From the Salt Spray Forest

kalaloch campsite at Kalaloch

Yesterday the kids and I returned from a three day camping trip in the Olympic National Park. It is located on the Olympic peninsula, in Washington state. What follows are some journal entries and photos from our trip…


“a momentary silence, a breath between waves colliding with large rocks on the beach…Thunder of surf, a splash of foam and water races up the rocky sand..”

rocks4 rocks

“I am sitting on a large tan- colored rock formation at the water’s edge of Beach 3. The large boulders are pitted with small round holes made ages ago by piddock clams. Not exactly sure what time the high tide is today, I keep a watch on the shoreline to make sure my point of access is not blocked by by incoming tidal surge. It’s July, the sun is shinning, a wisp of a cloud hovers over Tatoosh Island. A perfect fan of salt spray hits the rock below me. The sand is shinning wet and grey in its wake. I study the surf break, curving, foaming in semi circular sweeps on the sand….”

saltspray forest

“Behind me, the Salt Spray Forest clings to the sides and tops of the cliffs. Evergreen trees, stunted by wind and salt air slant towards land. Bent and scarred, groomed by the imperious gardener that is Mother Nature. These are not the happy trees of a Bob Ross painting, but shaped and given beauty by the struggles of surviving in a harsh environment.”


Sophia and Raleigh in the rain forest

“Earlier in the day we drove to the Hoh rainforest. We hiked a short trail called The Hall of Mosses. On a rare sunny day in the rain forest, sunlight illuminated the vine maple leaves, shinning like green stars above our heads. Moss of all varieties clung to nurse logs and tree trunks, padded the forest ground and dangled from tree tops. We read that some moss can survive on nothing but air and light..that sounds like something out of a Tennessee Williams story-maybe another variation on the kindness of strangers?”


shelf fungus        hall of mosses

phone    slug

“Smile- or Mom says we are going on an eleven mile hike!”


Ruby Beach is one of the most scenic beaches in Washington state. We arrived there in early morning to explore the tide pools …

tidepool2  snails

hag stone anenome

Meanwhile, back at the campsite…

“Camping with a 12 year old and a 14 year old is great fun, sometimes frustrating, (like when they refuse to go on another hike!) and for the most part highly enjoyable. They left their ipods, Nintendo and manga without protest to come with their mother to the land of no cell service. A place where making JiffyPop corn over a camp stove, roasting hotdogs in an open fire, is how you entertain yourself.. Playing cards in the firelight and  inventing new culinary delights like S’mores made with Poptarts is a real thrill”….


(disclaimer-they do not eat like this at home!)

We visited four beaches between Lake Quinault and Ruby beach. They are known as Beach One, Two, Three and Four. Each beach, though only about two or three miles from the next, has it’s own special qualities. Each one is accessed by a trail winding down cliff side to the beach. At Beach One, there is a Spruce Burl Trail Loop that can only be described as magical…

burl1 goddessburl burl2 burl3

spruceinfodetail click on photo to read about the causes of burls

A few more photos from our favorite places…

kalakids metidepool

Sophia and Raleigh at Kalaloch,,,,,Me at the tide pools of Beach Four

kids2 kidsam

Raleigh: “In our quest for moonstones, leave no stone unturned!”




Late Afternoon at Beach Four…returning home with a fresh outlook and ideas for the bench. See you next time!