Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park is a land of beauty and variety. A day's exploration can take you from breathtaking mountain vistas with meadows of wildflowers to colorful ocean tidepools. Nestled in the valleys are some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in the country. Olympic is like three magical parks in one. Take some time to explore its many faces!

Olympic National Park Info


Olympic National Park

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News

Lake Quinault Community Reception Postponed

The Quinault community reception planned for Wednesday evening is postponed in observance of the National Day of Mourning and will be rescheduled for a later date.

Public Invited to Review Preliminary Alternatives for Olympic Hot Springs Road Long-Term Access

PORT ANGELES, WA: Preliminary alternatives for the Olympic Hot Springs Road Long-Term Access Environmental Assessment (EA) are now available through January 6, 2019 for a public review and comment period. The upcoming EA will analyze various options including a no action (current management) alternative, modifying the current roadway, or relocating it outside the floodplain—one of which will be implemented in 2021.

Condition of Olympic National Park Resources Evaluated in New Report

The National Park Service released a report under its Natural Resource Assessment Program that examines current natural resource conditions of Olympic National Park in Washington. The report is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey and the NPS that documents conditions and trends of select park resources and identifies emerging issues and information needs. This information assists natural resource managers in developing future resource stewardship priorities and planning.

Olympic National Park Photos

Daylight leaves sea stacks

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Daylight leaves sea stacks

Winter. It is difficult to get use to how late the sun rises and how quickly it sets. By the time I finished my round trip beach hike to Hole-in-the-rock and back to the Rialto Beach/Qullayute River trailhead - - this day had ended.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Wood rounded like a rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Wood rounded like a rock

We all are used to seeing round rocks formed by the steady, strong, and relentless work of running river waters. But the surf of the oceans do equally good work at rounding what they can toss and tumble. Here a piece of driftwood has been pounded and rounded, up and down the shore and beach, until it looks like a river rock.

A shadow points east as the sun sets and a sand trail points west as the outgoing tide races back over the beach to the sea, and around the wooden marker.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Long voyage for big tree

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Long voyage for big tree

The big conifers of North America have shallow roots, they spread out rather than try to go deep. This makes them highly prone to toppling in high winds over time, especially if they don't have the protection of a surrounding forest, or some natural land feature that blocks the highest winds.

They also get undercut by water, especially rivers. Where did this giant float in from? Across the Pacific?; Alaska? Canada?; from Washington or Oregon?; OR perhaps it took a short trip down the Hoh River and was eventually tossed about by the Pacific for awhile before becoming beached by the highest of tides. A story to ponder.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Timeless battleground sea and land

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Timeless battleground sea and land

Ellen Creek meets the Pacific Ocean surf and quickly loses its identity. Sea stacks and rocks like Dahdayla appear to be losing the battle by eroding away by the constant process of waves, wind and salt water. But there is another way to look at what is going on here at and off Rialto Beach. The state of Washington has been "built" overtime, with the docking of successive land masses, arriving from the west, thanks to the conveyor belt process of plate tectonics.

So perhaps Dahdayla Rock will be eroded to nothing but beach sand, or perhaps it will be given a ride, if it lasts long enough to be part of the future coast of what we now call Washington state.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

The Olympic National Park has to be one of America’s most diverse national park landscapes. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Free Public Domain Illustrations by rawpixel posted a photo:

The Olympic National Park has to be one of America’s most diverse national park landscapes. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

The Olympic National Park has to be one of America’s most diverse national park landscapes. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

The ice of a piedmont glacier spills from a steep valley onto a relatively flat plain. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

Free Public Domain Illustrations by rawpixel posted a photo:

The ice of a piedmont glacier spills from a steep valley onto a relatively flat plain. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

The ice of a piedmont glacier spills from a steep valley onto a relatively flat plain. Malaspina Glacier, Alaska. Original from NASA. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

can't change the wind

winbarker posted a photo:

can't change the wind

Gazing back Hole-in-the-rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Gazing back Hole-in-the-rock

It is fun hiking through the Hole-in-the-rock and exploring the life in the small tidal pools beneath your feet. This is the view looking back south, once you pass through the natural portal.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Sculpted shore rocks. Dahdayla

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Sculpted shore rocks. Dahdayla

These gray highly sculpted shore rocks reminded me of those you see on a hike to Shi Shi beach up on the NW tip of Washington on the Makah Indian Reservation. They are unique and artistic.

