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Five years ago: Hoh Temperate Rain forest

Forks is not a large town. It exists mainly due to the logging industry, and the trickle of tourists that pass through. Apart from the gas station and motel, there is a wood carving museum. And that’s about it: small town America in a nutshell.


The Hoh Rainforest was down a long road, which was pleasant, great views into the interior of the park. Thankfully, the roads do not go very far into the park, so most of it is unspoilt. In fact, only twice did I catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains at the centre of the park.

As ever, at the end of the road is a large car park. There were many well signposted trails of various lengths right up to an 18 mile trail leading to a wonderful sounding place called Glacier Meadows. Maybe next time? I chose the short mile and a half trail. And although the car park was crowded, only a short walk away there were hardly any people at all. The trail weaved its way through trees of immense size, and spaced out were informative signs to explain why each part of the forest is important. I paced around one tree, and it was 33 paces around. At the end of the trail I came to the edge of a river, a German came by excitedly telling us there were lots of oaks a half mile away. Thinking that, ho hum, I can see oaks any time back home an American woman came by and said there were lots of Elk half a mile away. The elk were on the other side of the river, about 500 yards away there must have been over 20 of them, including calves as well. It was impossible to get too close to them, but being this close to nature was good.

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Taken on July 25, 2005