Millennium Mom

Thursday, July 4, 2013

June 30- July 1, Olympic National Park, Washington

We had a wonderful evening in Hoqium, Washington on Saturday night.  We used our Woodall's book to find the camp site and it was beautiful, right on the river.  The other good news is it had a very nice laundry room - as we had A LOT to do.  We didn't pull in until 7:30 so I was on a mission, we had to get laundry started and have dinner ready in our first 30 minutes.  The good news about doing laundry during this trip is all the laundry rooms have 2 or more washers and dryers, so you can actually get the laundry done really quick.  I got four loads done in about an hour and forty-five minutes.  My friend Kim Yates, who is doing an assignment with P and G in NYC, recently blogged about that very fact.  That while you may hate not having a washer and dryer in your apartment, there is actually something really nice and productive about doing multiple loads at once.

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.

Our day there felt like we were at the united nations.  All of the lifeguard were speaking Russian and there was a group of about 20 boys from a Ukrainian church there speaking Russian as well.  Then we met a man from Korea who moved to Seattle 4 years ago to join his son who had been in America and be close to his grandkids who were with him.  Then we met another man who was German but had lived in Seattle for 20 years, and there were Italians as well.  I guess they like the hot springs, reminds them of the springs in the Ardenne forest in Belgium maybe.  Here are pics from the pools.

We had a blast there and loved the hot water and just relaxing.  About 4pm we decided it was time to begin our journey.  It was very odd as this was the first time we would head East during our trip.  Ruby beach marked the furthest place from Cincinnati we would be, and for the next two weeks we would gradually make our way East towards home.  Tonight we will head about 3 hour to just before the Cascade mountain pass.  We treated ourselves to dinner out and DQ for dessert (yes again) before stopping around 9pm.  This was our worst RV experience - not that it was bad.  But it was primarily seasonal or permanent renters, so the bathrooms were locked at night...bummer, as we had hoped to shower when we got there.  So we waited until the morning and hunted down the maintenance guy to find them.  In the end we got a so-so shower and hit the road, next stop Coeur D'Alene, Idaho to visit our friends Dan and Wendy at their place on the lake.


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