks like a treasure. Have you read "One Square Inch of Silence" ?

Cathy said...

Caitlin,

I haven't read it, but I just checked out the website. Fascinating stuff. And to think that we were so close to "the quietest place in the U.S." I believe it.

LimeRiot said...

The Olympic forest is such a magical place. Lake Quinault is definitely in my top 3 weekend escape destinations :). I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself. Your photos are gorgeous!

nathalie et cetera said...

This leaves me breathless! So beautiful!

Katie Probert said...

Your photos are stunning and this place looks magical! Those trees are so majestic! I'd LOVE to visit this place one day. Katie. xxx

Susurrus said...

Your photos are gorgeous and the Oregon tourism department should hire you! I've been to a natural undisturbed by logging forest twice, once in Oregon, and once in I think North Carolina. Both trips are unforgettable because Nature's perfection is truly magical; both times I felt transported to heaven. I can't wait to see what art will come from this trip of yours!

Jocy said...

My goodness, your pictures make me miss Oregon so much. Do you mind if I repost this picture of the coast- with due credit?

Jocy said...

I mean, Washington! I obviously cannot get Oregon out of my head!

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