09 July 2008

2008 June 14 - Olympic National Park, Washington

What might appear to be two lovers gently embracing each other in the moss draped stillness of the Hoh Rainforest is actually a fight to the death in this kill or be killed world. The two trees are growing on a fallen "nursery" log and they are competing for all available nutrients (they don't actually have to compete for water in this area).

My thoughts on that day:
- fairly comfy beds, heater keeps the rooms warm enough, but squealy neighbors' doors wake me as they leave in the morning
- pillows get a 5/10, they are flat by the time I am ready to drift off

- breakfast will be fruit and oatmeal and nuts provided by our lovely box o' food

- car ride to big cedar tree, then we drove to Duncan Memorial Cedar Tree, the turnoff is south of mile marker 171, between Ruby Beach and Hoh Rainforest - we recommend the Duncan over the Big Cedar Tree, the drive is further but it is worth it

- no grass burs, no fire ants, no mesquites, no mosquitoes, no sweltering heat in June ... we could get used to this
- we've seen three squirrels, two chipmunks, a mountain beaver, a pair of woodpeckers, a snail, lots of Robins, several corvids, several other unidentified bird species, a deer, and one otter on our hikes through the Hoh Rainforest today; plenty of scat
- high of 63F (17.2C) expected at Hoh
- the trails are gorgeous: a fern, maple, and conifer lovers paradise
- probably about four miles worth of trail hiking today, some elevation change, but not much
- ate lunch in the car
- hit Ruby beach on the way back to the hotel, probably the best "BEACH" we've seen so far - deep enough to hang out and watch the waves, play in the surf, enjoy the creek runoff ... BUT, as it is so accessible, humans are the only wildlife seen in the area
- temperatures were very comfortable today, went without vest and jacket for half the day

-got back to lodge and the room was sweltering, poorly insulated and single paned window and sliding glass door facing the coast turns our room into a greenhouse, ay yi yi!

- we'll have to come back to WA during winter to see if we can stand it ... because in June, we love it

- shower with mostly warm water and plans to walk along the beach, we had a beautiful sunset, and admired a towering sandcastle being slowly demolished by the incoming tide
- comparing Kalaloch Beach to Ruby Beach .. Kalaloch is even larger, more easily accessible, but has little of the textural quality of Ruby ... Kalaloch offers the minimum amount of climbing yet

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