Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Visit to Lake Quinault

Yesterday, we drove about two and a half hours to Lake Quinault, which is in the Olympic Rainforest. As the crow flies, it's not really that far from where we live, but it can't be accessed by "summer roads" right now and we had to drive west to Aberdeen and then north.

It was beautiful; not unlike the area I live in - only "more." By more, I mean more of everything that I see from the window of my home office. More trees, bigger trees... so much bigger. 400 year old spruces. One of the fallen trees had a section cut away to allow the path to progress. The width of the tree came up to my mid-chest (I'm 5'6"). Other fallen trees still had their root systems intact, albeit in the air... they were easily 12 feet across, if not more.

This area of Washington gets 144 inches of rain every year... Although it wasn't raining, you could see drops of water dripping from the ends of lichen and moss, and collecting in tiny streams that lead to the creek. Deep in a ravine, a "hidden" waterfall tumbled and formed rapids near a foot bridge.

This particular park is maintained by the Quinault Indian Nation, which includes the Chinook Tribe. My husband's paternal grandmother and aunt are registered members of this tribe. To park and use the trails, a (very) small fee is collected. The fee is used to maintain the trails in a safe fashion and keep the forest healthy.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

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