to the sea

We just got home from a four-day tour of the Olympic Peninsula. Conclusion: it’s gorgeous.  Also, we can survive three nights of camping with a toddler. A successful trip all around.

We’ve spent time on the peninsula before and revisited a few favorite spots on this trip. But we hadn’t camped in this campground before — Mora, near La Push — and it was a beautiful spot. It was about a mile from Rialto Beach.  We spent Wednesday making our way to the coast and spent Thursday sitting on the beach.

That evening, Josephine learned how to prepare the smallest smore ever made (but only ate the chocolate and then requested a non-roasted marshmallow). (In case you can’t tell, she was thrilled with the whole thing.)

Friday, we woke up and laughed about July in the Pacific Northwest as we pulled on our winter hats and pulled up our hoods to stay warm during breakfast.

We went to the Hoh Rain Forest and hiked. Ironically, in order to get some sunshine, we had to leave the beach for a place with an average annual rainfall of 13 feet. Josephine hiked enthusiastically on her own for about three-quarters of a mile.  She talked the entire time. She was deep in an imaginary world in which she was Dorothy, I was “Dorothy’s Friend” and Ned was Scarecrow. Rose was the baby scarecrow that Dorothy was taking care of. She told everyone we passed about how she was Dorothy and was going to see the wizard. She also spent some time at the river bank washing rocks that were apparently dirty.

We wandered down to the campground’s amphitheater for the the evening’s ranger presentation.  The subject was “Whales” and we thought Josephine would maybe be entertained for 10 minutes or so and we could go back to the campsite for bedtime.  To our great surprise, she was riveted and so excited about volunteering to help the ranger with various tasks throughout the presentation. She raised her hand and told the ranger that we were from Seattle. She helped the other kids there walk out the length of a grey whale.  She guessed that a whale weighed fifty pounds. She went up to the front to select a piece of paper with a suggestion for reducing carbon emissions from a bucket. Then selected a second. And a third. She listened carefully for the entire presentation and reported back some of the things she had learned later. It was an unexpected highlight of the trip.

On Saturday, after a farewell trip to the beach (the impressive rock art was someone else’s), we started home. On the way back, we took a side trip and climbed through clouds to the glorious peaks at Hurricane Ridge and, at a spectacular lunch spot, marveled at the coast, forest and mountains we were able to enjoy in just a few days.

And then we got home and watched the Olympics for twenty hours. The end.


8 Responses to “to the sea”

  • Allison Says:

    I *so* wish we could have done this trip too. Looks awesome. Eli was excited to see pics of OmaJoeyNed. He was also very excited to see the picture of the “biiiig deer.”

  • auntie mae Says:

    ok. that’s it. i need to go to the olympic peninsula. end of story.

  • Polly Says:

    So beautiful! We really live on the doorstep to paradise don’t we?

  • Erika Says:

    a)Ned looks like a male model in that headshot of him. The hair, the glasses, the way Joey is staring at him adoringly…fabulous.
    b)why were you so close to that DEER??
    c)you continually make me want to be more of an outdoorswoman. maybe we’ll try that someday.
    d)how did you get the child to go to sleep in a tent and then how did you all sleep in a tent together? i want details of this feat!

  • oma Says:

    allison and maeta–come on out!

    erika:
    a) ned IS a male model. do you think we fund our lavish lifestyle on his social worker salary alone?
    b) that *deer* was so close to *us*. that’s how they roll at hurricane ridge.
    c) glad i’m an inspiration. hardly an outdoorswoman, but i’m flattered nonetheless.
    d) i went to bed with josephine (i had grand plans to read after she fell asleep each night but i always fell asleep, too). as for all of us sleeping together… ned slept, josephine slept for the most part and i woke up whenever josephine started to squawk in her sleep. on the first night, she and i spent half an hour in the car because she was crying so loudly. but the other nights went fine.

  • grandma susan Says:

    These are absolutely beautiful, oma. What a great camping trip. Thank you for sharing. I love rose eating on the blue tarp. And i agree with erika about ned.

  • Christina Says:

    Great Pics! Wish we could have seen you all when we were momentarily in Seattle!!! Say hi to Josephine from her cousins.

  • Meg Says:

    Beautiful photos — thank you for sharing! It looks like everyone had a wonderful time. 🙂