Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pacific Northwest Travels

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.

16 comments:

Tabor said...

and to do it all with one's son...priceless.

focusfinder said...

Bill Bryson watch out!

Brian Miller said...

this looks like a fabulous trip...waking up in the mountains is an amazing experience every time....wonderful pics...thanks for sharing a bit of it with us...

Jo said...

Pauline...! I didn't know you were in my neck of the woods (literally). I'm so glad you had a good time. It's wonderful here, isn't it? And yes, very much like the east coast.

I love the old growth forests in the summertime. :-)

Hilary said...

What a lovely area.. you captured it so beautifully with your camera and your words. You always do.

deb said...

I clung to every word and photo of this. doing something like this is very high on my list.

what this says of your love as a mother, to share this with your son... wow.

Pauline said...

Tabor - indeed! We had a marvelous time with plenty of interesting talk and lots of hugs.

haha B. (and thanks :)

Brian - to be out of doors all day and grow sleepy under the stars is the best way to live!

Jo - I waved in your direction :)

Thanks, Hilary - it was an awesome trip.

Deb - this eldest son is as much an outdoor person as I am so camping and hiking with him is pure pleasure.

windblownbutterfly said...

Wonderful narrative and beautiful pictures, Pauline! I chuckled over "witches hair and fairy barf", I've never heard that before!

Scented Leaf said...

I'm glad to find your blog. Amazing trip. You have gathered together the mirage of forest, ocean waves and mountains charm.

Barbara said...

What a great opportunity to spend time with someone you love in such a beautiful place. That should get you ready for going back to school!

Meggie said...

I echo Tabor entirely. The magic of a chance such as that would be unequalled.

patteran said...

How entirely beautiful! I've been trying to find the means recently - financial and temporal - to fly out to BC to stay with my oldest friend. I visited him in '93 and got a glimpse of what you have represented so graphically here and I would love to experience it again with Emma and the kids. Maybe when we've sold the old house...

Pauline said...

Hello WBB! Witches hair is a type of moss, fairy barf a type of lichen. The forest was full of delicate things such as these!

Scented Leaf - thanks for stopping by. It was a fabulous trip!

Meggie, to be in such surroundings with my son was a double treat!

Dick - hope you get to make the trip. The surroundings are astounding.

Tabor said...

Thank you. Oe would think i could remember grammar school English!@!

Frank Baron said...

It's like Nature's cathedral. How fortunate to be able to spend some time there!

Lovely pics and thoughtful, well-expressed sentiments. Good stuff, Pauline. :)

Marion said...

Unbelievable photography and post...I shall look forward to visiting the East Coast, to note the differences.

It must have been fantastic to be able to do this with your son. What an opportunity to know each other better!