"When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty." (John Muir, Travels in Alaska)
The first few weeks of this trip were really hectic. We'd hike or climb during the day, then drive, finding a place to crash when the sun was low in the sky. Dave set camp while I cooked; we'd eat, clean up, and crash. In the morning, the tent came down as the sun came up, and we were on to the next adventure. With the big Yosemite adventure smack dab in the middle of the calendar, we had so many places to visit, and so little time left. So we'd go faster and harder.
It rained in Washington. Not very hard - but constantly. Big mountains hid in the clouds, and I never did see Rainier, except the visitor's center diorama.
I spent a few days damp to my core, wrapped in layers of fleece, trying to stay warm. The car smelled like wet hiking socks, slug mucus, and last night's rice and beans. All of our gear was sitting in puddles of water in contractor bags.
tent floating in 3-4 inches of water
It was mildly miserable, just uncomfortable enough to make us realize that our deeper discomfort from constant running-running-running-faster was totally self-inflicted.
tent covered in 3-4 inch banana slugs
The Olympic peninsula wasn't on our original itinerary. But people kept mentioning it, again and again, with intensity. It was special, they said.
A special rainforest is a good place to wait out the rain.
Time to slow down on the Olympic peninsula.
There's nothing to see except what's close to the ground.
There's nothing to do except that which we are doing right now.
There is time to look at moss.
There is time to count the blades on a fern.
There is time to stand in the rain.
There is time to be with wildflowers.
There is time to make friends with a slug.
There is time to hike ten miles up to a mountain pass, even when you know you won't see anything in the clouds at the top.
There are plenty of mossy green streams on the way up for your eyes.
We camped in the Olympic National Forest,
...walked along Ruby Beach,
......took 2 hours to meander the ¾ mile “Hall of Mosses” trail at the Hoh Rainforest, and
.........hiked to Marmot Pass on the east side of the peninsula.
And I can say I agree with every person who mentioned this place. It's special, very special.