Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ruby Beach on the Edge of the Rain Forest

Is this really the smallest Post Office?

Looking for the Tree

That's it behind you GIGI

Let it Rain

Gotta touch this 1000 year old tree!

The resort is right in the forest.


Kickin back by the Fire Place

Drews first Frisby game n this Green

Future Olympic Hiker

Just waiting for the Sunset

Then it turned pitch black except for the Awesome moon and its reflection on Lake Quinault.

This is the beach I have been looking for.

Found it!, Ruby Beach

Sea Stacks

The trail down to the beach

end of the trail

The top of the beach full of these Palm sized flatrocks.

Above the rocks the driftwood

Sea Stacks every direction 

Destruction Island Light House: http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=118

Add caption

I found a picture of this Stack that looked much different (bigger) so I wonder how long ago it was taken? 

Cedar Creek empties here at Ruby Beach, Charlie told us to look for River Teeth: "When trees fall into the water, over decades they decay, eventually disappearing into the river bottom. What resists this disintegration are the strange shapes formed where the branch joined the trunk, a cross-grained, pitch hardened core, like a tooth in a human head. Hickman is exploring visual metaphors with these river teeth, the last part of the body to let go." see http://www.pathickman.com/riverbothways.html  To many people frequent here so it might be best to hike to a more desolate river to find some.

" Carin" Rock stacking has carried spiritual meaning across cultures for centuries. The act of balancing stones carries with it a practice of patience and a physical effort of creating balance. I love the idea of tangible prayer and finding new ways to express gratitude in my life. Each rock can signify an intention of grace for thankfulness, or offered up for another in need. Connecting nature in this externalized expression is uplifting and very powerful tool for expanding the spirit.
"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it,
 bearing within him the image of a cathedral."  
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Forks is the Setting for the Movie "Twilight"


Ruby Beach on the Edge of the Rain Forest

The Quinault Resort is one of those laces you do not want to leave till they kick you out. We got up early and took Big D to breakfast with us so the mom could sleep. We packed up a few things and by then the mpom was up so we all went to see the Largest Spruce Tree in the world, just a short drive and a short walk down a trial to this Historic Tree. We now know that a day hike should be the minimum you should commit to when you visit the rain forest. After reading a couple of blogs I think the best thing is to do one of the three day hikes so you can reach the more secluded and prized areas in the Olympics. We are not geared up or have the hiking experience to do that sort of trip but I am sure that would be the best way to experience these incredible environments. There are no roads that reach these areas so yo have to reach them by foot if you want to have that experience.
Rather than drive the shorter South route back to Seattle we drove the North route so we could go to Ruby Beach. This beach is the one featured in so many of the pictures depicting the beaches ofis Texas the Pacific Northwest. I did not know the rocks were called Sea Stacks and if you Google Sea Stackes there are much larger ones around the world that come up first. But for this Texan I was very happy to see the Sea Stackes ont Washington's Pacific coast. These beaches are on the edge of the rain forest so the Spirit that lives here is dominates the beaches as well, it is like you can't have one without the other so make time to include the beaches if you make this trip. We did not have time to do some river teeth hunting but this is something that given the time I would love to find.
Finally the small communities that you drive through (Like Forks) on these coastal roads leave you wondering what it must be like to live here year round through some pretty spectacular winters. Due to our cruising expereince we know that if you can find a way to stay somewhere for  a month you can get the true feeling for most communities, but in 3 months you can pretty much learn everything you want to know. So if you can just plan a three month visit to the Olympic Peninsula, you will need the time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quinault Rain Forest or How to Cure an Atheiest

We started out on a two lane road from Quinalut Resort. ( you can click on these pics to go to full size).

Charlie was agin our Guide for the Quinault Rain Forest tour.

There has to be Thousands of water falls in the Olympics.


Over 300 species of moss in the rain forest

Had to cross a small stream to see the recently spawned Juvenile Salmon.

They were so small it was heard to see them till the guide threw a little fish food in the water and they attacked it.

All the Water of the Quinault Valley Flows into the Quinault River.

Chester Wilson's firewood hauling truck as a memorial to Chesters Life as a woodsman.

Lots of money being spent to restore the log damns on the Quinault River. Pelt Hunters from long ago depleated the area of Beavers who built natural log dams and provided safe havens for the salmon returning to spawn. The log dams provided shelter fron the swift currents of the river allowing the salmon to rest and have enough energy left over to make it to their spawning grounds. I guess they are betting with a little help the resident Beaver Population can finish the project.

The Olympic Rain forest have the highest Bio-density of any rain forest on Earth.

All this life force surrounds you as the spirit of the rain forest.

Red Alderwood

As we continue our tour circumnavigating Lake Quinault, the road turns to a narrow gravel lane with lots of pot holes.

Super Lush undergrowth.

At the very bottom left is Lake Quinault, you can see the extensive River Valley: The Quinault River (/kwɨˈnɒlt/ or /kwɨˈnɔːlt/) is a 69-mile (111 km) long[2] river located on the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington. It originates deep in the Olympic Mountains in the Olympic National Park. It flows southwest through the "Enchanted Valley". Several miles aboveLake Quinault the river is joined by its main tributary, the North Fork Quinault River. The main stem Quinault River above this confluence is sometimes called the East Fork Quinault River. Below the confluence the river marks the boundary of Olympic National Park for several miles before emptying into Lake Quinault. After the lake, the Quinault River flows southwest, reaching the Pacific at Taholah. From Lake Quinault to the ocean, the river is contained within the Quinault Indian Reservationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinault_River

Bridge over July Creek

July Creek See: http://youtu.be/KIzkM2Lp5Nk

When the Western Red Cedar Falls it stays around for a very long time as insects are not interested so it takes a long time to melt back into the forest.

Filled with the Spirit of the Rain forest. 

Looking South towards Lake Quinault Lodge

No matter how hard you try it seems impossible to capture the height and greatness of the trees

A whole other ecosystem exist in the canopy, this small piece fell why we were there and Charlie took the opportunity to teach us 

The road narrows to one lane.

If we get a chance to come back we will  take some of the long  day hikes.

Charlie Teaches us about the major trees in the rain Fores, Big Douglas firs, western red cedar and pacific silver fir dominate themain forest upper canopy.  Adding to this rich dark green are the moisture dependent Sitka spruce and the western hemlock. The forest canopy is open, allowing streams of sunlight to reach the forest floor.  These huge conifers along with the big leaf maple and alder along the river bars comprise first impressions for those visiting the Quinault Rain Forest.

Nurse Log

It is clear I am not a descendant of Ansel Adams but I figure what I cant do with quality I should try and do with number.

The Quinault will soon run full with the Winter rains.

Quinault Rain Forest or How to Cure an Atheiest 

No words or pictures can adequately provide you with the experience of being in the Quinault Rain Forest. Our Guide Charlie is sure this is the Mother of all Rain Forest. IN short he says due to the Geography of this particular River Valley on the Olympic Peninsula, this rain forest benefits the most from what Mother nature bestows on these lands. One can only wonder what it must have been lik before all the clear cut logging and hunting several species into extinction or near extinction.Since this is the Only rain forest we have ever visited we are unable to dispute the claim, but what we both know is the Spirit is what you feel the most here. I told the Admiral " I am pretty sure you could cure a Atheist in just a few hours here".