Monday, April 1, 2013

Olympic National Park, WA

Another day, another national park.

We've had a string of spectacular days in Seattle--cloudless, sunny, almost 70 degrees. One of those days is pretty rare; to have 2 or 3 of them in a row is a first for me. On Saturday, we got up early and went to Discovery Park. We hiked out to the point to see the fantastic views.

Yesterday (Easter Sunday), we got up even earlier. We took the ferry across, to my stepson's delight, and spent the day in Olympic National Park. It's not really a driving park; most of it is wilderness, and it's big, and there's no road that goes across it. However, we saw the highlights in three vastly different ecosystems: Hurricane Ridge at the top of the mountains, where we got to see 12-foot snowbanks and glaciers; Rialto Beach, a rocky, surf-torn Pacific Beach covered with massive logs of driftwood; and Hoh rainforest, North America's only rainforest, with massive moss-covered trees and ferns everywhere.

(My Southern California-raised stepson on the rain forest: "There's something wrong with this stream! I can see all the way to the bottom of it! The water is perfectly clear! It's not supposed to be like that!")

We ended the day at Kalaloch Lodge with burgers and beers, overlooking the ocean. Why? Because my stepson has finally discovered his appetite. I packed what I thought would be a day's worth of food for three people, lunch and dinner: six sandwiches, several bottles of water, plus a totebag full of apples, bananas, dried fruit, a gallon Ziploc bag of popcorn, some protein bars, some cookies, etc.

All that food was gone by 3 pm.

I got one sandwich and an apple for lunch. My stepson ate everything else. Then he ate a burger and fries at the Lodge, and had the last sandwich for dessert.

I'm not complaining. Yesterday he ate more food than I've ever seen him eat, cumulatively. And he didn't pick at the sandwiches, and leave the crusts, and take the nuts out of the cookies, or eat only half the apples, or otherwise pretend to eat like I've seen him do so often. He ate everything. Even the crusts.

I was so proud.

So it was a good day. A lot of driving, and a long day overall, but the weather was perfect, the scenery was amazing, and there was very little traffic. I really like spending a beautiful day like that on the road, seeing new things, out away from the crowds.

And next time, I'll pack more sandwiches.

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