The weather Wednesday was rainy, so we didn’t bother trying to see the mountains again. Instead, Tyson and I went to see the Hoh rain forest and the western coast. Google’s driving time estimate should have given us 3 hours to wander around and see stuff, but I’m suspicious that estimate was wrong. It didn’t agree with the park’s time estimates. So I just sort of guesstimated times throughout the day.
Driving down to the Hoh river, we saw plenty more clear cut areas, and found at least one place the logging trucks were coming from. Comparing that devastation to the gorgeous trees I had hiked in the previous day made me feel rather guilty about building a house.
The rain forest itself was kind of bizarre, at least to my non-rain forest attuned mind. There were still the big trees we had seen the previous day, but they were all draped with moss and ferns. It really did look like a rain forest. But it also sort of looked like everything was decaying. Supposedly the moss and ferns are not parasitic. There is just that much water and nutrients everywhere. Apparently, it is such a fertile growing ground that growing on fallen logs is a good way to escape the competition on the ground (nurse log). There was one particular example where the trees had long since outgrown their nurse log, but you could tell that was how they started because they were all in a row. We did a little half mile loop from the visitor center. It seemed hilariously touristy, but that’s what Tyson’s knee was up for. There were various signs posted warning of elk harassing tourists who got too close. So guess what, almost back to the parking lot, an elk wanders out of the woods to munch right beside the path. We took pictures for a bit, then another elk wandered over too. And finally we kind of tip toed by them on the path.
Based on my time guesstimates, I figured we could go visit the coast fifteen minutes away. It was kind of gray and dreary at the beach, but it was fun to see all the driftwood (from those big trees I keep talking about) piled up. And watch the waves splash up against the sea stacks. It does look like that would have been a fun kayaking trip.
Then we drove back to the ferry, which we missed by about 10 minutes. Oops. Luckily dinner was scheduled with enough slop time that we would make it even if we caught the next ferry. Both Tyson and I would have liked to have done more hiking, but his knee prevented that. I would have liked to see some of the native tribes, but we ran short on time. So I guess we now have an agenda for next time.
Dinner was Zach’s birthday. Among other folks there, I got to visit with