Monday, September 20, 2010

Nature's Utopia

It's hard to avoid superlatives when talking about the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, Washington. It's tucked away in an isolated valley protected from harsh winds and cold temperatures along the Hoh River. Most of the 30 mile river bank has been logged in the last century with the exception of this unique isolated sanctuary.

It contains old growth Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, and Douglas-fir where precipitation is up to 144 inches a year. The diameters of these majestic trees are up to 12 feet and soar over 200 feet high. We were amazed how the canopy filtered in light enough to encourage vibrant growth of ferns and mosses. Indeed, the mosses, which live from the moisture and the light, do not invade their hosts for food. Their effect is one of magical fantasy.

As campers we enjoyed our overnight stay at the campground beside the Hoh River. Large five foot ferns and mature old growth trees hovered around us. The next night we camped further south on the ocean front also within the park. Both nights we were lulled to sleep by the powerful waters.

Needless to say, the lush beauty of the park reveals the vibrancy of nature if we give it a chance.

We are now heading down the western coast and making our way into Oregon.