Friday, March 31, 2006

Part 3--A Brotherhood of Venerable Trees

What's really impossible to impart, either through words or photographs, is just how amazingly green the temperate rain forest is. March is actually the perfect time for a visitor from, say, Boston, to go to the Pacific Northwest, since everything is so brown and dreary back home that the intensity of the green seems almost shocking by contrast. As we hiked through the woods, where every surface was already covered by moss, even in early spring, I couldn't help but notice all the deciduous trees and shrubs whose branches had not yet leafed out. It was impossible for me to imagine the place getting any greener, but I guess as spring moves on, it does. Amazing.

On Monday, we did one more hike to a giant tree as well as the second leg of the interpretive nature trail (where we finally learned the names of the plants we had seen along so many of the trails). We also saw a pair of bald eagles soaring over Lake Quinault before we headed back in the car to drive down the Washington coast to Oregon.

We drove pretty much straight through, with a very nice stop at Cape Disappointment, which, despite its name, offers lovely vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Columbia River, apparently one of the most dangerous sections of coastline in the entire country. We also drove across this bridge between the two states--it's 4.1 miles long! We arrived in Portland in early evening and spent the evening with John and Stephanie and their son Grant. Stephanie's a very talented weaver and knitter, and she was able to give me an insiders' opinion on the area yarn shops I was hoping to visit.

Next time--yarn shopping in Portland!


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