Monday, June 22, 2009

The Seattle Ed.; Road Trip to HOH Rain Forest

The drive to the HOH Rain Forest was not as lengthy as expected. Maybe because I learned to drive on Long Island which means if there is an open road you DRIVE or maybe because at higher altitudes you move through space quicker – whatever - either way we made great time.

Enjoying the scenery on US 101 was only a portion of our delightful drive, the other part was the interesting town and street names that popped up along the way; names that stuck in our pea heads, awarding us with multiple days of laughter. Here is a list of some of our favorites, and please note to fully reap the benefits of the French names read them aloud in a VERY offensive bastardized French accent, or just ask Scooter to send you a recording:

· Kitchen Dick Road · Humptulips · McNut · Pysht · Beaver · La Push · Le Peoul

We arrived at the rain forest a little after 4pm but with the summer months approaching we had at least another 5.5 hours of sunlight to utilize. The ranger station was closed however a very friendly earth mother was at the ready to aid us in choosing the perfect nature trail and to inform us that the hand written notation on the official “WARNING ELKS CHARGING” sign was not very funny. Armed with our new knowledge about the Hall of Mosses (or Hall of ‘Moses’ as we took to calling it – of course), clarification that the Elk were truly NOT charging five dollars, and the hopes of a banana slug sighting we headed into the great green enchanted woods.

Once ensconced in the lushness of the tall trees and the hanging moss I found it to be, ummm, less, moist than expected. Unfortunately Washington has been rather dry lately so the Rain Forest was just forest sans rain. It was still lovely however, and I quickly found myself hypnotized by the combined soft sounds of the breeze skipping along the top of the old growth canopy and the rushing water careening down the HOH River.

We wandered the weaving pathways, inspecting each fallen colossal truck, some with full grown succulents feeding off the old nutrients. While on our journey of discovery Scooter recounted a story from Carl Sagan who logically concluded that where there are ferns there are dinosaurs. So by following this course of reasoning we both agreed that the HOH Rain Forest must be a haven for such prehistoric beasts. In addition upon discovering giant clover patches we expanded on Sagan’s scientific reasoning to presume that where there are giant clovers there must be leprechauns. It was obvious to both of us that the HOH Rain Forest was a land that time forgot where banana slugs engineered a civil war between the dinosaurs and the leprechauns, utilizing the Elk (acting as soldiers of fortune, charging $5.00 cash) to incite the rivalry between the two warring factions. The leprechauns, forever crafty and insistent on space travel for defensive positioning, attempted to utilize the towering old growth trees as their launch pads for space exploration however sadly the dinosaurs, too cumbersome for space travel, were determined to knock over every massive tree trunk to impede the leprechauns from ever escaping the earth’s atmosphere.

We exited the Rain Forest at 6pm without an actual sighting of dinosaurs, leprechauns, or banana slugs however Scooter did get a quick glance of an elk as we sped through the park gates, thankfully he had collected his quota for the day and was not charging.

At the T in the road we had the opportunity to choose either RIGHT, returning in the direction from whence we came with the certain knowledge that within 2 hours we would be enjoying a dinner of Dungeness Crab along the banks of the Strait of Juan de Fuca or LEFT, taking us 20 miles further west, depositing us on the shores of the Pacific Ocean where only armed with our blind optimism (and our Google Maps enabled Blackberries) we would discover a land overflowing with a cornucopia of fresh seafood. Guess what we did???

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