In February, at the height of the rainy season in the Olympic National Forest, the Other Half had a work function in Seattle. Since it fell right around President’s Day, we decided to meet up and visit another national park over the weekend.
On Saturday morning, we drove to the Kalaloch Lodge, a rustic lodge which sits on the Olympic Peninsula within easy driving distance of several beaches, the national park, and the national forest. The views from the lodge are beautiful, and the front desk has an entire closet full of board and card games to play while you listen to the sound of the ocean after dark.
Our first goal was to visit the Hoh Rainforest, a lush temperate rainforest which contains a 17-mile trail to the base of Mount Olympus, the aptly-named and well-known Hoh River Trail. While we didn’t complete the trail due to the limited time we had in the area, we had a great time looking into the clear waters of the river while we hiked. There were several places the trail was difficult to find due to washouts or fallen trees, but it made the adventure that more interesting and fun.
We were also able to visit Ruby Beach, windswept and gravelled, which serves as a dramatic foreground for the many storms that break over Olympic Peninsula.
But the highlight of our trip was clambering over a mountain hilariously titled Colonel Bob. No one else was hiking in the misty morning fog, and even the birds were quiet when we started. As we hiked upward and clambered, the views fell away around us and reminded us why we love visiting the outdoors- that inner peace you can only feel when you’re surrounded by nature and those you love.