Day 29: Olympic National Park

The firework show was spectacular last night. I’ve even heard that it was the number one firework show in the country according to USA Today. We joined thousands of others to enjoy the display and had a lot of fun in the process. One of the moments I won’t forget is breaking into the Marriott bathroom with Ellie. The show ended at nearly 11 and we had a mile and a half walk back to the hotel. It was midnight by the time we all got into bed and the alarm went off just five hours later. I’m missing my B12 shot this month and the consequence is the desperate need for more than five hours of sleep. I eventually rolled out of the last Kimpton bed of rtxix and got ready.

We had a several hour drive to Olympic, so I mostly napped, despite the Kimpton coffee and the stop at Starbucks. I was the driver during the final stretch of the drive and it was one of those twisty, curvy roads that managed to get all the passengers feeling a little sick. I eventually showed off our pass and pulled into the visitors center. We hadn’t had the ability to pack up backpacking bags properly in Seattle, so we spent about an hour with all our belongings surrounding us in the parking lot, trying to make sure we have all the correct gear and clothes.

We finally got on the trail and I was shocked. Zak had been telling us that we were doing the rain forest part of the park, but I wasn’t expecting legit rain forest. I had no idea an ecosystem like this existed in the United States. Everything is green. Everything. The trees are ridiculously tall, they have to be bigger than those redwoods we saw in northern California. The branches are draped with mosses and ferns grow waist high. There has been a constant drizzle and the fog sits at the top of the canopy. Wild raspberries and countless varieties of mushrooms made me wish I could dine on a tart and a risotto. A banana slug, the size of an actual banana was crossing our path at one point. At another, a deer was munching on the lush greens. It has been the only place we’ve hiked where I have expected to see actual unicorns. It’s just that magical. Six and a half miles of magic.

We have a perfect campsite. We found a small clearing a short walk from the bank of a river. The evening was spent throwing rocks into the rushing water, planning games with our tent buddies, Zoe is mine tonight, and dining on fine cured and smoked meat (beef jerky.) The mist has continued and I’m sure we’ll wake to everything wet and dirty, but as of right now, I’m having fun. I’m glad we’re away from the hustle and bustle of cities. I know how lucky I am to be sleeping in a rain forest tonight. I’m comfy and will be plenty warm. This is a happy place. Sweet dreams, everyone.

More pics later.

Leave a Reply