Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Hoh Rain Forest and Mt. Rainier

So, now that the sun has come out it is time to get out and enjoy nature. The above are some pictures that I took while out and about in the Hoh Rain Forest and most recently at Mt. Rainier. While most days I am very much in touch with my girlie side, I do have moments when the tomboy in me comes out.

The Hoh Rain Fores was beautiful. It is located about 4hrs west of Seattle in the Olympic Mountains. I went over after work on the 3rd of July and spent the night at a hotel in Port Angeles. I know, I know...no camping, but my aunt and uncle were visiting from California and my aunt is soooooo over camping so hotel it was. We got up early on the 4th and hit the trail. We really lucked out on this day with only a little bit of rain that lasted for about 10 minutes. I tried to capture a little bit of what the trees were like in the forest. The trees were covered with moss and there was nothing but green everywhere you looked.

We only hiked for about three hours because I had to catch a ferry back to Seattle that night. I caught the 9:40pm ferry just in time to watch the fireworks show in Edmonds begin. It was a fun, quick trip that left me soooo tired but happy.

Now on to Mt. Rainier. I met Jeff there on Sunday afternoon to camp for the night and do some hiking. I was very proud of myself for making foil dinners that did not stick to the foil. (Tip: it is helpful to use non-stick cooking spray when doing this) Jeff reminded me that the first time I made foil dinners I left out this very important step. So helpful. :)

I am also happy to announce that I managed to stay warm, for, I think the first time EVER while camping! While Jeff laughed a lot at my -10 below down sleeping bag, and multiple layers of clothing I had on, I stayed the perfect temperature throughout the night. I have nicknamed Jeff the furnace, because he is always too hot. So while he was dying in the warm tent, with the "windows" open, I relished in the warmth of all my layers.

Even though I was warm, neither of us slept very well that night. (I think we're getting old) I have yet to master getting comfortable in a tent, on the hard, cold ground. My little REI air mattress never seems to stay inflated-I can't figure out the whole nozzle thing. I inevitably wake up with a flat mattress and a rock wedged into my side.

The sun woke us up bright and early at 6:30am,(the worst part about camping in a tent, no black out curtains). Anyways, I managed to lay there for a couple more hours, refusing to let the sun win before getting up to head out for our hike of the day.

The hike itself, appropriately named The Patriarchs of The Forest, reminded me a lot of the Hoh trail. While there is very little moss here, both hikes follow the river as it snakes its way through the woods. I think my favorite features of the old trees we found were the uniquely shaped root systems and random knots found on the trees. It was so nice to walk along the trail and witness first hand trees that, as Jeff put it, were here long before our founding fathers came to this land.

The first hike we did, though beautiful, was....short. We decided to go across the street to the East side trail to explore some more. This trail proved to be slightly more challenging and ended with a huge waterfall that gave off a refreshingly cool breeze that made the 80+ degree heat more bearable. After a quick bite to eat, we headed back to the car and up to Sunrise for some shopping.

By 3pm I was back to my car and heading home. While it is always nice to come home, and have all of the modern conveniences I become so accustomed to, I love the peace the outdoors brings. There is a part of me that would love to get up every morning and spend the day exploring new trails, but the heels were back on this morning and the concrete jungle beckoned.


hyker said...

What?! No comments about our "inappropriate" weekend on your blog? What's that all about? Yes, it was a fun weekend. I could go every weekend and not get bored.

mooney said...

That's because J doesn't read my blog. She also doesn't know me well enough to tease me about sharing a tent with a boy. Though, the fact that we are friends should tell her a little something about my twisted sense of humor. :)