My posts are also a sort of "postcard" to my family and friends, and anyone who might want to know what we are doing.
In the third week of August we were at the Dosewallips State park on the Hood Canal. As you can see, the sites are large and fairly open. Unfortunately we had a little smoke haze, but overall the temperatures were pleasant and the sleeping was good.
While here, we went on a couple of nice walks from our site.
The Dosewallips River runs to the Hood Canal along the edge of the park. It was rather low, but we saw the evidence of much larger flows, probably from spring storm runoff.
We walked to and out onto the beach along the Hood Canal, when the tide was out.
As we walked the path through the wetlands at the edge of the beach, we notice what at first appeared to be a leaping fish sculpture in the distance. It seemed like a strange place for such a thing, but it was intriguing.
It turned out to be a large piece of driftwood. It's interesting how one's mind can transform things to explain what you're seeing.
The beach was very broad and composed of mucky puddles, coarse sand, and billions of clam and oyster shells.
The above picture makes it look deserted. It was not; there were many people out digging for clams. But none of the pictures I took of them were in focus, so I haven't included them. Although it looks gloomy, there was some sun. The sky was grayed by the haze from the fires, not clouds.
We chatted with several clamming families, who were digging their limits of 40 clams each. Since neither of us had boots or a rake and shovel, or wanted to dig in the muck, we decided to eat clams at a local restaurant later in the week.
Another of our walks took us up into the forested part of the park.
The Steam Donkey and Maple Valley Trails formed a three mile loop through replanted logging land.
Most of the trail was easy, with just a bit of up and down.
Many of the larger (dry in summer) streams had little platform bridges across them.
There was really only one place were the trail split and we had to decide which way to go, up or down. We choose up.
At one switchback turn shortly thereafter, I noticed this tree that seemed to point the way we should go.
It was correct. We think the downward path just went into the canyon below, but it wasn't on our trail map so we were glad we didn't take it.
I know three miles isn't a very long hike, but it has become just about right for me this year. I've been having a little knee pain, and was happy to rest with an ice pack when we returned to the Alfa for the afternoon. I hope it doesn't get worse.
On Thursday evening we went over to the Geoduck Tavern for some local seafood. Readers who know about shellfish will recognize "geoduck" as the largest burrowing clam in the world. We were disappointed that the restaurant didn't serve their namesake.
The patio seating overlooked the Hood Canal.
We enjoyed watching the swallows swooping over the wetlands to catch their dinner.
I had the clam chowder and a fish and chips basket, and Craig had an oyster sandwich. All was quite good.
On Friday we headed north to the Sol Duc Hot Springs campground, which is ten miles into the Olympic National Forest.
Five years ago, at about the same time in August, we camped there while our realtor made the final arrangements and put our home on the market. Although it took some months for a final sale, I look at that time as the beginning of our fulltime RV adventure. We never again slept in our house, preferring to stay in the Alfa at Camp Driveway until we were free.
What an amazing five years it has been!
|Image from the Web of Sol Duc Resort|
However, the Olympic National Park did not disappoint. We went on a couple of nice walks through the forest.
The Ancient Grove area was magical.
We were lucky there were no others on the trail when we walked it.
I will never stop being amazed by how tall the trees grow. It makes me a bit dizzy to try to see the tops.
On another day we walked to the Sol Duc Falls. There was a steady stream of other hikers, and we did have to wait a bit for a parking spot, but there was also an overwhelming feeling of awe and sharing.
The National Parks belong to all, and all are welcome.
This time and this place is definitely "Merikay's Dream".