Olympic National Park/Forks, WA – A Thousand Years

OK, I admit it. I rather enjoyed watching the Twilight movies. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go so far as to pick a Team Edward or Team Jacob. But there’s just something about vampires, werewolves and romance, that makes me want to watch . But don’t let me get ahead of myself…

Tree of Life, AKA Tree Root Cave

One of the best things about short drive days is getting to stop off at sites we might not have otherwise gotten to see. And Tree of Life is one of those cool sites. But it brings on more questions than it answers. Like, how is it still alive? Will it fall on me? Did it grow roots across and opening or did the land disappear from under it?

Forks, Washington

As I was saying, when touring the state of Washington, it’s almost a requirement to visit Forks, the real town for the fictional series.

Interesting fact: Not a single scene from the movie was filmed in or near Forks. In fact, the author, Stephanie Meyer, had never even been to Forks when choosing it as the home of her vampire family. She chose Forks after doing a Google search for the rainiest, most forested, small town. And it just happened to have a great name.

To this day, the only Twilight related attractions in Forks are conceived by the locals to help support the influx of tourists that came after the books and movies came out.

Fortunately, that’s not all there is to see in the area.

Olympic National Park

The Olympic National Park encompasses nearly one million acres of North Western Washington. Included in this park are ocean beaches, glaciers, mountains and even the Hoh and Quinault Rain Forests. The Hoh Rain Forest gets over 140 inches of rain every year! Compared to our 7 inches in Phoenix that’s like Noah’s flood.

Photo from 2006 trip.

Jeff and I hiked the Hoh Rain Forest when we visited his dad back in 2006 so this time, we took a beach hike to the Hole in the Wall at Rialto Beach.

If you time your hike to go at low tide, you’ll be rewarded with exploring the tidepools and seeing all kinds of sea life like these starfish and sea anemones. Trust me, these REALLY AREN’T just plastic toys thrown in the water!

I’m not much of a fan for sitting on a beach sunbathing or swimming in the ocean. But I do love these walks along the sea shore with heavy forests on one side and looming rock faces on the other. However, I think my step counter should give me extra credit for how hard it is to hike through the sand and gravel!

The Campground

Our campground at this stop was Bogachiel State Park. This over 100 year old park makes you feel like you are camping right in the Hoh Rain Forest. But it was designed for campers on the smaller side. Our 33ft trailer was a tight fit around the corners. If you do camp here, ask the rangers if you can drive in the wrong way. Almost all the campsites are set up so the RV camping side is into the road instead of into the camp space.

Seattle, Washington

Next stop, Seattle. But with that comes a choice. We can drive back down around Tacoma or drive the RV onto a ferry and take it across Puget Sound. Wait, did I say this was a choice? Of course we are taking the ferry!

Our only big plans in Seattle were to catch a baseball game at T-Mobile Park, our 13th baseball stadium. The stadium was just average as stadiums go. And we still think the Diamondbacks have the best fan engagement there is. But we have to give props to the food. I had a loaded baked potato, loaded with BBQ beef, cheese and all the good stuff. And Jeff had a clam chowder bowl. Both were FABULOUS!

The Campground, Part 2

The extra day in Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell was a wonderful opportunity to warm up (after many stops in cold-for-us weather), catch up (I managed to do 4 loads of laundry for only $5), and relax.

After all, long RV trips aren’t about having that WOW, AMAZING experience at every stop. It’s also about just taking the time to enjoy not being stuck in 110 degree weather at home.

The campsites all surround a lake (er, pond…) that is considered a nature preserve and is home to dozens of geese and ducks. The goslings, especially, provided a lot of entertainment value.

The Stats

Miles hiked at this stop – 21

Animal Sightings to date – 14, including the sea creatures and geese.