As an antidote to political pandemonium, my first wife and I visited another national park at the end of September. We find solace and wonder in the quiet, astounding beauty of our national heritage and try to make a pilgrimage to at least one park a year. In early days, we’d pack our kitchen, bedroom, and living room into a big duffel bag, fly to a spot of natural beauty, rent a car, and camp out until it was time for a shower in a motel.
I think it was about fifteen years ago when first wife Nancy told me that, from now on, camping out would be a Holiday Inn or better. So, before visiting the Olympic peninsula a few weeks ago, I made reservations in or near The Olympic and Mt. Rainier national parks. North Cascades was avoided because only tent camping was allowed. And we could only reach the campsites by a long trek or canoe.
We drove from Seattle to Forks, WA a small town found near the west coast between the Pacific and main inland areas of Olympic national park. From that location we made daily visits to both the coast and inland areas, most of which are on native American reservations. The Pacific northwest Indian cultures are fascinating.
Pictures describe our adventure better than words. Here are some from the forests primeval on the peninsula .
Here are photos from the Pacific side:
That’s a fly agaric mushroom. Parboiled and dried, it’s hallucinogenic!
This picture is from the Trail of Shadows at Mt. Rainier. The first two days there were cloudy and wet. On day three the skies opened up. Unexpectedly, the brush at about a mile up displayed stunning fall colors–even on drizzly days. Here are some of them.
And then–we saw the mountain.
And other peaks, including Pinnacle–pretty obviously named.
Black bears aren’t found only in our backyard in New Jersey.
And, of course, it’s a rain forest, which means lots of water but not too much in the fall:
I’ll spare you the other 700 photos I took.