Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quinault rain forest

I was so hyped to go check out the rainforest.  Man, I was jazzed.  The Olympic park is one of the biggest reasons we came here.  We have always wanted to get to the rainforest.  I could see this very blog post forming in my mind and it was excellence deep fried in wonderful and dipped in awesomesauce.

I wanted everything ready.  I get the camera batteries on the charger, made a note about what to pack in the backpack.  Do I bring the tripod?  Nah, but don't forget the zoom lens.  We already know there are eagles and such in the area.

I woke up, got the backpack and started packing.  I decided to put the camera in the backpack instead of carrying the big camera bag so we only had to carry one bag.  Don't forget the zoom lens.  We got food, we got water, we got it.  Let's go.

Packed up into the car.  It was a beautiful day.  This was way nicer than we had any right to expect in late February.  The drive north carried us through working forests in various states of regrowth and cut.  Small towns arose and disappeared looking a little worse for the wear.  The logging industry isn't what it used to be around here. After around 20 minutes, yeah, only 20 minutes, we passed the sign for the Olympic National Forest and found the old growth trees.  We turned off for the Quinault lake loop road and soon stopped at a roadside trailhead.  It was a rainforest loop trail.  0.5 miles.  This should be a good start.

I left my phone in the car, Sarah brought hers, we prodded the kids on to the trail with our handy dandy kid cattle prods and off we went.  It was only a few steps onto the trail when we ran into this huge Douglas fir tree with a little platform built around it for close up viewing and ease of climbing a slope.  I lifted the camera and...nothing.  Turn it off and back on again...nothing.

And it hit me.  I forgot the battery.

Oh well, just head back to the car and get one of the spare batteries that are in the camera bag on the bed at home dangitdangitdangit.  I left the camera bag at home.

Heck, I don't even have my camera on my phone.  I suck at this.

Sarah, as usual, comes to my rescue.  She has her phone on her camera and takes pictures.  The camera on this phone is OK, but it isn't the big old trusty Nikon.  Sigh.

At least she brought something.

That is a big Douglas Fir

Sad daddy leading the trail
Not a bad camera, just not mine

We finished the short loop and drove on a way further to a ranger station where we got maps and informative brochures and the like to better plan future excursions.  Everyone was really friendly and helpful.  Just past the station was the turnout for something we wanted to see.

Yep, the tree hugging hippies have some superlative trees to see and embrace.  WOOHOO!  It was only a 0.3 mile walk over level ground, turn a corner and...


Oh yeah, Valley of the Rain Forest Giants.


We drove on, intending to complete the loop drive.  We eventually did, but kept getting side tracked by little things like ...

Roadside waterfalls.

Eventually we got to the turnaround and continued back down the north shore of the lake.  The road is not paved for much of the way.  It meanders through old growth forest filled with ferns.  It broke open into a series of meadows.  I told Sarah this was prime elk territory and not two seconds later.

Seriously, the road was mostly not paved

 We drove on and caught a glimpse of the Quinalt river.  It looked like there was a fly fisherman in waders or something in the water.  Sarah thought she saw a bird flapping it's wings right next to him.  We stopped and took a look.

No fly fisherman, just eagles

At least I brought the zoom lens...sigh.
It was getting a little late and everyone was hungry.  We decided to call it a day and head home.  That meant passing the trail to yet another huge tree.  Oh well.  We will just have to go back.  And bring the camera.

And the batteries.


  1. Nice, I love it out there. We are moving to Ketchikan for the summer, in the rainforest with 14' of rain per year. Should be interesting.

  2. Oh heck yeah. Good luck with that. How are you getting up there?

  3. Hospital is paying all mileage, housing, ferry, providing housing, and paying very well. By far the best paying contract I've had.