Sunday, August 25, 2013

More Lake Quinault and Olympic National Park

Tuesday, the 21st is Joe's birthday and it is a beautiful day. We decide to get out our boat and set it up with the sail as there is a nice breeze. Setting up the sail adds a bit of time to the regular inflating,etc and so it is almost an hour by the time we are ready to pull the boat over to the water. Then someone comes by and tells us we aren't allow to take boats on the water. What, we kayaking a number of years ago. It seems the lake is property of the local Native Americans and last year they decided only natives can take any type of boat out on the water. They originally didn't allow swimming either but changed their minds on that. We had heard  recently that these particular native americans were not very friendly and I guess he was right. I can see them not wanting power boats, but canoes or kayaks? Oh well, we packed up the boat and enjoyed the nice weather the rest of the day. We went to the Roosevelt Room at the Lake Quinault Lodge down the road from us. .It was named after Franklin D. Roosevelt who visited the restaurant and area in 1938. Months later Olympic National Park was created. Their food is very good. Joe had scallops and I had the mushroom risotto. This after having an appetizer of calamari. We also got a bottle of wine that we took back to our site later. The dining room is very nice with wonderful views of the lawn and lake out the large windows.
Below is a picture taken from a website of the hotel with the dining room on the right.

We took another walk that goes to one of the waterfalls in the area. We were able to walk from the campground, where the trail starts behind the general store. Another beautiful walk through one of the three temperate coniferous rain forests in the Western Hemisphere. Saw lots of mushrooms but didn't pick any as we have no mushroom knowledge of what is save to eat.

In less than mile, though mostly uphill, we arrived at the creek and waterfall.

We could have continued on another loop that ends up near the lodge but decided to go back the way we came. We got back a lot faster than going to the waterfall as mostly downhill, obviously.
Here are a couple of more views of the campground and the cabins that are the road that goes into the campground.

As I mentioned in the last post, this is the Valley of the Giants, with record heights of a number of trees. The largest Spruce Tree is right by the campground. 

The picture below shows some scale to see how large the tree is.

Well, we had some nice days but the last part of the week we were there was cloudy and we got some rain.
Plus, more is expected in the next little while. One day we drove north a little and checked out a few campgrounds, one which we totally loved. It is right on the water and is first come first serve. We plan on going there on Monday, the 26th. As it is first come first serve, we will have a place through the Labor Day weekend. since we didn't make reservations, this is a good thing. Below a few more pictures of Lake Quinault, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rain Forest- Lake Quinault

The Rain Forest Resort Village is on lovely Lake Quinault. There are cabins, an inn and rv spots. We had stayed here on a vacation before and knew how nice it was. The best stop is the one closest to the water with an uninterrupted view of the lake. When we got there , that spot and the ones next to it were taken but they were smaller units and so we still had a little view. Then the next morning some of the people left. The couple in the second spot had moved their car into the prime spot but told us they were getting ready to do some hiking and then were leaving. Long story short we got the prime spot. YEAH!!! Last time we were here we were afraid the trees were too low for our MH and took the next spot. There was only one other person there and they were at the other end. So we had a great view and decided to stay another day. We went out kayaking and as we were coming back we saw another large motorhome driving around. There was no one else in the campground but us at that time. No, they parked in the prime spot and totally blocked out view of anything. This time, there was no hesitation, we pulled in our slides and moved over to the perfect spot.


Joe took some nice morning pictures. The water is like glass, so calm.


There are a number of hiking trails in this rain forest area. The Quinault Valley has six champion conifer trees that are recognized by the National Forestry Association as the largest specimens of their species. Only the redwoods and sequoias are taller. The largest Sitka Spruce in the world is right by our campground. The Western Red Cedar, Mountain Hemlock, and Douglas Fir(co champ) are also the largest in the World and the Western Hemlock and Yellow Cedar are the largest in the US. How cool.

We are in the national forest area, not the national park itself and so this area is pet friendly and so Savannah can go on all the trails. Yippee she barks.

We did our first hike on the Rain Forest Trail.




The forest is just beautiful with almost no ground that is not covered with ferns, moss covered plants and trees, other than the trail itself. There are also streams and even rainfalls, which we will see on another day's hike.







There are downed trees everywhere. I was surprised that winds caused the majority of deaths in this rain forest.



Note a tree growing out of a tree stump. Nurse trees are fast growing large trees that protect smaller trees and plants as they grow. When the nurse tree dies and decays, it provides nutrition and shelter to help these other trees grow. No trees are removed when they die and so the forest continues to be dense with plants.

We liked the below saying which were found on our hike. It reflects our belief system.

Back home and we enjoy our beautiful view.