Olympic National Park

Because I have fallen so far behind in my daily posts (today is actually 7/28) I have decided on another approach. I am going to group days and topics together and see how that goes. Daily blogging just isn’t working on many levels: little time and poor internet chief among them.

Wednesday, July 17. Low: 59; High: 72.

We set out mid-day for Madison Creek Falls and a picnic by the Elwha River. We took a nature trail behind the Elwha campground into a beautiful woods, with heavy moss, giant sword ferns and tall trees. We had wonderful weather with a high of 72 degrees.

Thursday, July 18. 65 miles to Forks 101 RV Resort, Forks WA. Elevation: 300 feet. Lows: low to mid 50s; Highs: low to mid 60s.

We had just gotten started driving to Forks, WA when we rounded a corner and found emergency workers by an overturned tractor trailer and a load of lumber. Shortly, we were past them and enjoyed beautiful Lake Crescent as we drove along the shore. It was dammed long ago by glaciers and is over 600 feet deep and is a beautiful deep aquamarine blue color.

After a short drive, we reached Forks and set up camp. The town, and entire area no longer have a cable provider as their company went belly-up two years ago. We do have some spotty wi-fi at the site. Besides that, we really liked the campground and the area. The owners of the campground have been there 28 years and have an extensive collection of photos and newspaper clippings, and handouts of places to visit.

After lunch, we headed to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center in Olympic National Park. It was a pretty drive, fir forests, some road resurfacing, and a nice drive along the Hoh River. It’s a wide swift moving river, and the water is gray with glacial run off. In places where the river swells it’s banks after snow melt, and shrinks to a small flow, the river bottom of smooth rounded rocks is visible. We drove through a forest of sitka spruce and western hemlock, with sections of western red cedar and heavy moss. Just before our destination, we stopped by the Big Sitka Spruce Tree. It is 500 to 550 years old and massive… height is over 270 feet; diameter at breast height – 12 1/2 feet. This is one of the largest sitka spruce trees in the United States. Except where it penetrates valleys such as the Hoh, the sitka spruce grows along a narrow coastal strip from northern California to Alaska. High rainfall, fog, and ocean-moderated temperatures create optimum growing conditions for these monarchs…

We reached the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and took a 1.2 mile nature trail (that’s my limit walking) through the old growth forest of spruce and hemlock.

Friday, July 19. Gray and overcast; low: 56; high: 66 degrees.

We left for Flattery Point with a picnic lunch but it wasn’t a nice day at all: quite cool, misty, gray and overcast. We drove along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and decided to have lunch out at the Warmhouse Restaurant in Neah Bay, on the Makah Indian Reservation. We had delicious smoked salmon chowder and BLTs and a view of Neah Bay marina.

After lunch, we continued to Flattery Point and walked the trail… It was beautiful in the cedar woods. Misshapen and bent cedar trees, lots of moss, and very damp. There were several boardwalks over the wet areas and stairs going down. By the time I got to the first scenic turnout with a view of the ocean, I decided to go no further. Too many stairs to return to the truck. John continued to the end of the trail and was rewarded with a view of sea caves and a beautiful coastline. I was content to wait on a bench with my amazing view of the coast. I could just make out a gray heron and seals in the kelp beds down below near the sea stacks. John soon returned, armed with my camera and some good photos for me to view later. We drove back to the RV after a very good day.

About Holly Ritger

I am retired, enjoying being a grandmother, traveling to National Parks and other interesting places in our RV with my husband of 43 years, and visiting with friends and family. Hobbies: photography, learning about wildflowers and birds, and trees, and reading from my kindle.
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2 Responses to Olympic National Park

  1. Nancy Hart says:

    Hi H,
    Your photos are beautiful, and you have a real flair for writing. I’M PROUD OF YOU!


  2. Holly Ritger says:

    Well, I don’t know about the writing but thank you dear. I’m glad to see you are going online to see the photos!


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