At first I thought the rock spire at the north end of Dahdayla looked like an owl, then as I hiked north the owl morphed into a standing bear. I don't know what the Native American word translates to, but I will likely go searching for that information. Part of the fun of returning from a road trip.

Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Dahdayla offshore. Hole-in-the-rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Dahdayla offshore. Hole-in-the-rock

Dahdayla Rock out in the Pacific (left); sea stacks marking the southern approach to the hole-in-the-rock; and right center the rounded headland with the Hole-in-the-rock portal.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Beach hike portal. Hole-in-the-rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Beach hike portal. Hole-in-the-rock

Arriving at Hole-in-the-rock. A hike through OR a steep up and down hike at the forest edge to get around the headland when the tide is too high for passage through the portal.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Sea anemone but look closer

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Sea anemone but look closer

Tidal pool peering will teach those of us (like me) with less patience and usually in a hurry on hike - - that to stop and gaze has its rewards...many of them.

The brightly colored sea anemone in this small tidal pool clearly grabs the attention of a beach hiker. But stop awhile and stare into the pool and you might see all kinds of colorful (and drab) sea life: sea stars, snails, chitons, crabs, limpets mussels, clams, urchins, nudibranchs, and sea algae of all patterns and colors.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Sea stacks and Dahdayla rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Sea stacks and Dahdayla rock

Just south of the Hole-in-the-rock are these impressive pointed sea stacks with stunted conifers some how making a living on some. Framed in the distance is the distinctive: Dahdayla Rock.

At first I thought the rock spire at the north end of Dahdayla looked like an owl, then as I hiked north the owl morphed into a standing bear. I don't know what the Native American word translates to, but I will likely go searching for that information. Part of the fun of returning from a road trip.

Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Hole-in-the-rock in sight

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Hole-in-the-rock in sight

Hiking past some sharply pointed sea stacks, Hole-in-the-rock comes into view. Check out the lower left side of the rounded mound of rock - - right center in this photo for the passage.


Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Ruby Beach

amarilloladi posted a photo:

Ruby Beach

Olympic National Park, WA

The end of the day

Jan Zwilling _ Paradise Found posted a photo:

The end of the day

Beautiful soft light at the Pacific, in Olympic National Park.

US to US Surprise Me RR #775 - from clouisesz

amanDALIZbeth posted a photo:

US to US Surprise Me RR #775 - from clouisesz

Ellen Creek Eagle

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Ellen Creek Eagle

This bald eagle, perched near the top of Douglas-fir tree at Ellen Creek, watched me with mild interest, as I hiked by her, heading north. She was still there when I returned later in the day on my hike back south. Beautiful, well fed, majestic bird.

Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Dahdayla Rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Dahdayla Rock

At first I thought the rock spire at the north end of Dahdayla looked like an owl, then as I hiked north the owl morphed into a standing bear. I don't know what the Native American word translates to, but I will likely go searching for that information. Part of the fun of returning from a road trip.

Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums

Sea stack garden Hole-in-the-rock

oldmantravels posted a photo:

Sea stack garden Hole-in-the-rock

Midnight until dawn I drove from my house to the Hoh River rain forest (and hiked). At noon I was eating lunch, and hiking Ruby Beach.

Around 2 pm I checked into my room at the Olympic Suites Inn, in Forks, WA, and quickly drove north on hwy 101, west on the La Push Road, then on to Rialto Beach on the Mora Road. There I took a fine, and popular hike up to the Hole-in-the-rock (when tides are right a hike on up the coast to the Chilean ship wreck memorial site, is a good hike.

The Olympic Peninsula is home to several Native American tribes, who have been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The names of many of the rivers and land features reflect that heritage.

The Calawah River flows past Forks, Washington where my room for the night was located. It joins the Bogachiel River, which joins the Soleduck River, which joins the Quillayute River, which is joined by the Dickey River at Mora.

Lots of rain in the area (12 feet or more in the nearby Hoh River rain forest, so lots of creeks and rivers. There is a large campground at Mora, which my wife and I have camped at several times but we much prefer the smaller campgrounds like the Bogachiel and most of all the Hoh River rain forest campground.


