Friday, July 13, 2012

Olympia National Park, WA.

We have been out of touch for six days as we were camping at Salt Creek Recreation Area, just west of Port Angeles on the Straits of Juan de Fuca.  No phone or Internet service was available. We were on the water with Vancouver Island, Canada across the strait.  We really enjoyed our stay here as there was a lot to see and the weather was nice, usually 61-75 degrees during the day and in the 50's at night.  At our campsite there was lots of deer to see grazing, raccoons, squirrels and someone even saw a large bobcat. 
The first day we drove up to Hurricane Ridge, where you can see the snowy peaks of at least 20 mountains, it was awesome. 

Debbie viewing Hurricane Ridge
A stop on the way down from Hurricane Ridge
This is the 3rd time Debbie has started a snowball fight this year!
Ha! Ha! Guess who won the snowball fight
Lots of deer seen along the road and at our camp
The view of Canada from our campsite
The view from the fence line at our campsite
Day # 2 we drove to the Sol Duc Resort inside Olympic National Park and spent the morning hiking to Thompson Falls and then the rest of the day we spent in hot sulfur pools and a large swimming pool.  These geothermal pools were 3 different temperatures and we spent most of our time in the fountain pool which was 104.1 degrees.  The hot pool (109.5 degrees) was just to hot for us.  A few seconds and out we came.  The kiddie hot pool was 98.5 degrees.  We swam in the big pool (no sulfur smell) with the temperature somewhere around 80 degrees.  We had a great lunch there too!  Debbie raved that her fresh salmon sandwich was totally awesome.  

Debbie after hiking to Thompson Falls
                                                                                            
Sol Duc Resort
Debbie enjoying the fountain hot pool
Relaxing in the cool pool
On another day we drove out to Forks, Washington, the setting for all of those "Twilight" movies.
While there we took a tour of a logging operation, from cutting the trees down and hauling them up the hills and loading them on trucks, to processing the lumber.  Once the area is harvested of all trees, they replant at least 300 new trees per acre.  That area will be harvested again in 40-50 years.  Cut today was mostly Hemlock, Douglas Fir and a few other varieties. The sawmill was Allen Logging Company.  The mill usually makes mostly 2X4 & 2X6's, but they also make 4X4, Rail Ties and some other items. When the finished product comes out, it is still very wet, loaded with water, as this area is part of the Hoh Rainforest.  The tour guide Randy, a retired Lumberman was very knowledgeable of all aspects of the logging industry and every type of tree.  This free tour is sponsored by may local Forks businesses.      
                     

Atop the mountain with our tour guide Randy
                                     
                                                                                
      video
                                              Click to see the logs pulled up the mountain

Logs going into the sawmill
video
                                                       Click to see the cutting a log into 2X4's    

2X4's coming out
2X4's in the drying barn
One day we went to the Pacific Coast to the La Push area and Rialto Beach, but it was mostly fogged in.  On the way home the sun came out and we did see some unusual flowers.

Rialto Beach from the cliffs above
A mountain stream
Pink Foxgloves
White Foxgloves
Deer near our campsite

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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