Son B and I recently spent several days camping at the Hoh River Campgrounds in Olympic National Park in Washington State. We woke in the morning sheltered in the arms of mountains and listened to the sound of the rushing river while we breakfasted amid tall tree shadows and dappled sunlight. Waking up to this view was to wake happy. We often put our chairs in the grassy spot in the foreground and ate our meals surrounded by beauty. It was an unparalleled dining room.
The Pacific Northwest is unlike the East Coast in many ways. NW ocean beaches boast more fog and wind, the land leading to the beaches is steeper; often mountains have their toes in the water. These are headlands at Ruby Beach, WA.
We hiked for miles daily into the temperate rain forest. We were not eaten by cougars nor frightened by bears. The closest we got to an elk, angry or otherwise, was a fresh pile of trailside dung. We did encounter this little fellow...
We followed the Moss Trail into Hobbit land. Most of the moss we saw was club moss that draped itself from the branches but one could see common witches hair and fairy barf if one looked closely!
To see the tops of the trees one has to lean back and look up, up, up. Most of the old growth canopy reaches 100-200 feet into the air and some of the trees have been standing 1,000 years. The silence below is punctuated with the cries of jays and crows. Deep in the forest the hush is palpable and in some places is so Hobbit-like you expect to see Frodo step out into the path.
Every day was an adventure from sunrise to sunset. To be out of doors for the better part of each day, to cook and eat in the sunshine and soft wind, to watch the sun sink slowly into the water, to count the stars and wish on the moon before bed is to be aware of one's self in the world.