Beach + Rainforest + Waterfall + Lakes // Day 2

Everyone says Seattle is rainy and they seem to be right. We woke up this morning to some rain and constant din of the roaring ocean. It's like a permanent white noise machine. But the rain seemed to be our friend throughout the day, only showing up when we were driving and not as much when we were trying to take a quick hike or climb on some driftwood. The only exception might be that time it suddenly decided to hail - but I guess that was nature's way of telling us to move on.

Breakfast at Kalaloch

While everyone woke up, I sat on our coverage patio in an adirondack chair under some blankets drinking mediocre coffee. It was awesome. After being teased by the menu the night before, we ate at the lodge. I'm going to be honest the sourdough pancakes were not as amazing as we had hoped - but breakfast was great. Ever the teenager, Jake picked up a half dozen maple donuts for the road. He also decided to try a latte for the first time and declared it amazing.

Ruby Beach

This beach was only about 20 minutes from our hotel and a great way to start the day. We had seen some of the impressive driftwood at our hotel but Ruby was pretty spectacular. You began to see some of the sea stacks offshore. Jake declared this "the best beach he's ever been to".

Hoh Rainforest and Lunch

Hoh is one of the stops in guidebooks that are classified as "can't miss". It absolutely stands up to that. I think because we had entered the pack from the Quinault side and had already seen some rainforest this wasn't that insane - but still really amazing.

Everything is delicately and thoroughly layered in moss. To say it rains a lot here seems like an under statement - but everything is damp. When you begin to walk on the hall of Mosses trail you cross over this stream that has the absolute clearest water ever. The path was also lined with poetry which nobody else seemed to notice but me. For some reason being in all this nature makes me more interested in reading poetry about nature. Jake also saw some birds with his newly purchased binoculars and we learned about some real big trees.

We went back and forth between getting in another trail at Hoh or moving on for some lunch. Given there was no food in site at the rainforest, we chose to move on. It also began to really rain. The rain really sinks into your bones here and gives you a deep chill. I'm not sure that I'm going to be warm again for days.

One of the guidebooks Kerrianne had picked up recommended this place called the Forks Diner - but when we pulled into the EMPTY parking lot we pulled an audible. Jake had declared pizza the winner and so we did that. While we finished lunch quickly, I am continuing to make jokes about eating with Forks in Forks. I'm 11.

Rialto Beach

You almost could have made the argument you don't need to see Rialto and Ruby Beach. They've both got driftwood and waves and trees - but Rialto Beach was different. Where as Ruby beach was kind of compact and feature rich with the river, driftwood, etc ... Rialto felt more expansive in a way. The sand was black and even more intricate sea stacks were off the shore. The coast was lined with the driftwood like some kid had spilled his legos and never picked them up.

There are a few hikes here that make it worth while, but we were beginning to lose some steam on the day and still had another site to hit up. As we were walking down the beach, Jake spotted a huge bald eagle soaring just at the tree tops. It felt so close - and so huge. A really impressive moment.

Soleduck Waterfall

The last hit of the day was the Soleduck waterfall. This was another one of the "oh you have to go there sites". Based on some prior experience we knew that starting a hike of any sort around 4 could be a disaster... our next meal time was coming around the corner. This is another one of those "take a right off Rt 101 and drive for 17 miles". I'm convinced that nothing is located right on 101. But, when we got here the parking lot was largely empty and there was a warning sign about bears - so obviously we just charged right on ahead.

The hike itself felt long than it actually was. I know because I measured it coming back. It is about maybe a quarter mile to the first waterfall... and then another half mile to the big one. I was pretty pleased with the first one. It had some beautiful moss, flowing water, a bridge... home run. The second waterfall was huge. You got wet just standing near it - which is a feat considering you are already wet from just being in Seattle.
 

Crescent Lake

The last stop and our home for the night was at Crescent Lake. Shockingly enough, this is actually on the Rt 101 - and its beautiful. Kerrianne and I both instantly had flashbacks to Norway with the glacier carved rocks and blue water. The road hugs the lake and right as we were rounding one of the bends we saw one of the most bright and big rainbows ever.

The Crescent Lake Lodge was also flipping cute. I wanted to move in and never leave - or at least for a few days. There are many styles of accommodations but the cabins were the cutest. There are rocking chairs on the front porch and everything is super welcoming. I could stand on that dock for an eternity.

We took a quick walk along the lake and then grabbed some dinner in the lodge. Jake ordered chicken wings - and literally got giant chicken wings. It was like two whole chickens showed up to dinner and sat on his plate. Kerrianne had the mussels again - and I had a cesear salad. They also had root beer for Jake - which he said was "just fine".

Tomorrow?

Hurricane Ridge, some seals?, and a winery or cider house. Also, hopefully we don't run into the couple that seems to be following us everywhere. They also stayed at Kalaloch, we got gas at the same place, saw them at Rialto beach... and then again at the Crescent Lake lodge tonight.

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