Traveling and Hiking in the Rain

My spouse and I just returned from our anniversary vacation to the Olympic National Park and Rainforest – specifically, the Hoh and Quinault rainforests. The Park was established in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and encompasses 922,650 acres of unique landscapes: rainforests, magnificent beaches on the Pacific coast, meadows, rivers, and mountains. The extensive history of this beautiful area can be found here:

https://www.olympicnationalparks.com/discover/area-information/

As this trip was a celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary, we returned to the areas of our first vacations together. The wild beaches we so love on the Pacific Coast – Ruby, La Push, Rialto – have deep meaning for us. Of the three, Ruby Beach is our favorite. The sound of the tide rushing over the rocky beach, unique and rugged rock formations – all combine to make Ruby Beach one of the most beautiful and interesting beaches on the Pacific Coast.

From the top of the trail to Ruby Beach.
A rare ray of sunshine brings out colors in the water – and shadows of the photographer.

Miles of good hiking trails in the Hoh and Quinault Rainforests were almost empty of fellow hikers. This vacation, being in the off-season and during a rainy spell, allowed us to stop and take in the overwhelming beauty of life in these distinctive forests.

Moss covers every limb of every tree.
These hemlocks were sprouted from and nurtured by a nurse log countless years ago.
Some of the sword fern (Polystichum munitum) reach eye-level.
A huge old stump supports ‘young’ Hemlock trees and sword ferns.
Nothing really ever dies in these forests.
And streams run throughout.
Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and a few vine maples (Acer circinatum) in the background on the Hoh River Trail.
On the Kestner Homestead Trail, an ancient Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) generously shares its limbs with moss.
In the Quinault Rainforest, you’ll be left speechless.
The canopy of this ancient Spruce.
Even with another hiker for scale, the size of this spruce is difficult to take in.
Standing its ground. It’s a humbling experience to be in this trees’ presence.

If you haven’t visited the Olympic National Park and Forest, make time to do so. The unique and ancient beauty found here is beyond compare.

Clouds reflected on Lake Quinault.
Lake Quinault Lodge, built in 1926.

I wish you good hiking, clear water, and a bit of sun to warm your soul.

4 thoughts on “Traveling and Hiking in the Rain

    1. The Lodge is absolutely beautiful! My spouse and I spent our last evening there sitting in the lobby, listening to the fire. And you all in SoCal may not have all 4 seasons, but you do have some spectacular summer evenings!

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  1. Great pix of impressive plants. I’m surprised that they haven’t protected the root zone of the Sitka spruce from people compacting the soil- doesn’t take that long to kill even a giant tree.

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    1. I was surprised, also. When we were there, a woman in a red coat was hugging the tree – standing on top of the root zone and hugging it. I imagine that countless folks have done that over the years.

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