Thursday, September 6, 2012

DAY 16- Twilight, Beaches, & Rainforests...

After an evening of a fun filled construction drive to Forks, I basically stopped at the first motel that said they were AAA Approved.  After checking in, I went into Forks 2 more blocks and stopped at a local hamburger joint called Sully’s.  Their burgers weren’t too bad but the hand dipped onion rings were out of this world. Yum!  They even had a Bella Burger on a special menu.  Yes, one of those Twilight references.
Photo- A Twilight store on main road of Forks.

The next morning, I drove around Forks.  Yes, there was more Twilight stuff going on here.  There were signs about Twilight tours some advertising that the music is playing and Edward is waiting, but Bella and Jacob would be there too.  There were two stores on the main drag area one was Dazed by Twilight and the other, right across the street I might add, was Native Twilight.  But can you blame them for capitalizing on it when the logging industry and the economy have taken a dive in the last few years.
Photos- Of signage out towards La Push.

Next, I drove out to La Push to see the beaches.  On the way out to the beaches, I saw a sign stating No Vampires beyond this point and Twilight Treaty Line.  I was cracking up pretty hard I almost drove off the road.  Then, there was a Jacob Black’s Vacation Rentals outside a house that looked like what they used in the movie, hmmmm.  I continued to drive out as far as I could on the road out to La Push which ends in the Quileute Indian Reservation town called La Push.  There are 3 beaches; the first one is a Tribal beach and you can drive right up to.  I stopped, got out, and walked around for a bit.  It was terribly foggy along the entire beach but I tried to take a couple of photos.  I found some cool shells that were an almost royal blue with black.
Photo- 1st Beach at La Push.  Just a BIT of fog!

I then turned back up the road I had just driven, avoiding the loose dogs in La Push.  It seems like they just let the dogs roam where they want on the reservation.  I drove to the 2nd beach but the parking lot was swamped and the smallest one of the three.  So I drove to the parking area of the 3rd beach, I got out and proceeded to do the 1.4 mile trail to the beach.  I walked through a very wet forested land on the way.  It was so quiet and I felt so remote it was a bit surreal.  I got to the beach and again there was a fog.  But this beach was a little larger and had more land area to see that wasn’t covered by the fog.  There were a couple of tents set up where people were camping on the edge of the beach near the forest; an interesting idea. 
Photo- The trail to 3rd Beach at La Push.
Photo- 3rd Beach at La Push. Not quite as foggy.
Photo- Here's what the 3rd beach looks like without tons of fog.

Next, I drove back through Forks on my way south to Hoh Rain Forrest which is in the Olympic National Park.  It was about 22 miles south of Fork that I turned and then there was an additional 13 miles to the gate area.  But it was a rather amazing drive as you went in more because there were tall slim evergreen trees on both sides of the road that were covered in green moss and the forest floor was covered in ferns.  Here and there you could see a wide river off to one side where there were fly fishermen.
Photos- The VERY green Hoh Rainforest at Olympic National Park.

A rain forest needs several different things to have it happen and this area of Washington has all of the ingredients.  I was the most amazed that this average rainfall for this rain forest was about 142 inches per year. WOW!  They listed other cities to compare to like Seattle only averages 42 inches per year and Phoenix averages 9 inches per year.  142 inches of rain-- That’s a lot of rain!

I went for a short hike called the Hall of Mosses.  It was an easy hike of about .8 mile with a short additional spur of 200 ft.  I took it at an easy pace and enjoyed looking at the varieties of moss, ferns, and trees.  They were all SO green too.  Some of the trees were huge and very tall.  I guess that some of the trees can get up to 200 ft. tall and as big as 30 ft. around.  It certainly made my 5ft 6in frame seem small standing among them.
Photos- Ruby Beach in Olympia National Park.

From there I continued south on Hwy 101 till I saw the turn off for the Ruby Beach which is in the Kalaloch part of the Olympic National Park.  It’s a HUGE Park and claims a great deal of the northwestern corner area of Washington State.  This beach area was also very foggy but it had some very interesting rock formations and it was an easy walk down.

From there I decided to head further south.  I had a late lunch in Aberdeen, and while there I started looking at my Washington map.  I decided that I want to see about going over to visit Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen’s while I’m kind of midway down in the state.  Then I can work my way back over to the coastline.  So I started to head east on Interstate 12 and spent the night in Centralia. 

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