Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hoh Rain Forest and Ruby Beach

Yesterday was the first day that we did a bit of driving. The distance wasn't long but when the roads are twisty it takes longer and the person sitting in the back feels it more. And that would be me most of the time. Quite a few years ago we started letting our daughter sit up front when we were going through any kind of winding roads. I used to get car sick as a kid so I know what it feels like.

We arrived at the Hoh Rain Forest about eleven-ish in the morning. Already the parking lot was getting full so we grabbed one of the last spots. It was either that or start parking in the streets which are narrow enough as it is.

In the Hoh, there are three trails to choose from. A real short one made mostly for wheelchairs. The next one is the 'Hall of Mosses', a 3/4 mile trail and a longer Sitka Spruce trail. We chose the Hall of Mosses.

I must say, it was quite impressive. The temperature was around 63 and the sun was out. The Hoh is one of the few temperate rain forests in the world and also the largest. It receives 12 to 14 feet of rain a year. In the Spring, Fall, and Winter the Hoh river often floods its banks and changes course. Large trees topple into the river which makes it rich for new life to begin. I never saw so much stuff growing on top of stuff.
It was quiet and I was looking for that perfect shot but just couldn't find it. The place was already crowded, with people and mosquito's. I had on a fleece jacket which protected my arms but I was getting hot and finally had to take it off. Mosquito repellent? Yes, back in the cabin. In one area I tried to get a panoramic shot but people kept coming in to take pictures too. I tried to stand and be patient but when you're being swarmed by mosquito's it isn't easy. I finally said forget it and left. The trail took longer than we thought, due to so much stopping and admiring, that we decided to have some lunch first before tackling the other trail.

We met up with a couple of women who said they had repellent in the car and let us use some so we could at least have a picnic without being bothered.

We found a spot, dragged our ice chest to it and settled in for a nice lunch. We saw in the distance birds taking over a table just as a family had left. I couldn't figure out what they were, but they sure were in the right spot to get a meal. Just for fun I grabbed a cheez-it and held it high in the air. I'll be darned if one of those birds didn't spot it and come over to get it. Well then, it was game on. I put a cheez-it on my daughters head and sure enough, they came and grabbed it. One even swiped her sandwich from her plate. Although it was too heavy and he dropped it, only for a crow to pick it up. We stayed there for along time feeding the birds every way imaginable. They even ate cookie crumbs right out of our daughter's hand.

They prefer cookies to cut up apple. Junk food birds they are. I looked it up later and they were Grey Jays, or better known as Camp Robbers. I can see why. I saw some pics of them eating at a carcass which kind of ruined the moment for me, but Oh Well, it was fun.

By then we all realized that we were too tired to do the other trail. I guess the Sitka's will just have to wait for another time, I'm sure they're not going anywhere.

My brother suggested that we hit Ruby Beach which we had planned because it was fairly close. Another full parking lot and another trail down to the beach. Sure the trail down isn't bad, it's coming back up that kills me.

When you get to the bottom you have to climb over a bunch of logs to get to the beach. Same type of rocks though, round and smooth. But the logs were not as impressive as Railto, my favorite so far. We were just so tired though so we just walked a ways, took some pictures and headed back up to the car. Of course my husband had to grab a big piece of driftwood to take with him. We let him go first and I said if I see him in handcuffs I'm going to pretend that I don't know him. Some parks don't take kindly to you taking stuff.

It was a fun but long day. We went back to the cabin, made some microwave popcorn, borrowed a neighboring campsite's fire pit and enjoyed the evening. Oh and we have no TV, so the nights are spent with my daughter texting and reading at the same time, me on the computer, and my husband just sitting there. Just like home ;-)

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