June 30- July 1, Olympic National Park, Washington
Our dinner was great, and not a ton of bugs so we were able to eat outside which was great. You could smell the ocean we were so close. Then of course some Wizard for the family before we retired. We got up the next morning and took nice hot showers after breakfast and headed North up the 101 to Olympic.
We stopped at a little ranger station to get a map, as the South entrance on 101 did not have any ranger stations where they charged you admission. I was quite surprised by this, but I guess most of their visitors come from the East/North entrance closer to Seattle. The ranger was super nice and we even were able to get our Passports stamped and buy our National Park sticker. We decided our first stop would be Ruby Beach. As you go north they are Beach 1, 2, etc and then their is Ruby. We asked the ranger where there would be tide pools during low tide and she recommended Ruby.
We were able to park the RV fairly easily which was nice, a very large parking lot and we headed off. I did not put the kids in bathing suits, as for sure I expected the Pacific to be cold this far north, but of course, it wasn't. So the kids jumped in with their clothes on (after asking permission) and had a blast. Here are some great pics of them.
The beach was so nice and rugged. Logs laying on the beach, little tide pools, really rough rocks. Just exactly as you would imagine in the Pacific Northwest, or really any Northern beach. Being low tide we had a blast walking around and it really was warm. As many of you know, I am not a water person, and certainly not a cold water person, but this was quite pleasant.
It was a great time at the beach, and the kids would have stayed all day, but we had to eat some lunch and still had a ton of the park to see. After lunch we headed towards the Hoh Rain forest. The rain forest is a special place, it gets over 120 inches of rain a year, Seattle gets 34 inches (for all those people in Cincy who thinks it rains so much in the Pacific NW, we actually get about the same amount. Due to the amount of rain, needless to say it is wet, and there is tons of moss that grows. I can't remember the term, but it is an environment where one plant species grows on another, so moss on a tree and so forth. Here are some of the pics from our "moss lane" hike.
We were all very tired from our two activities and needed a nap, for sure mommy did. Thankfully daddy had enough energy for the 90 minute drive North/Northwest up Rt 101 up to Sol Duc hot springs. Here we would pull in for the night and have dinner. Tomorrow we would head to the Sol Duc hot spring resort. They pump the water from the natural springs into pools. The hottest pool is 103 degrees, and the cool "kiddie" pool is 97 degrees. They also have a normal pool that feels really cold after sitting in the hot springs.
The resort was started almost 100 years ago, this is the 3rd building they had, the first one burned down after only four years. Here is a picture of the old one and the current one. The old one was a full hotel, even with brothels during prohibition. Now they have 33 cabins you can rent across the parking lot. We also saw this beautiful old truck, with a full coca-cola cooler in the cab, check it out.