Day 455: Westward Hoh! (Vampire Threat Level: Medium)

This morning we left the Walmart of Port Angeles and drove west to the town of Forks, Washington.  Forks is an unremarkable town, but it happens to be the setting for the Twilight series of vampire novels, along with the village of La Push on the Quileute reservation.  From Forks, we turned off US 101 and headed West towards La Push.  Along the way, we spotted local features targeted towards fans of Twilight, who no doubt provided a healthy economic boost to the region, especially during “Stephenie Meyer Day” every September:

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At last we reached Rialto Beach, which is within the coastal unit of Olympic National Park and is across the Quillayute River from La Push.  It was a typical cloudy day on the Washington coast:

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Rialto Beach is a sandless beach made up entirely of pebbles.  James Island is just offshore:

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Driftwood details:

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The fearless explorer:

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Sometimes retreat is in order:

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Looking North towards what might be Cape Johnson:

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From Rialto Beach, we drove back to Forks, then continued south until the turnoff that took us east into Olympic National Park’s Hoh Rainforest.  Hoh receives 140 to 170 inches of rain per year, making this area the wettest part of the continental US.  With all this water, plant live thrives so there’s intense competition for real estate.  As soon as a tree falls over, plants start to grow on it, since seeds that fall on the tree trunk aren’t in the shadow of already established plants on the ground:

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Moss festoons everything that doesn’t move:

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Baby ferns grow on a newly fallen tree:

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Another view of the fallen tree.  Note the saplings growing out of it:

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Trying to move a tree:

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Many trees here have vaulted roots, as they started life on a fallen tree which has since rotted away:

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Living biomass covers every square inch of surface here:

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A foggy day on the Hoh River:

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Peeking mushrooms:

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This row of trees is growing out of a single fallen tree trunk:

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The kids examine a slug:

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Up close with moss:

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Even streams are choked with plant life:

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We left Hoh Rainforest and continued South to Ruby Beach, which is also within Olympic National Park:

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It was low tide, so we were able to walk around on the rocks which are underwater most of the time:

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Marine life thrives on these rocks:

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We even found small fish swimming in some of the tidal pools:

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On the trail down to the beach, we found a credit card, and we managed to find its owner down at the beach.  She was very happy!

Leaving Ruby Beach at sunset, we drove south to overnight at the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino which is beachside near Ocean City, Washington.  We will be staying here as guests of the Quinault Nation for a few days, enjoying the beach here.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Update: The kids completed a podcast for today, play it below:

Day 454: Suds of Wisdom and Feiro Marine Center
Day 456: Cold and Windy Beach

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