Carved Animals by Sandra Healy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rainy Day in Olympic NP

Today was a day for little walks to beaches and little nature loops in the rainforest, all with umbrella in hand, and usually with camera not.

I think this bridge was the coolest thing I saw all day. How could the National Park Service allow something so non standardized? It was a nice beach too, with waves just roaring in and up the cobble beach. Too much water to look in tidepools though.

I drove up the north Quinault road stopping at the visitor center (closed as usual, sometimes they're open on the weekend) for a walk around the rainforest loop. It was a nice one; I like the maples draped with moss. A side trail took me to a homestead which it looks like they're restoring. Unlike any other nature loop, this one actually had the booklets available so I got to read what all the numbered posts indicated. Like beaver felled trees though there are no beavers now. And a rushing stream that dries up in the summer. Hard to believe anything around here is ever dry. I was surprised to see another car in the parking lot when I finished but never saw another person.

Soon after that the road became dirt, crossed the river and became the South Quinault Road and I headed back towards 101. After passing about 3 closed campgrounds I finally found an open one where, what a surprise, I'm the only camper. There are some trails right out of the campground so I did the Rainforest Loop first. It was too dark to take good photos, but here's one of a stream where it goes under the road, as does the trail. There were a few other hikers in the rain, who I imagined were staying at the Quinault Lodge nearby; they had that bright clean enthused look of people out for their afternoon constitutional with comfortable accommodations waiting for them back at the lodge. I enjoyed the signs along the trail, each of which included identified animal tracks along the bottom, and many included Native American stories as well.

 I finished the loop and walked right by my truck and along the lakeside trail towards the lodge about ¾ mile away. All along, looking down on the trail and the lake were silent vacation cottages.

It was getting dark, or should I say darker when I got back to the camper. Dinner was easy: yesterday's leftover rice, mushroom, winter squash, and brussels sprouts medley.
 I've ascertained that the auxiliary battery is dead but have no idea why. So my overhead lighting doesn't work with any enthusiasm. But I have plenty of other lighting and the furnace appears to work just fine. However it's a nuisance to charge the computer & other electronics - have to do it while driving.

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