We started our journey with a shorter drive, only about 4.5 hours up into the Olympic Peninsula. We stayed at Shadow Mountain RV Park in Port Angeles. We set up camp and headed in to get the lay of the land. The boys enjoyed some playtime in the visitors center and watched a video about the park and hiked a short trail.
On Grandma Jo’s birthday, we drove down to the Hoh Rainforest, about a 2.5 hours drive from the campground but still in Olympic National Park. We hiked a rainforest trail and learned all about the temperate rain forests. We were amazed how big the trees were and how nurse logs led way to new growths of trees. It wasn’t wet as this was the dry season. We stayed around for a Junior Ranger talk and earned out badges for the park.
Next we drove to Ruby Beach to explore the area. It was really crowded but we found parking places and headed down the huge hill to the beach. It was magnificent. Driftwood logs lined the shore and giant craggily rocks towered from the beaches. We climbed all over the rocks and eventually found a few tide pools to explore. But the rocks won out in the long run and we had a blast scrambling all over them. Grandma and Grandpa stayed planted on the sand and enjoyed a stroll around the beach. The air was quite crisp yet people were out sunning and splashing in the waters. We were NOT that adventurous.
We celebrated Grandma Jo’s birthday with cheesecake after a quick meal out in a small town called Forks.
Dad worked all day the following day and we explored separate from Grandma and Grandpa. We opted to spend our day at Hurricane Ridge in Olympic NP. We arrived early and hiked the meadows and then the upper trails all the way out to Sunrise Point. The views were spectacular. The wild flowers were in bloom so everything was exploding with color. There was even a flower called the American Bistort that smelled just like dirty socks! We only smelled it once and they avoided it all together! The sky was clear and we could see all the way to Vancouver Island! We learned that this part of the park has a functioning ski lift in the winter. We saw it and thought it was abandoned. It still works and looked SCARY!
Mom kept singing The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music. Oddly later we found out Grandma Jo was doing the same. We wrapped out out Olympic MP Ocean Steward books and earned a really cool patch.
We joined a patio talk about the changing environment and stuck around at the end for an off the records discussion about alternate power and climate change and how the glaciers are melting faster than ever (in recorded history).
We then took a geology hike and learned about the glacier formations and the other geological impacts in the area. The boys had all the answers and dazzled the guide with their park and science knowledge.
We really enjoyed out time in the cooler fresh air! Tomorrow we head towards Canada.