David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
09/22  Plan B, Part 2
09/23  Canaveral National Seashore -- Freaky People
09/24  Seminole State Forest
09/25  Swimming in Pepsi
09/26  Arachnids
09/27  The End Of The Trail
09/28  Go West Young Man
09/29  Mountains in Arkansas? Who knew?
09/30  Kansas ain't so flat
10/01  Two Kinds of Flat
10/02  Points of Interest
10/03  No Place To Hide
10/04  Look! Grass!
10/05  Everyone repeat after me: Medo is not a jeep.
10/06  Without Incident
10/07  The Fever
10/08  Goodbye, Black Hills
10/09  Lunch with Bison
10/10  ''You're in Oregon Now.''
10/11  Sea to Shining Sea
10/12  My anemone's anemone is my friend.
10/13  Fast Times at Seven-Thousand Feet High
10/14  Redwoods and Grapes
10/15  Welcome to the Jungle
10/16  I live to move furniture.
10/17  Whole Lot of Critters
10/18  Deserts
10/19  ''Please state your nationality''
10/20  Essence of Guano
10/21  Cannonball
10/22  All Done
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Sea to Shining Sea

2005-10-11

Olympic National Park, Hoh Rain Forest (47.859 N, 123.938 W)It sure was nice to climb out of the sleeping bag and not go, "BRRRRR!"

I spent the morning driving under the steady gaze of various mountains, including Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier. Unlike other mountains, these two are volcanoes and tower above their peers by many thousands of feet. You can see them from over a hundred miles away if you're positioned correctly.

In Oregon, I stayed on 218 West until Antelope where I took 97 North all the way into Washington. I stayed on 97 until Yakima, and then took 12 West to 123 into Mount Rainier National Park. This park is something to see. After so many days of big open spaces, I suddenly found myself on a little road completely hemmed in by eighty foot forest. And that forest is thick. There are canyons that are a dozen feet wide but a hundred feet deep.

Up close, Mount Rainier is just as impressive as at a distance. It's almost completely bare of trees and white with snow, whereas all the other mountains are still green.

From there I took 706 West to 7 North to 702 West to 5 South to 8 West to 12 West to 101 North (for those of you who care). And I arrived at Olympic National Park.

I thought Rainier was thick, but Olympic is a true rain forest. The vegetation here is mossy green and dense. I'll get more of a feel for it tomorrow when I do some hiking.

I did spend a little time on the Pacific beach. It's one of those really flat beaches where the waves start breaking a quarter of a mile out. The shore is strewn with the bleached remains of trees that have washed down from the inland forests. Past the shore is a sixty foot climb up to the normal peninsula elevation.

On my way up to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and camp ground, I picked up Tim and his dog Muddy who were trying to hitch a ride. Tim has been backpacking and hitchhiking for a month. He was headed to Alaska, but got turned back at the Canadian border and so is on his way back to New Mexico (in a round-about fashion). Because circumstances dictated that I actually pay for a campsite (gasp), I offered to let Tim pitch his tent here. He demonstrated more patience while lighting a fire using the few damp sticks we could find than I've probably exhibited in my entire journey thus far. He also gave me a few tips on successful hitchhiking: Wear a clean white shirt, and hold up a sign that says St. Cloud PLEASE. The PLEASE is important. Oh, and having a dog helps.

There are a couple of things I really like about Washington. For one thing, it is illegal for a car to pass up a turnout if there are five or more other cars behind it. I can think of a few other states in need of this law. And there are still real phone booths here.

While driving about, I've come across a few noteworthy road signs. I apologize for not sharing them. In Colorado I saw signs that read, "IN CASE OF FLOOD CLIMB TO HIGHER GROUND." Well, duh. South Dakota warned me that there is "LARGE WILDLIFE ON ROAD." But, today I saw a true original: "CAUTION MILITARY TANK CROSSING AHEAD." If only they had a little picture of a tank crossing the road!















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