Hoh, Hoh, Hoh! Wed afternoon 9/2/15
The best we can figure is that we visited the rain forest nine years ago, before retirement, before Tergel, on a two-wk vacation to the northwest. We were fascinated by the glacially-fed Hoh River, milky-looking and swift, and at one point, spent an hour or so roaming over the acres of smooth river stones. The river originates at the Hoh Glacier on Mount Olympus in ONP and travels 56 miles to the Pacific. So, we came back to the Hoh Rain Forest. Good timing -- the road had been closed due to Saturday's storm. (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but it had a huge impact on the entire Washington coast.)
This small, rushing creek, full of swaying grass, was nearly dwarfed by the mossy branch.
We hadn't planned on walking any trails. It's a nice drive to the Visitor Center and that was all we'd planned to do. Certainly we weren't wearing proper footwear for a wet trail. Pay attention ... this is a "rain forest!" But, we were disappointed by the VC; there isn't much to it. Outside, we saw trail signs and just sort of veered off onto the Hall of Mosses Trail. Only 3/4 of a mile, what the heck, we said, never mind the rain that began falling then -- pull your hoods up!
The exposed wood has been turned almost into mahogany by the elements.
Dramatic, ethereal draperies of clubmoss! Can you see rain drops falling?
You'd expect to see fungi in a rain forest. We did. At first I thought the little 8" stick was a yellow-flowering plant. (bottom left) Nope. A stick plunked into the ground was aglow with tiny yellow fungi "flowers" growing on it. My favorite.
In the southern states during Mardi Gras, King Cakes are popular (and tasty -- think sugar). Inside each cake a baby is hidden, and whoever gets the baby is supposed to have good luck all year. I found this King Cake baby lying at the base of tree in Olympic Nat'l Park -- how weird is that? So, we nestled it into the moss.
This decaying trunk is 190 ft long, only a portion of the original standing tree. People (they look so tiny!) are visible at the far end. In the rain forest, Sitka Spruces average 220 ft tall, with some growing to over 300 ft. True to its name, the rain forest showed it's wet face, then the sun broke out, but the "rain" continued dripping out of the trees. I counted a zillion shades of green.
And, whoa, by golly, look what we discovered on our way back to Tergel. A herd of browsing female Elk. We looked, but didn't see the male. Guess it's not time for him to make an appearance yet. Terrific day!