Growing up with the Olympic National Park in my backyard meant that I spent my childhood getting to know all the local rivers and their hiking trails. The Dungeness, the Greywolf, the Elwha, the Soleduc, the Bogachiel, the Hoh, and the Queets became these living, breathing places that I regard as fondly as old friends. Since having children of my own, I think we've done too much moving around for them to get to really know a place like that. We have now lived in this area for a few years, and are beginning to put down roots a little more deeply, so they may still develop that kind of connection with our local area. After hearing all my tales of the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, my kids were very intrigued by the idea of giant ancient trees, so I decided it was high time they saw the Hoh Rainforest and the Hall of Mosses.
The trees take on these amazing forms and look very much alive, like Ents walking along through the forest.
Sometimes you just have to stop and contemplate the life of a tree.
As I hiked along, I caught a beautiful glimpse of Mt. Tom through the trees.
Listening to grandpa tell his famous trail stories is always a good time.
One can't help but notice all the fungus among us!
We were excited to spy a herd of elk munching grass on this river bar. They seemed used to people with all the hiking traffic that trail gets, so they didn't pay us much mind and kept right on grazing.
Elk sausages roasted over the open campfire made a delicious meal at the end of the day. ( Not to be associated with the elk herd spied a few hours before. We're not that impressive of survivalists, plus that would break numerous laws and regulations in the park. These sausages are from my dad's annual Idaho elk hunting trip.)