Wanted to sleep in. It’s hard to be tired at 9 pm when the sky’s still bright. Thus, I fall asleep later. Thus, I want to sleep in.
Nonetheless, got up at 6 to cold, wet air. Made coffee. Read my book in Spanish on the Spanish Empire… I think the Spanish got a bad rap from their colonial days. Yes, some were brutal. But certainly not all. Frankly, the colonizers mixed with the Indians more than any European power, and created a civilization certainly different than the Anglo-Americans.
But by 8:30 the cold, wet reading was enough. Hit the road.. My objective was the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center. I wanted to get some good time in a forest that gets over 100” of rain a year, which is the definition of a rain forest.
Actually, the Hoh Forest gets about 140”. It is literally the rainiest spot in the Lower 48. The only other places that come close are in Washington and Oregon. After these states, you’ve got to go down to Mobile and New Orleans. The north Gulf Coast still gets less than half of what the Hoh gets. Fascinating.
The NPS website says…
The Hoh Rain Forest, pronounced “Hoe”, earns its name from the ever-flowing Hoh River that carves its way from Mount Olympus towards the Pacific Coast. However, where the name originates, is up for debate. The word “Hoh” undoubtedly comes from Native American languages; possibly the Quileute word “Ohalet” which means “fast moving water” or “snow water.” Since the river itself forms from glacial runoff, that origin seems straightfoward…
There are many Indians on the Pacific Coast I’ve never heard. The Quileute is certainly one of them.
Anyways, moss drapes all trees. It reminded me of Spanish moss in Louisiana, though, the greenery here’s far thicker. Pools, puddles and mud are everywhere. However, unlike Louisiana, the temperature was cool, which made hiking in it perfect. Snow-capped mountains of effulgent fir and spruce rising above the Hoh off to the east spoke not of New Orleans either.
Though I’d thought about heavy exercise today, by hiking miles and miles along the Hoh River, which I hoped would may allow me a vista of Mt. Olympus, as soon as I got on the trails my priority changed. The soft light and green moss made me get out my camera. Wanted to see if I could capture the essence of this forest. Wanted to capture the uniqueness of this part of America.
Thus, I sauntered at a slow place, looking for color and light. There was no urgency to move fast. This is a more enjoyable way to be.
Along various trails, getting annoyed when people came close, I wandered.. Probably took 200 photos. Most of them aren’t good. However, there were moments the light made me forget time.
Went down Moss trail. Then Spruce trail. Then river trail. At some point the sun came out unimpeded by clouds. Washington was GREEN. Washington was beautiful. But five hours was enough. It was time to head back.
An hour later I was playing Woodoku. Then started another fire. Typed blogs. Read the Patton Papers… you can only hate George C. Scott’s 1970 movie after reading what Patton’s true words were.
By 8 I was done concentrating. By 9 I was alseep. Wonderful sleep.