Pacific Northwest – Installment 6

I spent the entire weekend doing yard work, running errands, and doing more yard work. Hard to get caught up on everything!

We left Ocean Shores (layover spot) early on the morning of Thursday, September 5. We were all anxious to get to Olympic National Park.

But first, I wanted to visit the beach. Unfortunately, reaching the sand would have required bushwhacking through that dense brush seen in the photo below.

Ocean Shores Beach (in the distance)

That’s why the desk clerk looked at me as if I had two heads when I asked her the previous night if I could get to the beach.

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Kirkpatrick Road

She said, “It’s really dark. And you need to follow our beach path.” But I could tell she really wanted to say, “That’s a stupid idea.” I thought to myself, “Don’t Washingtonians like to walk on the beach at night?” I was forgetting that the Pacific Coast, at least in the Northwest, is MUCH wilder than the Atlantic Coast.

As Annelies and I discovered that morning, there was a path, but it wasn’t wide at all. And did require a bunch of ducking and stooping. We reached a little knoll after about 100 yards, saw how far we still had to go, and decided to turn around.

We really were looking forward to seeing Olympic National Park, too. So off we went.

For a change, we let the guys do the driving. Annelies and I rode in the backseat. I was navigating with my Google Maps app and couldn’t resist capturing a screen shot when I saw we were on Kirkpatrick Road.

It only took about an hour and a half to reach Lake Quinault from Ocean Shores.

Ranger Station


Lodge Sign


Rainy Weather


Fireplace at Lake Quinault Lodge
Fireplace at Lake Quinault Lodge


Smokey the Bear

We were undeterred by the rain. I mean, we were about to hike into the Quinault Rainforest, one of only three temperate rainforests in the Western hemisphere. And Annelies and I, being the excellent travel planners, had made sure everyone brought rain gear.

We’d only gone mere steps from the parking lot at the ranger station when we saw this…

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Steps from the Parking Lot


Behind the Ranger Station

Wow, right?

I took a ton of pictures during our hike, but am only going to share a choice few here.


Trail Finding


Two Roads Diverged…

I couldn’t help but think of Robert Frost as soon as I saw that image, which I’m glad I captured. It’s one of my favorites from the trip.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth…



I did tell y’all we laugh a lot when we are together, right? We really do. We have the guys trained to ham it up for the cameras, too.

We were all completely awed and amazed by the rain forest.



Berry Picking (blackberries)
Berry Picking (blackberries)


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I look like such a dork with my crooked glasses. They’re newish, but have been stepped on and need to be replaced.

Nurse Log


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Babbling Stream


Banana Slug


Dewy Spider Web

I’ll share more rain forest images on Flickr one day.

After we emerged from the rain forest trail, we ate lunch at the lodge. The next photo is another one of my favorites from the trip.

Lawn at Lake Quinault Lodge

I’d like to be on one of those chairs right now.

World’s Largest Sitka Spruce Tree

We stopped to visit this tree, which is near the lodge, then were on our way to Kalaloch (pronounced like “clay-lock”) Beach.

Kalaloch Beach (Beach #3)


Kalaloch Beach Reflections


Group Photo Op


Exploring the Tide Pools


Life in a Tide Pool


Exploring the Tide Pools at Kalaloch Beach


My First Rock Cairn




Kalaloch Beach

We probably spent a good hour or more exploring. I love beaches! Although there was still one left to see nearby (Ruby Beach), the sun was setting, and we still had about a 2.5-hour drive to get to Sequim.

Simple Dinner

We actually got to Sequim just as the sun was setting. We were all so bushed, we opted to order pizza for dinner.

Yet another awesome rental property.

More on Olympic National Park in Installment 7…



TRIP Re-cap


Installment 1: In the Beginning (Friday, August 30 – Monday, Sept 2)

Installment 2: Portland Morning (Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 3: Exploring the City of Portland (morning of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 4: Beyond Portland (afternoon of Tuesday, Sept 3)

Installment 5: Olympic Peninsula, Here We Come!


8 Replies to “Pacific Northwest – Installment 6”

  1. Kathy:

    There is also the HOL Rainforest and the Sol duc Hot springs which I hope you managed to find

    it’s been a while since we were at Lake Quinault but we also had lunch there.

    My most favourite beach is Rialto Beach near Forks. It is the last virgin unspoiled beach in North America

    you may have driven right past it

    also there is a troll house where you are staying

    so much to see in your area
    glad you are all having a good time

    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Bob,

      You’re getting ahead of me. 🙂

      We did make it to Rialto Beach. I told Annelies that was one of the places I absolutely HAD to see. It was gorgeous, too.

      We missed the Troll House…

      I think I want to live in Washington one day.

  2. Sigh, I just love looking at all the green mossy pictures, especially when I am too lazy to go hiking.

    I am glad you enjoyed the PNW. I am enjoying the pictures. Perfect quote to go with the two paths too.

  3. Beautiful pictures! I love the raw natural beauty the coast, it is very much like what we have here on Vancouver Island. The last picture of the pizza looks pretty yummy too, kind of making me hungry.

  4. Trobairitz, the rain forest was really, really, awesome. Moss, ferns, huge trees, waterfalls, streams. It’s just steps from the lodge, too. So if you are feeling really lazy, just hop in the car and drive up to Lake Quinault. 🙂

    I am SOOOO ready to come back and explore the rain forests and rocky coasts more. Hopefully we’ll get to meet you next time!

  5. Dar, we actually visited Vancouver Island briefly. We were all kind of tired of driving by that point so didn’t explore much at all. We walked around Victoria a bit then made our way up to Sidney. I forgot you were on Vancouver Island. It’s HUGE! We would have loved to have seen more, especially some of the coastal areas. I truly am a beach freak. I could so live in that part of the world!

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