A lesson in preparedness and a vampire or two
Sometimes we take being able to see things clearly for granted. Especially being surrounded by beauty you want to be able to see the pine needles on the trees, the ripples in the water, or the deer down the path. Hang tight, i’ll come back to this.
The boys and i took a 1.5mi hike while David and his wilderness EMT class took a hike as well while doing mock life saving scenarios. The boys and i saw a few deer, and lots of flora.
We even stumbled across an old mine entrance. We were slightly afraid of the Mine so we didn’t go in. In was extremely dark and narrow and looked like a great place a bear would like to crawl into, so we snapped a pic and ran the opposite direction.
After class we decided to head south and hop on the ferry to go head in the direction of the towns we fell in love with when doing all the dreaming to move out here. We’ve been wanting to make our way over there and this was the perfect opportunity!
If you’ve never heard of the rain shadow it’s a pretty neat thing to see. It had been pretty rainy, gloomy weather everywhere. But when we got onto the ferry and headed towards Port Townsend we saw it. A large patch of Blue skies surrounded by gray.
It was stunning. Everyone thinks Washington gets a ton of rain and this IS true. But the area we were going to less then 25 inches of rain per year. Not bad right?
So we just kept driving West. Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles. We stopped a few places along the way. Seq
uim is Lavender Heaven! It wasn’t quite in season yet but it seemed like everywhere from coffee shops to gas stations Lavender was a common theme. And let me say that Lavender Lattes are DELISH!
We made it into Port Angeles.
This town is at the top of Olympic National Forest, our Dream Park. We wanted to head to Hurricane Ridge which is an amazing look out point but it is the off season and so a lot of the high mountain roads are closed due to snow. So we saw a sign for Forks, Wa and decided to head that way. The drive there was absolutely breathtaking.
If you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few years and have never heard of the movie series Twilight, do a quick google image search. We were headed to the epicenter of where that movie is based on. Spoiler:::::most was filmed in Oregon. I’m assuming because it looks the same but doesn’t get quite as much rain. Forks, Wa recieves over 100 inches of rain a year. Forks is a sleepy little small town but since the Twilight books are based here the town has turned into a tiny touist trap with Twilight Tours, the main characters home is here, there is a parking space at the hospital for Dr. Cullen and there is a Vampire/Werewolf treaty Line sign. Kind of cheesy but there are some serious Twilight fanatics out there!
By the time we got into Forks it was getting late, and since vampires feed at night we decided to stop there and hide out for the night.
Now remember me talking about the whole vision and taking it for granted thing. Well, our overnight trip wasn’t planned. We only packed for a day trip, not an over night trip. David had his contacts in and didn’t want to sleep in them, so he thought his contacts would be safe in the plastic hotel cups with some water. We tucked in for the night and hoped we had enough garlic around to ward off any unwanted guests. The next morning we all awoke, necks unscaithed. David went to put his contacts in and relized both cups he had placed his contacts in were empty. Now, if we didn’t have two children this would have been a big mystery. But with two kids around these mysteries are pretty easy to solve. I turned to the boys and asked, “Hey, did one of you get thirsty last night?” and Jace quickly responds “ME!”. So i asked himif he happened to drink the two glasses that were sitting here. And of course he said yes, kidlets get extremely thirsty at night. Mystery solved. After looking in a phone book and seeing the only vision center in a 60 mile radius was actually a traveling center that only comes to Forks two days a week, we were out of luck. David would just have to be blind. I gave him my glasses to try to help him see a little bit but we quickly realized two blind people was not the best idea we’ve ever had. We decided to not let this ruin the day and we headed out to La Push. La Push is a small community that is home to the Quileute tribe and is located along the Quileute River. It is known for its awesome beaches, whale-watching and natural beauty. Don’t forget it is still spring here which means it’s pretty chilly, and even more rainy. But we wanted to goto the beach. I quickly checked the tide chart to see when low tide was, the last thing you want is to go out when the tide is coming in. It comes in quick! 9am: Low tide. Perfect! We arrived at La Push around 8:50am. The winds about knocked the boys on their tushes. The drift wood was piled on the beach and we gawked at how huge some pieces were.
And the waves were crashing in. We poked around the beach a little and I went to go grab some of the sea foam that was making its way in to show the boys and realized i may have looked at the wrong year of tide tables because the water sweapt over my feet and i quickly realized that the tide was not going out. It was coming in. We snapped a few last shots and ran back to the car. It was beautiful, but the weather was rough.
On the way home we stopped at a part of Olympic National Forest and took a small hike up to a waterfall.
It’s still in the off season so like i said, a lot of things are closed. Camping is closed, paths are closed, ranger stations are closed. This also means its also very quiet, deserted, and the only people that are out are the die-hard backpackers who have dissapeared into the forests on their journies. Oh, and also the crazy tourists who stumble into the parks on the off season hoping to find something neat to see. Luckily we have Washington license plates now so i don’t feel like such a lost tourist now.
The ride home was a little long for the boys, especially when we had to wait in line for the ferry for a few hours. But we made the most of it. We even came up with a new game. Called The Joker. It’s pretty simple and anyone can play. It goes a little something like this…The Joker picks a partner and has to try to make their partner laugh without touching them. Easy right? I made the mistake of picking David when i was the joker, and it took me 2.5 hours to make the man laugh. Granted by that point i forgot we were playing a game.
Well we have less then two weeks left here on the West side of the Cascades. We’ve enjoyed our time here but are getting excited to start life as a Park Rangers family. I will say that there is much excitment but there is also a bit of nervousness and fear. I’ve been reading a few books about Ranger life and the stories they tell can be pretty amazing, some heart wrenching, some lonely, and some scary. We are defineitly easing into the Ranger life with our first assignment but there is no doubt that we will come out with a few stories to tell. Once we get into the ‘National Park Service’ life may get a lot more…wild.
Now, please learn for our mistakes. Always bring an extra pair of contacts or glasses with you. And ALWAYS check the right year when you are looking at Tide Table Charts!