These are the photos I took of my Rialto Beach hike. It was close to dark when I finally returned to my room at Forks, Washington, and with the hikes and scenic roads traveled, a most rewarding day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoh River Rain Forest quick trip (Dec 4th and 5th, 2018) Oldmantravels

I saw a winter weather forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest and nearby Pacific Ocean beaches that looked to good and too tempting to pass up. Especially knowing that the ice and snow will eventually come to the roads of Eastern Washington, where I live, and make travel and hiking a potentially unpleasant experience.

To say I threw a plan together in short order would be a tremendous understatement. I decided to "go for it" on Monday afternoon the 3rd of December. First up, a room reservation in Forks, Washington (too cold and the nights are too long for a 72 year old to even think about camping). I reserved a room at the Olympic Suites Inn in Forks. I have stayed there many times over the last few decades. Like me, the motel is dated and aging fast", but I like dealing with the known when it comes to accomodations, so I stayed there without regret.

Next up, pack up day hiking gear, binoculares, field guide books, a book to read at the motel at night (THE GENIOUS OF BIRDS by Jenniver Ackerman), a best seller and excellent read. Throw in some diet Pepsi, oatmeal, hot chocolate, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cashews, etc. and I was pretty much ready and self sufficient.

Next a departure time decision. With only about 8 hours of good daylight (especailly if you might be in a moss draped rain forest on a hike), I wanted to get the most time I could and make the price of a room count, SO.....I left home midnight Monday night /Tuesday morning. New moon coming up so now light competition for the stars. I would enjoy the beauth of a black sky and bright winter stars on the six to seven hour drive to the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead.

To understand what a motivated me to go to chase this chance for a winter hike in the Hoh River Rain Forest in December you have to understand the numbers: The Hoh Rain Forest often gets 12 to 14 FEET of rain a year. The average is more like eleven FEET of rain and another two FEET of snow. If you want to test a new umbrella, this is definitely the place to go. The Amazon rain forest gets only about half as much rain as the Hoh Rain Forest!

January and November get the most montly rain fall, about two feel each month. July and August are the dryest months with a couple of inches of rain each month. All the moisture produces some enchanting flora and every shade of green you can imagine. Lettuce lichen (Lobaria oregana) grow here, forest floor mosses, hanging from tree limbs moss, green moss everywhere, and ferns.

Then there are the Hoh River Rain Forest trees: Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce dominate and some are really big (over 300 feet high and 22 feet in diameter), and really old (pushing one thousand years. Western red cedar, Coastal Douglas-fir, Black cottonwood, Big leaf maple, red alder and vine maple, all add to the rich variety of trees.

Roosevelt elk, cougar, black bear, raccoon, black-tailed deer, and bobcat call the Hoh River Rain Forest their home. Along with some seldom seen shy residents like the Pacific tree frog, banana slug, and the Northern spotted owl. Bald eagles and Water Ouzels are "regulars" and often spotted while hiking the trails here.

So with a couple of clear sunny days promised with the weather forecast for the Hoh rain forest, I drove steadily onward with high anticipation and expectations.

At one am I crossed White Pass, winds blew snow of the trees giving the impression it was snowing but it wasn't. In fact the snow fall has been light and late, The snow making machines at the White Pass ski area were lit up and furiously blowing artificial snow up into the air. Lit up they looked like Fourh of July "fountains". I stopped rolled down the window of my car and took a couple of photos of that night scene.

I had worries about two things on this trip: number one was fog. Fog can be thick and take some of the joy of hiking a visiting the coast away for hours or perhaps all day. The second concern was for black icy and treacherous road conditions when freezing fog coats well shaded, curving coast roads.

It wasn't a surprise then that I hit thick fog for several miles between Chehalis and the turn off to highway 12 to Rochester and eventually Aberdeen. But good fortune was with me. I would not have trouble with any fog for the two days I spent on the coast. I did have to take a great deal of care and caution due to surprise sections of slick ice on highway 101. I only saw one wreck as a result of it and no injuries. People in the area know how to drive in such conditions and take due caution and care.

I arrived at the parking lot near the closed for the winter, Hoh Rain Forest visitor center. Being there at daybreak I was the one and only car in the lot (Fools don't often have much company). I was shocked at how cold it was. Somehow I had not equated "Temperate" rain forest with below freezing winter cold. But I had come prepared with hat, gloves and proper jacket .

