Olympic Peninsula, Washington

We camped for 4 nights along the Pacific coast at Kalaloch in the Olympic National Park on a bluff just 50 feet above the beach…lucky us. It was raining when we arrived, something we expected to have most of our trip. Marcus said “it’s got to get to twelve feet a year somehow…” We were in the temperate rainforest. The next morning, however, the clouds had lifted and the sun had arrived. Ahhhh what a glorious surprise. We walked, or more like slid, down to the beach via the muddy path and set out to explore this new world. We built dams in the fresh water streams which trickled into the ocean, dug for sand dollars and crabs, and balanced on the enormous skeletons of trees now turned driftwood which decorated the entire coastline. After a morning of exploration, we took a trip into the Hoh Rainforest, leaving our sunshine behind and entering into a lush and misty world. There was moss growing on Everything: from the trees to the newly paved roads. I think if we had stood still long enough, some would have found it’s way onto us and grown there, too. Even the phone booth at the ranger station was decorated with green. Our drive in lead us past a herd of Roosevelt elk, with one grazing just at the road’s edge. Once fully inside the park, we saw 2 black tailed deer, some quail? we think, and then the highlight, another herd of elk walking right alongside the path we were hiking on! We stood 5 feet from a male eating lunch, and he didn’t seem to mind. We saw momma licking her baby’s face, and another buck not far behind…we were and still are, quite struck by this experience.

We made it back to camp in time for our first sunset on the Pacific…and a beauty it was. Complete with the green flash! Something I had completely forgotten about until it happened (so I missed photographing it, again). For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune of living someplace (i.e. Key West) where conditions for the flash are ever-present, you may not be familiar with it. It is a bright iridescent green-blue flash of light that occurs just as the sun disappears under the watery horizon on clear days when the sky is absent of clouds. This happens because the short red light waves bounce off the atmosphere as the longer blue light waves linger just a split second before disappearing themselves…giving you that elusive green flash. It’s always been one of my favorite parts of watching the sunset, and here it is, reminding me of why I made a point of seeing the last second of the day. This very neat day.

Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 4:14 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. These photos are gorgeous!

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