Once we left Vancouver we dropped straight down the Washington Coast to Whidbey Island. From there we hopped across to the Olympic Peninsula via a night time ferry ride. Pretty cool being on a boat that big at night, however not being able to see the horizon doesn’t help with the sea sickness. We made our way to Olympic NP, home to the only rainforest in the continental US. The area on the windward side of the coastal range receives over 12 feet of rain per year! Amazingly, we escaped 4 days in the rainforest without seeing a drop from the sky.
The first night in the park we scored a camp site along the beach. Our hike to the site wasn’t exactly the “walk on the beach” we expected but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Probably the coolest part was catching the tide pools on our hike back, where we saw scores of star fish and sea anemones. Days two and three were spent along the Hoh River in the heart of the rain forest. The presence of so much moisture in the air results in the lushest ecosystem in the US. Seemingly, not a square foot of the forest floor is devoid of plant life. Each massive Douglas fir is draped in a cover of moss making the entire forest appear to be carpeted.
On the way out of the park we pulled into a gas station and noticed what we thought was the typical forest fire danger level sign. At closer inspection, we noticed the words “forest fire danger” were replaced with “vampire threat.” We didn’t think much of it (other than appreciate this person’s strange sense of humor) and continued our way through the small town of Forks, where we began to realize something was up. If you’re as oblivious to pop culture as we are then you’ll also be unaware that this small town is the center place for the Twilight series. It wasn’t until a phone call to my sister that we were able to put the pieces into place. The entire town had taken its newly found publicity to an extreme level –every building in town made some sort of twilight reference. As you can imagine, the result was a town bustling with enthusiastic tweens.