I had planned to only hike the Hall of Mosses trail (.8 mile loop) and perhaps the Spruce Nature trail (1.2 mile loop), but hadn't planned to hike up the Hoh River trail....so I stayed in my blue jeans (too cold to change into proper hiking pants in the really cold parking lot I thought). I also didn't take anything to drink or eat in my day pack, since it was just going to be a short time hiking and for photo ops that I would be gone.

But the cold and the early morning darkness in the rain forest changed my mind for me. I hiked briskly past the two loop trails and decided I would hike up the Hoh river for a mile or two, to warm up and hopefully take up enough time for the yet to arrive sunshine to reach the valley to warm things up and to shed some light on the rai forest flora that I hoped to photograph.

I had hiked the loop trails many times and once gone a half mile up the Hoh River trail, but now as I gained warmth hiking up the Hoh River trail at a brisk pace, I fell in love with scenery and the experience...so I kept hiking and hiking. At a little over three miles I made it. I reached a place where the morning sun reached me along the Hoh River (just upriver from Mount Tom Creek). The sun felt GREAT and it turned the frozen fog on the trees and moss into diamonds of light.

A group of American Bald eagles (six to eight of them), lifted off and left a "group meal" as I approached. The river was braided here (as it often is) so I couldn't cross the channels to go investigate what had attracted so many eagles to a meal (my guess would be a dead salmon).

Along my hike I had enjoyed the company of an active Water Ouzel (Dipper), a Douglas squirrel. and a tiny, secretive little adorable little Pacific Wren. I finally turned around and headed back toward the trailhead, warmed by the sunshine and the exercise of hiking.

I took the Hall of Mosses loop hike when I got back close to the parking lot. Sun rays reached some of the moss draped trees but did not have the dramatic winter look that I had hoped for when it comes to taking snapshots. Still I was satisfied. Seven mile of hiking and good exercise. No other hikers, No bugs, Just scenery, solitude, tranquility, and nature's beauty.

A half dozen or more cars now appeared at the parking lot as I headed for my car. I talked briefly to two couple, who were getting ready to hike. One of the women asked me if I was hiking to photographed, to which I honestly answered that I was a hiker, who did take photos, but wasn't a photographer. When I told her that I did post lots of my hiking and backpacking photos on Flickr she lit up when I told her my Oldmantravels postings. She said "I know you, you are a writer too, a celebrity of sorts. I have seen lots of your photos on Flickr!". If a 72 year old can blush, I must have. Whomever she was ..... she made my day!

You meet the nicest people on trails and at trailheads.

I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my way from the Hoh River Rain Forest trail head to Ruby Beach. I had to stop briefly on my drive back south, with police directing traffic around a vehicle that had skidded off the road on the icy "in the shade" highway and plowed into an embankment.

I backtracked to visit that beach before heading on into Forks. Sunny and clear. No wind. Beautiful place to hike around the Ruby Beach area and take some photos and enjoy the warm sunshine. As the ocean waters pulsed up Cedar Creek at Ruby Beach it produced a micro version of standing waves. South Rock and Destruction Island lay anchored in the Pacific Ocean just S.E. of Ruby Beach. Abbey Island just north.

After hiking about Ruby Beach I drove to the Olympic Suites Inn and checked into my room. I left most of my belonging in my room and headed for the Mora Road for a short hike up Rialto Beach to Hole-In-The-Rock.

I had made this hike many times and always enjoyed it. On one occasion the tides were right so I hiked north up to the Chilean shipwreck memorial. Not this time though. Daylight hours were going to come to a close soon, so a fun up and back hike to the Hole-In-The-Rock, and I was ready to call it a day. Night caught up with me as I arrived back to my room in Forks. I fixed dinner, read my book, and headed to bed early (it had been a long enjoyable day, starting at midnight on Monday.

That is the story that goes with the photographs. I made it back home by 2 pm on Wednesday, and stayed up late to watch, now number one Gonzaga, play the University of Washington.

Oldmantravels (famous at least at the Hoh River Rain Forest trailhead parking lot). It was nice hiking among trees, much, much older than me. SMILE. 6 Dec 2018

I invite you to open my Flickr photo album page and sample some photos during the long nights and short days of winter 2018:

www.flickr.com/photos/12150532@N04/albums