Monday, November 30, 2009

Road Trip!

Traditionally C.'s family spends Thanksgiving on his aunt's farm in the foothills of Northern Oregon. Since driving is such a bug-bear anyway, we decided to have a little extended holiday on the way down there. On Sunday we headed to one of our favorite places: the rainy coastline and lush forests that are the Olympic Peninsula.

Our first stop was the town of Forks, WA, the setting for a certain book and film franchise about vampires, and in very obvious subtext, chastity. While the most of the rainiest town in the Union is (understandably so) cashing in on the phenomenon, one motel voiced its dissent. We felt the need to support them in their solitary quest to save their town from teenage vampires. (C. tries to summon sullen vampire look. Fails.)
In Forks we also made our biggest purchase and splurge, which is in fact, an advance Christmas present: A pair of xtratuf wellingtons for me. Hands down one of the best, most useful presents ever! They certainly came in handy (footy?) on this trip.
For the first two nights we camped in Kalaloch, a little ways past the magnificent Hoh rain forest. The first night the weather was uncannily dry, even warm. The moon was out in half and we took a stroll in the low tide, carrying out red storm lantern and looking for little washed out treasures. It was pretty darn romantic.

After that it rained for two days straight though, and everything we owned got thoroughly soggy, not that it mattered. On our way down the coast we stopped in Quinolt, where I swear I kept looking at "land for sale signs". In the middle of nowhere on the foothills of the most beautiful mountains where it rains enough to keep away Californian retirees, and Seattle yuppees, might just be a perfect place for a little hippie compound. (Not really. I love my Island too much.)
They also have 6 of the world's tallest trees of their particular kind within like a 5 mile radius. This one's a spruce.

Winter is an awesome time to visit the Peninsula, because there are no other people around. The crowds come in the summer, hoping for less rain, even though rain is what makes this place so magical. It was lucky for us however, that the previous weeks windstorms had subsided. On our hike in Quinoult we saw a trail crew cutting trough huge fallen trees that had fallen onto the path.

We're going back in January. But wait, there's more...


  1. looks like you two had quite a lovely and soggy trip! did you go to beaches one through four? i am quite a fan of second beach. dramatic rocks galore.

    and as i am sure you have realized. serious, no foolin' around rain boots are essential in the pacific nw. i just ordered a new pair of wellies last week. i refuse to let the rain get the best of me!

  2. These photos are so magical you woodland faerie...actually I don't know...maybe you are more of a mischevious pixie? And I love your road trip story-telling too. Lovely writing and lovely pictures.

  3. We had the same weather conditions on our trip. It was sunny and warm when we arrived in the Hoh and it stayed dry that first night, then began to rain late the next morning. It was gorgeous in the sun but even more magical when the rain turned everything lush and green and all that hanging moss sprung to life!

    Unfortunately, as we drove down the coast in the rain the water from the trailer wheels was getting up inside the trailer doors and soaking all our bedding :(

    We did a drive through Quinault and stopped shortly at Kalaloch but ended up continuing on down along the Oregon coast and getting a room the next night to dry everything out.

    p.s. The moonlit stroll at low tide sounds amazing! Hmm, maybe not with a two year old though ;)

  4. wow, i dream of seeing trees so big! one day, one day. sounds like quite the magical place way up there in the northwest corner. lovely photos and the two of you are adorable as always :)

  5. i have been thoroughly enjoying the stories of your road INSPIRING! Can't wait to plan another trip of our own. This makes me ache for the Pacific northwest, those utterly enchanted deep forests where mysteries live.

  6. oh my! just realized you have this other blog! I LOVE Forks (and while I am not so into the twilight books, loved the movies and let me be honest, I'm a big vamp fan so I'm pretty easy.). The Olympic Pen is such a beautiful area, my favorite! I am trying to figure out where we will settle in the next few years (after my son graduates High school and we're allowed to move out of the city)... so very dreamy. I want the forest at my back door! xo m

  7. Oh, this brings back only beautiful memories about a road trip I took last summer down the PCH - sitting on campfires, counting shooting stars, seeing dolphins... Lucky you for living at the West Coast :)!