Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 4: Hoh Rainforest and Kalaloch Beach

On the morning of the 30th, we packed up our campsite at the Hoh Rainforest Campsite and headed to do some more day hiking. I was worried about hiking with my foot all beat up from Hurricane Hill, but with some extra bandaging we did just fine since the trails there were so short - unless you were backpacking into the back country, and that was NOT us.
Quite the elevation change from Hurricane ridge... Which meant we breathed easy as we set out on the little trails by the visitor center.
The first trail we went on was the Spruce Nature Trail, which was about a 1.5 mile loop. It brought us up against the Hoh River, which was neat to see because it was like standing in a rainforest looking out on Montana.Thanks to the wet spring, everything was so green and beautiful.I love the visual of the path these two giant trees make.Hooray for using stumps to capture family photos!The stream that ran through part of our trails was so crystal clear. It was gorgeous. And, we got to see tiny sockeye salmon smolts in the water.
Then we hiked another 1 mile loop called the Hall of Mosses. It was ironic, because there seemed to be a lot more moss on the first trail, but it was beautiful still.All Ellie cared was that we kept giving her ritz bitz. Here's how she felt about the walk.
Since Ellie was obviously tired, and the only trails left to hike were 17 miles or longer, we decided it was time to hit the road. We ate sandwiches for lunch out on the grass - Ellie ate half a hogie sandwich! - and hopped in the car to head South. Our next stop was a part of the Olympic National Park called Kalaloch. It is this rare area where Washington has a beach that's actually nice and sandy! Most of our beaches here are really rocky... We parked at one of the beach access points and started heading down. I loved the giant knobs on these trees at the top of the hill.Our trail down to the beach.A little stream that came out into the ocean down on the beach.
Here is Ellie's first time seeing the ocean. She LOVED it! She got so excited that she was bouncing up and down in the backpack, kicking her feet and jabbering away a million miles a minute! It was so cute.The first thing we did was strip her down some and put her in the sand. We thought she'd be interested in the water, but this girl apparently loves sand! She played and played in it until we brought her up to the water.
She was so excited about the water when she was looking at it.When it came up and she felt how cold it was, she curled up her feet and just hung there while I held her by the armpits.
But, even cold, wet mud was lots of fun to play in! A few minutes after this picture Ellie got totally swamped since the tide was coming in from behind her. She took it like a champ until the water receded and she realized how cold she was.
Here is a bald eagle who was keeping watch on the beach.
Daddy showing the ocean to his little girl.
Ellie was pretty cold after getting swamped by the waves, so we got her in some clean, warm, dry clothes and hopped back in the car and drove to our campsite at Graves Creek Campground about 12 miles from Lake Quinalt. I'd love to say we took lots of pictures there, but the mosquitos were thick and we got set up just in time for dinner, so we enjoyed our tinfoil dinners (DELICIOUS) and put Ellie down for the night while we played some more Skip-Bo.

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