Thursday, March 30, 2006

Part 2--Sox in the Wild!

The downside of hiking three miles to see a beautiful coastal sunset, of course, is that you also have to hike three miles back. In the dark. Fortunately, there was still some reflected sunlight lighting our path, and the trail itself was fairly well maintained. All in all, though, it made for a late night, since we still had a long drive to get back to our hotel. By now, we were more or less adapted to Pacific time, fortunately, but we still fell asleep as soon as we returned, and woke up in the morning to this:

This was the view from our room at the lovely Lake Quinault Resort, not to be confused with the more well-known Lake Quinault Lodge on the other side of the lake. The resort is small and quiet, with gorgeous landscaping, its own beach (with nightly bonfires!), and a lovely deck and patio. The deck is even covered in a way that lets through the light, but not the rain. Turns out that wasn't even an issue, though--we didn't see rain at all in Olympic, even though we were staying right in the middle of a rainforest at the tail end of the rainy season!

It must rain sometimes, though, since man, those trees sure get their liquid refreshment. The Lake Quinault area (at the south end of the park) is home to several so-called Champion Trees, the biggest of their particular species. One, the world's largest Western Red Cedar, was located right across from our hotel. We also saw North America's largest Douglas Fir, lots and lots of huge cedars and hemlocks, and the world's largest Sitka Spruce. It's almost 59 feet in circumference and 191 feet tall. I had the sock with me, so I decided to take a few shots in front of the tree to show the scale.

And here's a closeup. See that heel flap in progress? I like to think that the sock enjoyed its foray into nature.

We spent more than four hours hiking that morning, followed by inhaling cheeseburgers and curly fries at the snack bar and power napping in the afternoon before enjoying a lovely dinner and the sunset over the lake at the aptly-named Salmon House. Guess what we ate?


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