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.
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.
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.
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…
I took a ton of pictures during our hike, but am only going to share a choice few here.
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.
I look like such a dork with my crooked glasses. They’re newish, but have been stepped on and need to be replaced.
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.
I’d like to be on one of those chairs right now.
We stopped to visit this tree, which is near the lodge, then were on our way to Kalaloch (pronounced like “clay-lock”) 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.
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…
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!